Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution (2024) Movie Script

[pensive music playing]
[crowd cheering, whistling]
[speaker 1] An artist who's able
to take their lived experience
and then use it for some social change,
they are the ones that have
the ability to change the world.
[pensive music continues]
I told my mother when I was 14
I wanted to be a comedian, and she said...
[in accent]
..."Oh, maybe it's better if you just die."
[crowd laughs]
[man 1] If you see
a queer stand-up comedian,
I don't think
you understand the adversities
they've overcome to end up
on your television screens,
in your movies,
even on your Instagram feed.
[upbeat music playing]
[clears throat]
I stink at this, so...
Do I look okay?
Back when I was starting,
there weren't very many queer comics.
You were more likely to hear about drugs
than you were about being gay.
[woman 1] When I started out,
if someone were talking about being gay,
most people would be shaking their head
or make sure
they understood what they heard.
Everyone can tell you a story
where, you know, somebody shouted, "Fag!"
Once, somebody said, "Jew!"
I said, "Yes?"
I wasn't open when I started comedy...
forty years ago.
What the fuck?!
It was scary for people.
They had to be in the closet
to protect their career
and then had to make
that difficult decision.
"I'm going to be out.
I'm not hiding it anymore."
It was like, "Enough already. Things have
got to change. Things have got to evolve."
"Let's just get on with it."
The revolution will not be televised.
[woman 2] This is not a movement
about sexual preferences.
It is a movement about the right to love.
If I never had sex with a woman again,
I would still be a lesbian.
It was very important
the idea that we could be seen,
that we should be seen,
and that we can be funny.
I would not be a happy lesbian.
[audience laughs]
There's a lot of people who've come
before us. We've been doing this awhile.
A very big crew of people
that transcend time and era.
[O'Donnell] It's been such
a journey that we've taken.
Queer comics, queer history,
that all deserves to be talked about,
and now is the time where people can.
- [music halts abruptly]
- [funk music playing]
[crowd applauding]
[man 2] Are you all ready to make history?
[crowd continues applauding]
[applauding fades]
- [crickets chirping]
- [indistinct chatter]
[woman 3] We're doing a show
with 22 LGBTQ+ performers.
That would not have happened 20 years ago.
It's incredible.
[man 3] It is much better for me
to be a stand-up comedian now
than it has been
in any other time in history.
Because for a very long time,
people like me
didn't get to be part of the game.
Being gay was something you had to be
scared admitting in your private life.
[O'Donnell] When I was a young comic,
there was a lot of homophobia.
You had to be careful what you did,
and who you talked to, and who knew.
That's what the times
were like back then, right?
Where it threatened your entire career,
your whole life.
Hey. Gays just wanna have fun.
All kinds of comedy is accepted now.
I never thought
it would be possible in my lifetime.
[indistinct chatter]
- [man 4] As long as you're happy with it.
- Very happy.
- [man 4] That's good.
- Yeah. We're all freaking out.
Like, all of us in one room together.
It's crazy. Yeah.
It really is. Very special.
By the time I came up,
I remember I was
about to do Last Comic Standing.
I asked, "Do I need to, like,
be worried about coming out?"
"My joke that I'm about to tell
on national television
is just about me being gay."
They go, "Yeah. That's who you are."
"No reason to hide who you are."
And I was like,
"Cool!" [chuckles]
That really is because of all the people
that came before me.
[audience applauding]
This girl has been thrown out of countries
because of her rabid interest
in the feminist movement,
and she's done so much to help women,
and let's welcome her now.
Robin Tyler!
[rock music playing]
Sometimes, um,
people get upset with my material.
I don't know why... [chuckles]
...'cause I'm just telling the truth,
but a lot of times they get upset.
I remember one guy stood up,
and he was so nasty to me.
[imitates accent] "Hey, uh,
I don't like what you're saying."
Then he said the one thing
that was supposed to upset me. He said,
"Hey, are you a lesbian?"
