Entries in female comics (2)


off and running... often running?

As if! I ran once. A few years back now. It was for a TV pilot and I'd written a sketch about a rotund girl who was going to Olympics - come hell or high water. They had me run, on a tan track with an assortment of very young, very lithe, very athletic girls. We were all wearing the same lycra boy-shorts and little tops. My 'little' top may have had more lycra per square inch than all the others, combined.  To clarify, when I say, 'I ran' what I mean is, I took a few angry steps, holding my boobs for ballast then planted my foot and threw my baton to my team mate - waiting 100mts away. It's not MY fault she didn't catch it... with her hands. Them's the breaks of high stakes, international athletics.

Where was I?

photo: James PenlidisOh yeah, we are, off and running. Haggar and I have decided/been lured back to/are completely helpless to resist [to do] another Melbourne comedy festival. It's been.... a few years. A decade or so. It's actually the 20th anniversary of Miss Itchy ever appearing on a stage. It was SO retaridiclous! Haggar wore a boiler suit that was half robot, half cuts of meat and 3D body parts. "Don't touch my duoduncan."

I wore a heritage top, spray painted gold with ballerinas all over it and a misshappen, homemade golden tu-tu. "Hmm, yes, it's huge, but there's something wrong with it.  I know, bring it out the carport and I'll run over it a few times with Mystique (the 6 cylinder-but-only-runs-on-4 Datsun 240k)!" 

I did have my black wig "Don't worry, I've got black hairs!" Haggar wore a bald cap with two coarse grey horse hair (genuine horsehair) plaits down the front with a few whisps floating here and there at the back. "I'm gonna get a perm one day."

We were Miss Itchy, but we didn't even have names, we just called each other, Miss Fahey and Miss Linda. Redic!

The first appearance was at a night at the Limmerick Arms, in Sth Melbourne called, Purge. (which I've spoken about before)

The response we got that night cemented the belief that we DID have something there... it was definitely THE most fun you can have in a wig with your best friend so we just kept doing it. And doing it. And doing it.

Sometimes it worked. Sometimes, it still worked but the audience didn't think so. We got some fantastic reviews and some horiffic reviews. We just knew, we loved it. And we continued to do it until we didn't love it, any more.

We did a couple of festivals. Then were lucky enough to get an invite to Edinburgh. That experience was transformative. We had a great season of terrifying shows. We tried stuff that even WE were too scared to do - under the insistent tutorage of the impressive and formidable Karen Koren. We came home from that trip determined not to do it again, until we had a new look and a new direction.

The following year, we won The Barry.

photo: Dr Peter MilneThis year, we're just hoping like hell we'll break even!

Ah comedy, you're a brutal whoreish mistress. We really must look in to getting you a manservant.

Coincidentally, tickets for Miss itchy's Late Night Larvae are on sale, NOW!

Book your tickets through Ticketmaster, here's a link.

It's an all new show with BAT LOADS of insane shit! We're really excited about it and thrilled to the back of our lips, teeth and gums to be working with the father of all things Itchy, really the Third Itchy, the Very Reverend, Dr Tim Harris (he's Alphonso's Dad. And Dr Grog. And Garth Minchinsky. And Dr Alexander Buchanan. And Gerald Peas. And Fergus McShite. And dear ol' masturbatin' fearin', Uncle Sandy. and and and... you get the picture, Tim's beyond BRILL!).  And this year we'll be joined by the ever lovely, nine bits of talented, Jennifer Wong. We call her Jeff. She's ok with it! See? Win/win!  Plus there'll be guests. Some will sing. Some will sell. Some will cower and cry for their Mommies. What more do you want?!


It's going to be - nice.

Proper and decent and nice. BOOK NOW!!

Miss itchy's Late Night Larvae - it's everything you'd expect in a late night chat show... if you've sustained a crushing skull wound and aren't a fan of oxygen.



One More Time...

Update on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8:47PM by Registered CommenterMiss Itchy

Seriously? HuffPo are in on it to? "Men Are Funnier Than Women, But Not By Much, Study States"

On HuffPo WOMEN, no less.

The irony just bit my dick off.

Fox News Says New Crop of Comediennes Combine Funny Bones With Banging Bodies

Female Comedians Need To Be Hot And Funny Or It Doesn’t Count!

Well, der!

