December 15, 2014
When I started talking to other female comics about going to open mics, they cautioned me with tales of rooms full of men who only made jokes about rape and their preoccupation with male genitalia. Easy pickings, right?
I knew right away that I didn’t want to sit in the audience full of anger. The last thing I wanted to do was to get up there with smoke flowing out of my ears. Nothing funny about anger.
What could I say that would diffuse tension and clear the air?
It came to me in the form of a joke that was as light as a butterfly and sweeter than artesian chocolates. I HAD IT! and couldn’t wait for someone to tell a really offensive joke.
But then a funny thing happened. I’d braced myself for it, eagerly anticipating an opportunity to be offended, but none of the dudes in the mics were saying anything offensive. If anything, the things they were saying were in the service of women.
I couldn’t believe it.
Finally, the other day, during my 9th mic, it happened! Though it was only a slightly off color joke, I was psyched! IT WAS MY CHANCE to test it out. I was thrilled!
The result? At first the crowd (all men) seemed taken aback, but by the end they were giving me full belly laughs, and I was happy that it served not only me, but also the audience.