Okay, there’s probably a little of the “Don’t touch the remote when the moonhole is bleeding" going on, but some funny people put out some legitimately touching stuff this week.
First up, Andy Sandford reposted his August blog “What Jealousy And Bitterness Can Do For Your Comedy Career" It’s perfect. It’s a really good meditation on where jealousy comes from and why you should mostly ignore it.
You can’t start believing that another person’s success is your failure. You can’t become so jaded that you write off the entire industry because of a few perceived injustices.
That is a HUGE lesson for comedians to learn, and probably one of the hardest. I’ve watched people write off a booker or a club or an agency or a whole network because they got passed over. Not even rejected, just passed over. There’s a difference. Rejection is personal, it’s saying “no” but in so many cases it’s just “not saying yes.” There’s only so many spots open for Half Hours or the Saturday night 10 pm show and there are always more qualified people than there’s room for. But comedians, who are generally narcissistic by both nature and through years of practicing this solitary art, take things personally very easily.
But my favorite part of the post is basically the same philosophy I espouse
Be happy for everyone who gets anything, because that means that comedy itself is still valued.
Okay, now on to my favorite time of the week Roast Battle. We all already know I love it, but this week was extra special. Virginia Collins vs Candice Thompson. I was incredibly excited and fearful about this battle. I was excited because it was another all-female battle and I’d just watched Candice slice and dice Jamar’s birthday Roast, so I knew this one would be different. This was no second class, Title IX shit, this was going to be real. I was nervous because I only know Virginia as a very sweet stoner chick who is relatively comedy young. I’ve only ever seen her on stage late night at The Comedy Store’s potluck, so I had no real barometer of her talent or venom level. And she’s Jeff Ross’s girlfriend. I mean, god, what would happen if The Roastmaster General and now godfather of The Battle watched his lady friend get eviscerated on the show? Or worse, what if she pulled out a win as contentious as Yassir Lester’s sudden death OT over Benji Aflalo? There’d be a mutiny, everyone would just assume the show was fixed.
But it went the absolutely best it could. Virginia surprised a lot of people with great writing and delivery right out of the gate. Candice held her own and delivered what the crowd was expecting. It was fucking great. Candice won by a nose in a decision everyone could get behind. It was the kind of show that makes me excited about comedy all over again.
And THEN Candice wrote an amazing blog post about the experience and the weight she and Virginia were shouldering on behalf of female roasters. It made me tear up the first time I read it and again re-reading it now
I may have looked collected on stage, but my thoughts were going a mile a minute. And there was only one recurring thought that resonated with me. “DON’T FUCK THIS UP.”
However, I wasn’t thinking that phrase out of fear of failing to win the battle. It was in my head because so much more was riding on this. I didn’t want to fail women. That sounds so cheesy, but what I mean by that is women have it really difficult; in life. But being a woman in comedy is a whole other challenge. Often times we are not taken seriously, prematurely judged, and even despite the myriad funny women I see on a daily basis, we are still considered to be “comedically challenged” and inferior. I didn’t want to do well that night. Ineeded to do well. And so did Virginia. And I think I speak for everyone when I say we exceeded all expectations.