Remember that one? Fatty fatty two by four, can’t get through the kitchen door. I was still in the “little classroom” when this was a popular way to tease someone. Little classroom being the elementary school room that held Kindergarten to Grade 3. Bla bla bla, small town etc. Here’s the important part, I was not even 10 years old yet. I have since grown up in almost 82% of the ways that we are all expected to once we start wiping our own bums.
Somebody said some mean things on the internet again. Another quality human that positioned themselves as comic to be able to wrap bullying up with a funny-fun-fun bow. If you didn’t hear about it then I would like to hang out with you more often.
Since we are both women in comedy, I’m going to share. I’m older and wiser and proud of that. Also old and wise enough to know there’s probably a draft named “Women over 40…gross!” video sitting somewhere from this same person.
As female comics, I don’t think we’re mean to anyone more than to ourselves. Pretty sure this is where this kind of hatred/rage/shaming stems from. Insecurity. Insecurity that if we don’t have something better than everyone else, we lose on some level. You can wrap it all up in comedy and confidence but it’s hard to buy.
You can’t do comedy without hurting someones feeling sometime. We all know and have lived that. I had a letter…A LETTER…sent to an agent after a performance at a wives of the oil executives lunch or something super white bread like that. I remember being asked to be “clean” and even changed the word “ass” to “bottom” during a classic contol-top pantyhose joke just to be safe. It was a room full of women, albeit some elderly, but still, no men whatsoever. It should give you some lattitude for content when you all share the same parts but not this time. Funny thing was the letter claiming I was a smutty, vulgar pig came from a man. The only one I saw that day was a waiter and he was killing himself but still, someone somewhere was offended no matter how hard I tried and what my intentions were going in. It’s gonna happen. And as bewildered as I was, I felt really awful. So this element of not feeling bad about getting busted for a hate filled video is what’s most troubling. Sometimes things get misconstrued, especially comedy, but doing something with the intention to be put on blast as some kind of win seems weak and desperate.
In my most hotsy totsy low 100’s size small days, I remember doing a joke on stage about being on a diet. A woman in the darkness, just behind the arc of stage lighting that spills into the audience and lets you see some faces, leaned in while the others laughed and said “Fuck. You.” in a tone that was only meant for me. She was larger and older than I was then and in hindsight, probably around the same age and size I am now. That was an early shot across the bow for me about this “all about me” opportunity we have when we position ourselves as entertainers. Yes it’s about us but the entertainer part obliges you on some level to make it a shared experience. Unless you’re lazy and completely self-absorbed.
I’m not fixing anyone here. Just feeling a little sagey this morning as I think about all the beautiful young kids heading back to school this week to face the teasers who now have viral ammunition that they didn’t have a few weeks ago. Or worse, the one’s who have watched it and had another chip taken out of how they see themselves.
Comedy is hard or really, really easy. Only one is funny.