Photo by Mandee Johnson

Hello, gentlemen. I hope you are doing okay. It seems like only yesterday you were at the top of the world, since it was socially acceptable for you to become explorers and travel to the North Pole in a boat or on foot or however you get to the North Pole.

But oh how the mighty have fallen. Yes, you used to hold the vast majority of elected and appointed governmental positions. Now there are at least three television shows that feature female vice presidents and like two or eight women per hundred dudes in every statehouse. You used to take in a greater salary for similar work than your female co-workers. Now you still do but those women also get to wear pants in the office.

Remember the early days of Twitter when nothing ever trended and we didn’t have a specific use for hashtags yet? Those days are gone—replaced by a new era when occasionally a bunch of people share links to watch Wendy Davis filibuster or #yesallwomen pops up for a week and detracts from all the promoted tweets about Arby’s.

It only seems to be getting worse. You are forced to click on and watch a one-minute-and-57-second video about walking around New York for 10 hours—it could have been 10 hours walking anywhere—that highlights some of the ways in which male strangers say “Hi” to female strangers on the street as a means of intimidation and control rather than as an exercise in friendliness. 1:57! That’s way more than the ideal viral video length of 90 seconds.

And what of these Instagram collages comparing little boys’ Full Coverage Policeman Halloween costumes to little girls’ Baby Sweetums Policewoman Apron-For-The-Nipples Halloween costumes? How are you supposed to enjoy the butts featured on the app’s randomized “Explore” tab with one such collage also featured among a sea of other photos?


This crap is all over your Internet, and I know I’m not helping the cause. I insist upon being a woman and talking about life when I do stand-up. I write biweekly A.V. Club columns that never seem to answer the question, “Who is this woman and why is this here?”

I wish I could take away all the pain you must be experiencing, but my feminazi powers are not charged to their full strength. I do have them plugged in and the battery is doing that blinky thing, so I should be able to make it all better, or all worse, very soon. Until then, the best I can do is dispense advice that speaks to my own profession and area of expertise: stand-up comedy.


As a comic, there’s one question I get all the time: Where have all the male stand-up comics gone?

To be honest, I’m not sure. From short spots on male-hosted late night shows to “the one girl in the group of friends” on a sitcom: Women are taking over. But why has stand-up, and comedy in general, become such a female-dominated field?


It might be that this recent onslaught of vague and sporadic attention to women has chipped away at the time spent experiencing the world from a male perspective. Perhaps it’s because women were encouraged to be funny from a young age and valued for our senses of humor, while men have had to battle it out in the arena of “looking sexy in a gauzy and loosely structured top.” Or it could be that a woman’s natural ability to grow babies in our bodies—or not, depending on our choice—is the seat of all power, so it makes sense see us onstage, telling jokes and speaking life’s most hilarious truths.

Fellas, whatever the specific factors might be—and it’s probably a large combination of factors—I hope the following tips can help you begin your career in the field of stand-up comedy, and improve your everyday participation in the field of life.


10 tips for men starting out in stand-up

10. You are going to have to follow a comic who just used the mic as a vag. DO NOT let this throw you off. Just tell your jokes right into that vag!


9. If you are on a show with another male comic, you guys are in competition with one another! REMEMBER: One of you will have to be the hot one. Decide which ahead of time and tell the host. There will almost never be a third, so get really good at face-offs.

8. Gay guys: The host will probably joke about having sex with you. This gives the audience the comfort to still find you attractive despite your “handicap.”


7. Straight guys: You are gonna be approached a lot by the audience and by other comics. Try to seem like you sort of hate it AND kind of like it, like be accessible AND aloof, but DO NOT SLEEP AROUND.

6. You have tokenism on your side—which is great. That means you won’t have to work as hard.


5. You are going to hear a lot of rapist jokes THEY AREN’T ABOUT YOU.

4. Dress to show off your penis. Or, if you don’t have the best penis, try to go for like a dick next door thing. Wear a hoodie on your penis, you know?


3. Dudes: Stick with it! The more of you there are the more you’ll seem REAL. It really is a numbers game.

2. Write from a chick’s perspective but add your spin on it. The male perspective is an uncharted sea. Stay near the shoreline!


1. DO NOT do all-male shows! If you want to make it as a comic, you should be able to play the most female rooms out there. You should be able to play a womb, okay? A WOMB!


- Cameron

Cameron Esposito is an L.A.-based stand-up comic, writer, and actor. Her new album, Same Sex Symbol, is out on Kill Rock Stars records. Follow her on Twitter at @cameronesposito.