Abigoliah Schamaun

Comedian, Yogi, Whiskey Enthusiast. 

Offended as a Comedian.

Offended as a Comedian.

I love being a stand-up comedian. I love the hours, making strangers laugh, I even love the travel. The best part is when audience members come up to me after a show and say they enjoyed it. My whole point of being there is for people to have a good time. It feels good to know that was achieved. 

More often then it should, however,  I'll have a person come up to me and say, "I thought you were really funny!" I get all giddy because my childhood goal of making people laugh has been achieved. "Thank you!" I gush. 

Then said person (almost always a woman for reasons I've never figured out) immediately follows up by saying, "Yeah, I'm surprised I thought you were funny. I usually don't find women funny!"  My joy is now deflated as I ponder physical violence, grin through clenched teeth, and reply, "Well you should watch more comedy."

Don't ever say, "I usually don't find women funny. But YOU'RE funny." Just don't say it ever. There's no need. That's not a compliment. It's an insult to all of our friends in the small community of stand-up. That's like me going up to a person and saying, "I love that jacket on you. I'm kinda surprised I do, because I think all your friends are ugly!" It doesn't make you feel good. It makes you feel confused and hurt on behalf your friends.  

When people say, "I think your funny and I usually don't find women funny," it doesn't offend me as woman that we are painted with such a broad negative brush. It offends me as a comedian. This is the only job where people watch it, maybe once, maybe twice and think they understand everything about each demographic.

People watch Live at the Apollo and think, "Ok, that's what women in comedy are like, that's what black people are like, and that's what all Asian comedians are like. I understand the whole demographic and what they go through." Do the same people see a male hairdresser say, "Oh my gosh. You're so brave." I don't think they do.

My father was  a surgeon for 25 years and no person ever went up to him after a procedure and said, "That was some really good surgery...for a German. You didn't even do all that weird German doctor stuff like sew two Jews together!" That would be considered rude and offensive to claim all German doctors are like ONE well known, very shitty doctor.

So I implore you, future audience member of a live comedy show, if you see a comic who shatters your idea of whatever negative stereotype you have of their particular demographic. Silently think to yourself, "Huh, maybe my previous assumptions were wrong. I should do more reasearch." then simply go up to the comic and say, "Great set!" because that's all we want to hear.

 

Crossfit-Challenge COMPLETED!!

Crossfit-Challenge COMPLETED!!