And I said,
"Hey, are you the alternative?"
[audience laughs]
[rock music playing]
[music crescendos, fades]
[producer] When did you first realize
you were gay?
When I... the doctor delivered me and...
Actually, he didn't.
My mother delivered me,
and the doctor hit me, and I hit him back,
and I knew that I was a lesbian.
I came out in, uh...
When I was 16 years old, in 1958.
I called myself a "little prairie dyke"
'cause I was from Canadian prairies.
I read one little article,
and the article said,
"If you're a woman and you love
another woman, what you are is a lesbian."
"Everybody could tell you you're wrong,
but it feels right to you, it's right."
Signed, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.
And so I thought, "That's great.
I'm a lesbian. I'm gonna tell everyone."
I thought it was
like finding out that I was an Aries.
So I went home and told my mother,
and she did not take it well.
But because of the one piece
of literature, I was never guilty,
never was in the closet.
Closets are vertical coffins.
All you do is suffocate to death.
[funk music playing]
[Tyler] So I moved to New York in 1962,
and I met a woman
who looked just like Audrey Hepburn,
Pat Harrison,
and I said, "I'm in love with you
and I'm gonna marry you."
Her partner did not take it
very well. [chuckles]
But the fact is
I ended up with Patti for 55 years.
And Patti and I became
the comedy team of Harrison and Tyler.
[Tyler] I'd like to tell you here and now
that Patti and I met in a very usual way.
[Patti] Yeah, I was driving the truck
and she was loading it.
[audience laughs]
[Tyler] You know,
in those days we did feminist material,
but also our audiences
were all gay and lesbian.
We were beginning to see
more people coming out at the time
because lesbian and gay civil rights
were becoming a movement.
- [funk music playing]
- [sirens wailing]
[man 5] In 1969, Stonewall happens.
In the gay world, it had a real resonance
because this was the first time
that we stood up for ourselves.
[woman 4] The Stonewall Rebellion
is popularly regarded
as the beginnings of gay militancy.
Stonewall was a bar
in Greenwich Village in New York.
Popular gay hangout.
Police came to raid the place.
People decided to fight back.
[indistinct chanting]
[Vilanch] It started a political movement,
and the political movement
was ultimately about being out.
Young, countercultural gay people
were looking to have their revolution.
[indistinct chanting]
[music fades]
Queerness has existed
and will always exist in this country.
Stonewall is
an extraordinarily important touchstone,
but it didn't start there.
There were certainly people who had made
a name for themselves in pre-World War II.
Rae Bourbon is, I think,
a perfect example of that.
[Bourbon] Now,
in spite of rumors to the contrary,
my name is Rae and not Mary.
And if there's any vicious gossip
you might have heard,
well, I assure you, it's quite absurd.
There was a lot of progress
made in the '20s in terms of visibility.
But the Depression and then World War II
brought us into an era of conservatism.
[tender music playing]
[man 6] After World War II,
as there was a Red Scare,
there was a Lavender Scare,
where it was thought that gay people
were a threat to American security.
Most of the stand-up that was going on
in the 1950s and '60s
was the straight men.
And for many of these comics,
the defining feature of their comedy
is their fear of seeming gay.
You know, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner,
great, great comics,
but so much of their material
centered around fear and anxiety
about possibly seeming gay.
[Reiner] I'm always fascinated
when you tell us personal things
about the great historical figures.
Um, one who intrigues me, General Custer.
[Brooks] A fag.
[audience laughs]
[Reiner] No, we're talking
about General Custer. He was a general.
[Brooks] Hey, I was there, Charlie.
He's a fag.
[audience laughs]
[Stryker] It was a very repressive period.
But in the post-Stonewall era,
you start to see a whole cultural shift,
and I think that cultural shift
was reflected in the kinds
of comedy that gets produced.
Last chance.
