The Girl in the Show: Three Generations of Comedy, Culture, and Feminism

The Girl in the Show: Three Generations of Comedy, Culture, and Feminism

by Anna Fields


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The Girl in the Show: Three Generations of Comedy, Culture, and Feminism by Anna Fields

For fans of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer—and every other “funny woman”—comes a candid feminist comedy manifesto exploring the sisterhood between women’s comedy and women’s liberation.

“I’m not funny at all. What I am is brave.” —Lucille Ball

From female pop culture powerhouses dominating the entertainment landscape to memoirs from today’s most vocal feminist comediennes shooting up the bestseller lists, women in comedy have never been more influential.

Marking this cultural shift, The Girl in the Show provides an in-depth exploration of how comedy and feminism have grown hand in hand to give women a stronger voice in the ongoing fight for equality. From I Love Lucy to SNL to today’s rising cable and web-series stars, Anna Fields’ entertaining retrospective combines amusing and honest personal narratives with the historical, political, and cultural contexts of the feminist movement.

With interview subjects like Abbi Jacobson, Molly Shannon, Mo Collins, and Lizz Winstead among others—as well as actresses, stand-up comics, writers, producers, and female comedy troupes—Fields shares true stories of wit and heroism from some of our most treasured (and under-represented) artists. At its heart, The Girl in the Show captures the urgency of our continued struggle towards equality, allowing the reader to both revel in—and rebel against—our collective ideas of “women’s comedy.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510718364
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 809,764
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Anna Fields is an established author, screenwriter, television writer, producer, and award-winning documentarian whose work has been published and produced by Penguin, the Daily Beast, Newsweek, Forbes, Marie Claire , CBS, ABC, Turner Network, Mandalay Entertainment, and the Austin, LA, and Toronto Film Festivals. She resides in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part 1 A Spoonful of Sugar

Truth Plus 3

The Mockingbird 16

Part 2 The Somebody

Lucy/Lucille 45

The Pit and the Pendulum 64

Part 3 The Invisible Visible 79

Talk Dirty to the Animals 87

Enter Through the Wound 124

Fighting for Laughs 147

Rewiring the Ficus Tree 182

Part 4 Lookism

Punching Up 191

Looking and Seeing 238

Part 5 "Yes, And-ing" the F-Word

Does Millennial = Feminist? 257

I Have Met My Enemy, and She Is Me 270

We're All in This Together 287

Safe Spaces 304

Running from Roe 320

Exploding the Bomb 339

Acknowledgments 347

Bibliography 349

Endnotes 359

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Early praise for Anna Fields' The Girl in the Show:

“As a woman in comedy, I’m excited someone finally wrote this. The Girl in the Show taps into the deeper heart of comedy and what it’s really like to be a woman on the stage. Anna Fields gets it.” —actress Molly Shannon

"Scrappy, brilliant, and funny, The Girl in the Show delivers the story of women comedians as the story of feminism, lighting up the connections among vaudeville's grande dames, television’s sitcom queens, and the wild women of stand-up, talk-shows, and web series. This book will fire you up for the next protest march and will also send you looking for clips of Gilda Radner, Lily Tomlin, and Moms Mabley." —Linda Mizejewski, author of Pretty/Funny: Women Comedians and Body Politics

"A nuanced, thoughtful exploration of funny women past and present. Fields offers deft insight and a wakeup call for how much work is still necessary to dismantle the Patriarchy—both in comedy and in the broader cultural landscape. An excellent addition to feminist bookshelves everywhere." —Kelly Jensen, editor of Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

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