Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last (Male) Comic Standing

There's a new series of Last Comic Standing being shown on Paramount Comedy. Now I'm not a big fan of reality TV but I quite like the show and as a stand-up myself I'm all in favour of anything that promotes the industry and helps people get good audiences and the attention they deserve. What I don't understand is why this season it's being presented by Fearne Cotton (pictured from her own website). She's not a stand-up. They would never have a male presenter who wasn't a comedian. And in the trailer she is in a tiny mini-skirt and does a little "twirl" in the middle. Unlike in the actual series, all the comics shown in the trailer are male. Why not just put a big sign up saying "GUYS: MAKE 'EM LAUGH, GIRLS: JUST TRY AND LOOK PRETTY". Can't we have a female stand-up present the show? Jo Brand, Jo Caulfield, Jenny Eclair, ... or better still - me?

5 comments:

nexus2008 said...

As the makers of this series have decided the talents required for the presenter's role will not include being funny then it looks a bit discriminatory not to give the job to a man -- there are plenty of non-funny men, and non-funny women (one or two of whom you've mentioned) who are well suited to the roll. Vernon Kay springs to mind. Having said that I suppose there is only one vacancy to fill and they can only appoint either a man or a woman; guaranteeing to upset one set of gender police or the other. I'm not familiar with Ms Cotton, or her oeuvre, but she does look rather fetching in the picture. Good for her.

Cruella said...

Firstly you seem to be saying that some of the female comics I mentioned "aren't funny". Which very much misses the point that you are not actually the centre of the universe. Do a large number of people find them funny? Yes? Then they're funny. If you had said that you didn't find them funny, well fair enough (but so what?) by saying they're "not funny" you are suggesting you have some access to objective truth on a subject which is obviously deeply subjective. Secondly your implication that Fearne Cotton qualifies for the job in some way because she looks "fetching" again ties in to the idea that TV viewers are all straight men. And that assumption is misogynist.

To answer your point (though I'm not sure it deserves and answer) - no-one is suggesting the presenter of the show doesn't need to be funny. Whoever the presenter is, their lines are at least partially written for them, I am sure, and will often be funny. The point is to have the show presented by someone familiar with the industry - as has always been the case in the past.

So they're replacing a role that has always been done by a male comic with a glamourous female with no comedy experience. That sends a pretty clear message to all and sundry that men are valued for their sense of humour (which is an indicator in some ways of intelligence) and women for their looks. And that's a miserable message to be sending to people.

Lara said...

I am sorry you have to deal with self-centered sexist idiots like Nexus commenting on your blog. The comedy world is so blatantly misogynist (in my view) and it's great to see some feminist stand-up comics out there, speaking out. Keep it up!

nexus2008 said...

Blimey!

Heywood said...

I saw this for the first time this summer just a couple of nights ago and was rather confused by this Fearne person's presence. I've never heard of her, so I assumed maybe she was a well-known comedian in Britain. So she's just there for the (male) eye candy factor, I guess?

I was also a bit miffed at the end of the show because NONE of the female comics made it through to the next round, even though at least three of them were better than most of the men who did make it through. Don't think I'm going to bother watching it for the rest of the summer....