If, in 20 minutes, no one
has signed up for the blind date barbecue,
I am going to cancel
the blind date barbecue.
Harrison and Tyler briefly had
a late-night TV show, which I wrote.
I am going to cancel
the cigarette-rolling tournament,
and I am going to go downstairs
and do something foul to the jacuzzi.
[audience laughs]
[Vilanch] They were extremely hip,
and on-screen
and off-screen they were a team,
but they were not out on television.
Good morning, Angel.
- Good morning, Red.
- [audience chuckles]
Mind if I smoke?
Oh, gee. Not at all.
[audience laughs]
At that time, it wasn't commonly accepted
to say you were gay on stage,
unless you were playing to
a strictly gay audience and gay community,
in a place where everybody there
knew you were gay,
so you might as well discuss it.
I used to play
the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
Total middle-of-the-road.
Business execs or, you know,
upscale people,
but I'd have the dress code
taken off weeknights,
and you would see lesbians in there
dancing in overalls and flip-flops.
And the little glasses.
That was great.
[indistinct chatter]
[Tomlin] I've never considered myself
a classical stand-up.
It was always about the characters.
I'm here on behalf
of the heterosexual community,
doing community outreach
to the homosexual community,
uh, and I brought the Quiche of Peace.
I'll tell you, quite truthfully,
a lot of us in Calumet City used to think
that quiche actually caused homosexuality.
You know, real men just don't eat quiche.
I know they can't spell it.
I think I did characters,
from the beginning,
out of a desire
to make a world that was better.
This is Miss Ernestine Tomlin of the AT&T.
[audience laughs]
I felt like Ernestine
could change the world. [laughs]
Like she would stop AT&from being a monopoly,
and things would be better.
- No, no, that's not a country.
- [audience laughs]
No, no, we're much bigger than that.
Very often, the comedy's reflecting
what we're living through.
And maybe they're showing you
the way, or telling you,
or giving you a hint
about how things could be.
[Tomlin] There's these two pretty ladies
that live down the block
in that green house
with three dogs in the yard,
and I asked them
why there's no daddy at their house,
and they said it's
because they are lesbians.
And I've seen them kiss each other goodbye
on their porch yesterday.
I think I will change my name
from Edith Ann to "Lesbian."
I think it sounds cute.
I mean, I was somewhat out in terms
of just in the general gay audience.
I'd never made a declaration
or had a press conference or anything,
and it was the '70s anyway.
They had offered me the cover
of Time in '75 to come out,
and I was just insulted that they thought
I would trade my sexuality or my life
to be on the cover of Time.
[pensive music playing]
They really wanted
to just do an article on gay people,
which was fine,
but it was very early to come out.
The world was still not so cool.
Jesus loves me...
[reporter] Anita Bryant was once known
as an orange juice saleswoman.
Not anymore.
Her group is crusading
to repeal a new Dade County law,
which protects homosexuals
in jobs and housing.
Anita Bryant was... a "singer."
And Anita Bryant
decided she was born-again,
and she decided to make a campaign
out of taking homosexual rights away.
And all over the country,
they began to come against gay rights.
We talk about the danger of the homosexual
becoming a role model to our children.
It would have far-reaching effects
on our children and on our nation.
You know,
I don't mind them being born-again,
but why do they
have to come back as themselves?
Homosexuals cannot reproduce biologically,
but they have to reproduce
by recruiting our children.
[man 7] My name is Harvey Milk,
and I'm here to recruit you!
[crowd applauding]
I'm tired of listening
to the Anita Bryants
twist the language of the Bible
to fit their own distorted outlook.
[crowd continues applauding]
Comedy, it became an act of resistance.
To be able to make them laugh,
and the minute
they make them laugh and relax, boom,
you know, you have them.
Let's face it, the only people that hate
Anita Bryant more than gay people
are music lovers.
[crowd cheering]
[Tyler] Because of Anita Bryant,
we understood that we had to organize
politically in order to fight back,
and humor was
an important part of the movement.
