Friday, January 10, 2014

Hillary Rea on Being a Girl in the Stand-Up Boys' Club

True story: Back on Black Friday I had the good fortune of meeting Hillary Rea on a street corner in Miami Beach. We were both on our way to the same conference (coincidentally run by Jen Dzuira, who was featured a few years ago on Wisecrack) and were able to pick each other out on the street as... probably not belonging in Miami Beach. 
Hillary is an award-winning storyteller and comedian from Philadelphia. Fun fact: She also runs a show called Tell Me a Story, and you can see where she'll be appearing here. Below, she tells a true story of standing up to a fellow comedian... 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Congrats to Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin!


Comedy writer Jane Wagner and comedian Lily Tomlin have gotten married after 42 years together!

I saw Tomlin's one woman show in Minneapolis a few years ago. I'm pretty sure Wagner still does a lot of her writing. It was amazing. In college, I had an email signature from Search for Signs of Intelligent Life, but I didn't know whether to quote the more famous Tomlin, who delivered the line or Wagner who wrote it:

"I refuse to be intimidated by reality any longer."~Lily Tomlin & Jane Wagner

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

SNL Responds to Criticism, Hires Sasheer Zamata

Photo: Cate Hellman 

Meet Saturday Night Live's newest actress Sasheer Zamata.  Sorry to write the headline that way. I'd much prefer that they just happened to hire Zamata, rather than that it took months of SNL shaming to finally convince SNL to hire at least one female comedian of color. Anyhow, she seems pretty dang charming. You might recognize her from an MTV show called Hey Girl, if you still watch MTV. (Who does that?) She was also on Totally Biased, and if you poke around her website, there's lot of videos to peruse.

You can hear Zamata chatting on Julie Klausner's show over here, but jump to minute 45 or so if you want to cut to the interview. There's a lot of talk of Beyonce and Kanye. if you want to cut to the talk about her webseries, The Pursuit of Sexiness, as well the lack of black women in comedy and the need for diverse writers go ahead to 1:18:18.

There were rumored secret-not-really-secret auditions recently in NYC, so this isn't a surprise. But still, it's about damn time and too bad SNL only chose one actress of color to join the cast. I'm fairly sure that this is only the fifth time in SNL history that they've cast a woman of color. (Sidenote, since I no longer watch SNL, it's really harder to care about it as much...)

Congrats to Sasheer Zamata. Too bad she has to start under so much pressure. Looking forward to catching her sketches on SNL.

Update: They've hired two additional writers from the auditions! Congrats to LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones.