Hey guys, girls can be funny too.
Female comedians are having an undeniable moment. However, that moment is a tiny drop in a male dominated ocean. A similar ratio stands here at Syracuse. When SNL cast member Seth Meyers came just last year his show at Schine Student Center sold out in three days. This year, University Union pulled the SNL card again, probably hoping for similar results. However, Vanessa Bayer and Kate McKinnon’s show last night didn’t sell out.
The fault doesn’t lie with the ladies, or UU for that matter. It could just be cultural, with the entertainment industry’s undervaluing of women. Although, a sizeable crowd did show up at Goldstein last night and seemed to really enjoy the show.
McKinnon’s performance was absolutely rousing. The male opening act absolutely paled in comparison to when she took the stage. She had bravado. Prancing across the stage, she filled the entire room.
Both comedians used audiovisual equipment to break the mold, grabbing hold of the audience and pulling our short collegiate attention spans in. They didn’t fall into the trap of being overly self-deprecating, and the women were able to capture the entire audience, male and female alike, by using pop culture and other references in a universal way.
Vanessa Bayer had more of a quiet charm. Whether her shyness is part of her act or not, it’s important to remember that she’s a child of improv and theater. Her presence didn’t take over the whole stage. Like Woody Allen on Johnny Carson, her jokes sat with us for a minute, made you think, and then made us guffaw.
These women are obviously hilarious and capable of making us laugh. So why aren’t they more popular? It seems like SNL is having a shaky year. Shaky might be an understatement. There’s dissension from within, and it’s notably gender based.
Keenan Thompson, a longtime cast member recently said that women of color in particular are not ready for SNL. This is a gross generalization and absolutely ridiculous.
The problem clearly lies in the industry. Old timers refusing to change are causing friction, and talented amazing women are falling through the cracks. There’s a missed opportunity for everyone to enjoy comedians who happen to be female, especially those of you who neglected to get to Goldstein last night.