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Power, Pleasure, & Prejudice: A Conclusion

Stand-up comedy: a comedian stands in front of a live audience and performs jokes, bits, monologues, and humorous anecdotes directly to them. This performance, simple at its most basic definition, involves a complex triangulation of power, pleasure, and prejudice as the comic desperately attempts to elicit laughter from a group of listeners. The listeners, subconsciously [...]

Amy Schumer’s White Heterosexual Female Space

“I don’t know if you guys know this, but this past year, I’ve gotten very rich, famous, and humble,” Amy Schumer says to open The Leather Special, her first Netflix Original Special. She’s joking - the intention, denoted by her quick inhale, is to expose the false modesty of celebrity culture - but the statement [...]

Louis C.K. and Sexual Difference as Benevolence

In an interview on Conan O’Brien, Louis C.K. defends the candidacy of the 2016 Democratic Party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton. Her legitimacy as a candidate, he argues, lies in her experience as a mother. “A mother’s just got it,” He says, “She feeds you and teaches you, she protects you, she takes care of shit...a great [...]

Story Arc: Why Ali Wong is the Anti-Neoliberal Feminist We Need

“I’ve been reading that book by Sheryl Sandberg; she’s the C.O.O. of Facebook. And she wrote that book that got women all riled up about our careers. Talking about how we as women should challenge ourselves to sit at the table and rise to the top. And the book is called Lean In. Well I [...]

The First Two Minutes: The Semiotics of an Opening with Ali Wong

“NETFLIX ORIGINAL. ALI WONG: BABY COBRA,” The title reads, in white lettering and all caps. The title is already interesting; it includes the word “baby,” which signifies innocence and nurture, and the word “cobra,” a venomous, dangerous snake - a monstrosity. “Baby cobra” together puts two words that typically signify opposite meanings together; the title [...]