Of course this headline is negated by the "Fox News says" at the front but the entire oeuvre shits me to a state where I'm fairly confident I could vomit up a baby's shoe. We see this article every year with out fail, usually around Comedy Festival time and it crops up at least bi-annually on the intersexy in its various forms and guises. And all I can say is, thank god SOME ONE is talking about it... Still. *sigh* 

Of COURSE you need a killer rack to tell jokes. Come on, it's RIGHT there at the very top of the form you fill out to be a comedian. Name._______ Age.________ Sex.________ (if you write, "yes please" here, go get to go right to the very head of queue and collect your Herald Sun weekly column byline) If "Female"Please Attach Recent Photo of Your Ladyness.________ Political Leaning._______ Prop Comic. Yes___ No___

It can't be fairer than that.




Of course, the VERY best articles about comedy are ones that try to dissect, analyse or theorise the art. It's a subjective beast at the very least, "Oh yeah, he's funny. Or, "Meh" should cover it. But when you add boobs to the equation, suddenly the tone takes a very different turn. There are pages and tomes and encylopedias of articles, discussion forums and theses (thesii?! is that collective?) vilifying "women comedians".  Very often - and by 'very often' I mean 99% of the time - it has little do with what she's saying. Instead it's about what she looks like, what she was wearing and how much or little, cleavage she was showing.  I can't find these same acres of gigabytes about "male comedians".  At best I can see, "I hate X, he sucks." and "No way! We saw X at the Chuckle Hut at our work Christmas party and he was hilarious!" I never ever ever get to find out what he was wearing or how drunk he looked hanging off the MC's arm in the bar after the show. Never!



About, no not about EXACTLY SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO (give or take a few months) Loob and I along with a bunch of other ladies of the stage; Denise Scott, the late, great Lynda Gibson, Judith Lucy, Christine Basil, Sue-Ann Post, Janet McLeod, etc, etc got together and decided that we needed to put together a night for MICF to showcase the alleged dearth of be-racked comedians who were struggling to get stage time. And seventeen years ago (give or take a few months) on the sticky stage of the Espy we rocked that sold out show to the ground. It was needed. Wanted. Unexpected. But darlings, that was seventeen years ago. (holy shit that was 17yrs ago?!)  I also recognise the fact that 17 years prior to us (give or take a year) the Sal Uptons, Gina Rileys, Rachel Bergers, Noeline Browns, Denise Drysdales, Mary Coustas', Marg Downeys and Jane Kennedys had also travelled the same boob-laden road. And probably seventeen more years from now some young, bright thing will be blazing her own Tassie-mapped trail. Urgh, that's depressing.


How about we please, please, puhlease just agree to get to the end of the ad nauseam Are Women Funny? Why Are Women Funny? Women? Funny or Not? Jokes, With Or Without Dicks?, articles NOW. It is, was and will always be, passé. The mere mention of a "very funny comedienne" makes me taste sick (usually, my own) and then there's the chatter if you ARE a hotty (the very curse of my life), you must have fucked your way to the top.  And what exactly IS at the top of the comedy ladder anyway? Dishes?

Comedy ain't boxing. There ain't weight divisions. It's not even like ballroom dancing. You don't have to do it with a gay partner who insists on leading. Comedy is an art form. If you're GOOD at it, it doesn't matter if you've got a pumpkin for a head. Louis CK. It doesn't matter if you've got an annoying personality. Ricky Gervais. It doesn't even matter if you've married your ex wife's adopted child fercrissakes. Woody Allen. Ok, I'll take that one back. That's icky. Ooh! Icky - Todd Barry.

It's a numbers game. Let's say there are 100 comedians. Probably only 10 of them will be women. It's just how it is.  Kinda like plumbers. Chicks can do it, just not too many feel the urge to shove their arm up a muddy pipe.  Like kindergarten teaching. Lotsa chicks, not so many dudes. A numbers game. 

Comedy should make you laugh. That's kinda it. Pretty simple job description when you get down to it. It doesn't matter if there's bumps in the front of the shirt below the face hole that's telling you the funny stuff. It just needs to be funny stuff coming out of that hole.

It's amazing when it's more than that. Sarah Silverman. Sam Simmons. It's brilliant when you're mouth is agape and your heart is pounding. Simon Munnery. Miss Itchy. If you're lucky, it's transcendent escapism. Stewart Lee. Kristen Schaal. Or, it's simply beyond dick jokes. Reggie Watts.  Doug Stanhope. Sarah Millican. Corinne Grant. Andy Andrist. Kristine Levine. Steve Seagren. And there's dick jokes. (You know who you are.)

Can we please just agree if it's funny, we can call it comedy.  From a comedian. Rocking bod. Wil Anderson. Or not. Rosanne.

How on earth has it been seventeen years?!


fahey, a comedian xo