Comedy specials, even for prolific stand-ups, can take anywhere from a year to three to build. Then, the comedian might have to spend additional months waiting on a director, venue, and/or financing so they can shoot the special. Then, after they film it, the network that’s distributing it can take God knows how long to actually air the thing: three month, seven months, more.
Cameron Esposito couldn’t wait.
Rape Jokes, her remarkable hour about sexual assault, came together remarkably quickly. And as she told me during an interview in late May, when the conversation around sexual misconduct seemed to be moving in a direction she felt it shouldn’t (toward the comeback narrative of the accused, and away from their victims), she did all she could to get the special out as soon as possible. In the span of a few weeks, she went from first talking publicly about working on the material to making plans to shoot it to shooting it to announcing its release date to releasing it, today, on Vulture. We’re honored to premiere it.
Esposito just wants people to see it, so she has made Rape Jokes available with a pay-what-you-can model, with proceeds going to RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual-violence organization. You can donate through a link on the video below or find more information on cameronesposito.com.
If you want to learn how Esposito put the special together, you can listen to her on our Good One podcast below or read a brief excerpt.