I am a comedian and a citizen who enjoys laughter.
I am a feminist and a free thinker who likes to think about things from all angles.
I love comedy that pokes fun of our institutions and that aligns with my world view, but I also enjoy comedy that challenges me on my leftish perception. Any world philosophy need to be regularly challenged or we end up becoming sheep; whether “left of centre” or “right of centre”, without regular checks to our views we are all just sheep following the masses.
Comedy is interesting. Some comedy is silly and just makes us giggle, sometimes just because it is silly. Watching my husband and kids laugh at someone slipping on a banana peel may seem just silly, but when my daughter says “it’s funny when people get hurt” I wonder if even the innocuous silly things we laugh at have deeper meaning.
Some comedy can be more a safe observation of one’s own life and how they fit in the world, or in my case just a way to get the attention I need! The lastly, there is comedy that is innovative, and that comes from a person’s perspective but is truly looking at life through a lens of thoughtful philosophy. Whether crass or subtle, comedy can make us think about life in new ways.
I am writing this because such a “thinking persons” comedy show is coming to Ottawa. The American Heretics Tour is slated to arrive April 6 and challenge the minds of our citizens through April 9. The tour is through three headlining comedians/philosophers. These three men speak their minds and point out life discrepancies on political, social and economic issues. We will laugh. We will think. We will have fun.
I know how life works, and that after I post this I’ll get a message or email asking “Jenn, why are you advocating a show with all white men?” This will be from one of my many intersectional feminist fans and friends. It is a fair question, but the question is more why do we not have more diversity in comedy speaking up on issues. Through my Comedy Confidence Workshops I have brought more women of all types into comedy. I am doing my part, and so too are these three men. What? Men? White? See this question in and of itself is fine, I a feminist am not just one thing. I understand patriarchy and I understand oppression and I as an Aboriginal woman also understand intersectionality, but I don’t other people off because of their own privilege. As long as they don’t tell me what I HAVE to think then I listen to everyone. That is the point of this tour, we need to speak AND listen. While these three amazing comedian’s point of view may come from “the white male” they are clearly listening to the diversity of the world, they are listening and thinking about issues from all perspectives. They are challenging us on all levels, including us feminists and trust me, if any group needs to be kept in check, it is feminism. We are at times our own worst enemies, no matter how hard we work towards progress, we keep tripping on our own indignation. So, my point is, come out, enjoy this show, learn, grow, think and laugh. I have said many times “funny is funny” and in this case “smart is smart” (which you’d think I’d use a more intelligent word that smart to illustrate my point but my use of base words is my fight against the patriarchal academic word..yeh that’s it…), and in this case it is both funny AND smart.
Below links to sets and writings from these three men. Ironically you may have noted I have not mentioned their names yet. This is purposeful. They are three amazing and accomplished comedians as you will see below, but this tour is larger than them as individuals. This tour is about three individuals coming together and saying “can we think about things, talk about things, and can we do it without burning people at the stake?” Okay I am paraphrasing, but it seems that reasonable discussion has gone out the window in today’s social media era. How can we have meaningful discussion when boycotts happen from both sides based on 161 character tweets. The conversation should be larger and more critical than twitter wars.
You do not have to agree with these three individuals, but let them come, start the conversation, then take that conversation to your networks and keep it going. THIS is why I am behind this tour; because it is beginning dialogue that we as society are afraid of having.
These three headliners, Tom Simmons, Jay Whitecotton and Stewart Huff, are going to bring intelligent and funny discussion to Ottawa. Will you be there? I sure will and can’t wait to continue the dialogue going.
(613) 236-5233 Yuk Yuk’s Box Office