We need to talk about Louis

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As fall from grace go, Louis CK’s has been one of the most spectacular. To anyone in the comedy community, the stories about Louis CK’s predilections for masturbating in front of fellow women comedians was well known. The accusations and admission from Louis,  has come at what feels like a turning point for women who have previously put up with varying degrees of harassment in male dominated entertainment industries. OTL has not personally been the victim of sexual harassment (probably as OTL is middle aged) however OTL has certainly been patronised, insulted and intimidated by both male and female acts in comedy but not sure that’s so different to anyone in any job.

What does make comedy unique is the “workplace”. How many workplaces are workers openly allowed to drink alcohol? Travel to work (comedy car share) is routine comedians bitching about their job, co-workers, employers and audience. The line between jokes and reality become very blurred. It’s not a very “normal” work environment.

OTL is also hardly surprised that the damaged people that do stand up and make people laugh also can have problems with treating others well and with respect.

OTL also would like women in comedy to be empowered enough to handle creeps on and off stage cause lets face all these revelations aren’t suddenly going to stop all the dysfunctional insecure creeps in the world. .


Diversity still an issue in comedy?

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Whenever Jeannie meets a new comedian she asks “Sorry, have we met before? it’s just all you young white good looking male comedians look the same to me”. Of course it’s a tongue in cheek comment but there are a lot of hipsters with the same hair and tidy little beards.

Yes, there are more white, middle class, men succeeding in comedy but I guess that’s because statistically there are more white, middle class, men actually doing comedy. Thankfully,  diversity in stand up is getting better, as frankly it’s more interesting for an audience to watch comedians from different backgrounds than a whole set list of twenty something, white, straight men talking about Tinder and being single. However,  there’s work to be done and it’s up to comedy clubs like OTL to make sure we encourage a diverse line up.

Certainly one thing you’ll never hear at an Over The Lyne gig “and the next act is a woman! ”