This article argues that Whitney Cummings represents a new breed of sexy lady standups, boldly wearing makeup where no female standup has worn makeup before (onstage, I guess). Apparently, in the past, women standups couldn’t be pretty because audiences would hate them too much. As comedy manager Dave Rath puts it:
Comedy is all about watching somebody on stage be really honest and talk about their perception of the world in a funny way. But it is about vulnerability, people have to identify with those things and that’s what everybody is laughing at. So when a hot girl goes on stage all the guys want to be with her and all the women are like, why is my boyfriend looking at her that way? So the audience was always put off a little bit by attractive women.
Now, however, Cummings may be leading a new wave of “stand-up bombshells,” including Natasha Leggero and Iliza Shlesinger. It’s obviously important that we work this out, because we NEED TO KNOW whether Whitney Cummings is truly the first sexy woman on TV, or whether Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler officially count as sexy. (Did Brett Butler count? Did Ellen DeGeneres count before she came out? We must settle the matter for the Historical Record of Sexiness once and for all!)
Really? Are we really still at the point where the most groundbreaking thing about Whitney is that even though she is abrasive, she is also pretty? Really? We’re turning to a Johnny Carson quote from 1979 to understand why female standups can’t be feminine? REALLY? And while I’m complaining, why isn’t anyone writing articles about how much sexier Anthony Jeselnik is than George Carlin? Because this whole thing is insane, that’s why.
I for one think that maybe, just maaaybe, if Whitney fails, it won’t be because “audiences aren’t ready for a rom-com sitcom centered around a good-looking female standup.” It will be because Whitney isn’t funny.