“People always ask me what it’s like to be a woman in comedy,” Samantha Bee said, closing her last show in 2017 on Wednesday with a tight smile. “Here’s what it’s been like for me and a lot of women I know: Even if no one exposes his penis to you, you’re still dealing with a parade of total dicks.”
It wasn’t her first reference of the night to Louis C.K. admitting that reports of him cornering women in order to masturbate in front of them were true; an earlier segment on the ongoing Roy Moore scandal mentioned C.K. as an example of how each community needs to (finally) “kick out its own creeps.” But her final word on the matter — at least for now — was more direct, calling out the “sentient hoodies” of comedy who hold women back, and rallying those women to push past them.
Standing next to a scrolling list of “comedy penis” archetypes — ranging from “Simpsons Dictionary” to “Human Converse Sneaker” to “The Self-Declared Feminist Ally Who Has Definitely Assaulted Women” — Bee rolled her eyes at these so-called “gatekeepers of comedy.” These kinds of men are the ones who will constantly interrupt women trying to contribute, or “forget” to write down their jokes, or book a dozen male standups doing the same “tight five on the fucking friendzone.”
“If you don’t understand why all the women are so pissed off, that’s why,” Bee said. “And if you still don’t get it, I invite you to go away! You are wrong about where the clitoris is, and you’re wrong about what makes good comedy.”
As it is, this would be an awesome closing for the scrolling list of disdain personified, but Bee brought it all together and finished on a more hopeful note by addressing women who want to be in comedy directly. “Ladies, your jokes about Gilmore Girls and yeast infections and what it’s like to be angry all the fucking time are great,” she said. “The meteor has already hit. So don’t worry about what the dinosaurs think; the future of comedy is yours.”