Breaking into the world of comedy can be one of the most difficult endeavors a person can face, but add gender to the equation and the odds can be stacked almost impossibly high. A recent interview in the New York Times with The Late Show with David Letterman’s comedy booker, Eddie Brill, shed a harsh light on how tough women comics actually have it.
In the interview it was revealed that Brill only hired one female comic to perform on Letterman’s show in 2011. Brill explained why he hired mostly men last year saying, “There are a lot less female comics who are authentic. I see a lot of female comics who to please an audience will act like men.”
Brill’s comments regarding why women do not make good comics did not sit well with some and comic Jessica Kirson responded to his statement saying, “What does that mean? I like Eddie but the only way to make it as a female comic is to have strength and be assertive and confident.”
Some may look at Brill’s point of view and say that this is only one opinion in the world of comedy and lots of others may feel differently. This may be so, but even Brill himself admits in the interview how he his style of work influences many of the other bookers. Brill explains, “A lot of the other bookers call me for advice.”
For a show that has had a heavily checkered past regarding women and scandals, they decided to bench Brill from his duties on the show. Since the interview and subsequent public reaction, Eddie Brill was removed from his position of comedy booker, but remains a warm-up act for the audience at The Late Show with David Letterman. A recent report from the AV Club explains how Brill was not officially removed for what he said about women comics, but for “speaking to the press without authorization”.
What do you think of Eddie Brill’s interview and subsequent removal as Letterman’s comedy booker?
Do you think women comics have a more difficult time gaining success?