[audience applauding]
[Tomlin chuckles]
Thank you.
Well, thank you all a lot.
[audience continues applauding]
[man in crowd] Thank you!
It's very warming
to have such a warm reception.
[scattered cheering]
Remember in the old days
when we'd take a spray can of paint
and go onto the viaduct
and spray four-letter words?
[audience chuckles]
And the next day you'd come back, and some
adult would have changed it to "Buick."
The Star-Spangled Night was couched
under the title of human rights benefit,
but it was basically gay-oriented.
And of course, no one was gay then.
[audience laughing, applauding]
Only shy.
[audience laughs]
[Tyler] It was a huge gay audience,
and I wanted to go
because I wanted to see Richard Pryor.
[audience applauding]
[Tomlin] The producer asked me
to get Richard Pryor to do the show.
I'd come to be friends with him
since he was on my first specials.
I mean, sort of soul friends
in terms of comedy,
and he was absolutely one of my favorites,
and I said, "If you ask for Richard,
you're going to get Richard."
[audience cheering]
I came here
- for human rights and...
- [audience cheers]
Thank you.
I found out what it really is about,
is about not getting caught
with a dick in your mouth.
[audience laughs]
When Richard came out,
the audience just went crazy.
And a motherfucker out here
come out here and declared themself gay.
"Yes. I suck dick."
"And I'm the mayor of this city.
I believe I have a right to suck a dick."
[audience laughs]
Ain't nobody did shit.
Everybody, as you say in politics,
skirted the issue. [chuckles]
I have sucked a dick.
[audience applauding]
Back in 1952. Sucked Wilbur Harp's dick.
It was beautiful.
[Branum] Richard Pryor is one of the great
bright lights of queer comedy,
but we're never allowed to talk about it.
He was unrepentant
in talking about everyone he'd loved
and all of the shit he had gotten up to,
and it is, to me, still amazing
that he was as honest as he was
in the 1960s and '70s.
And Wilbur would give it up so good
and put his thighs against your waist.
That'll make you come quick.
[audience laughs]
And then Richard just went from that to...
I don't see no niggas out here. [chuckles]
[scattered chuckles]
I see about four niggas sitting around,
that you all have dispersed. [chuckles]
He felt like he was at a white event,
and this didn't sit so well with Richard.
But you white folks having big fun.
Talking about, "give us the right."
And he went
to absolutely blasting the audience.
When the niggas was burning down Watts,
you motherfuckers was doing what you want
to do on Hollywood Boulevard.
- Didn't give a shit about it.
- [faint cheers]
I knew anything like that
could have happened.
This is the evening about human rights.
And I am a human being.
[audience applauding]
And he finally said, "You can kiss
my rich, Black ass," and he walked off.
[audience continues applauding]
And, of course, everybody was in turmoil.
I said, "Well...
you know, he... he spoke his piece."
"So... that's cool."
[woman 5] Comedians,
we are at the forefront of every fight.
People think just because you're all gay,
you've all got everything in common.
That's not the case.
Mm-mm, the gay goes across the spectrum.
There are gay misogynists.
There's gay racists,
and people need to reckon with that.
And that's what comedy does.
Comedy is that sugar
that coats the medicine.
If you're laughing,
you're not gonna punch someone
in the face if they're making you laugh.
[audience applauding]
[Mason] Any comedian
that uses their work to call out
the bigotry and hate
that limits and polices our possibilities
is an activist.
[Tyler] Nobody had ever
been out before in comedy.
Patti kept telling me to do it,
but I just didn't know how
to make it funny.
There was nobody for me to emulate,
so I had to make it up myself.
Our next guest just got a new album out
called Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Groom.
Welcome please, Robin Tyler!
[Tyler] I ended up doing
the Norm Crosby Show as an out lesbian.
I was the first on television.
Well, the odd-even plan
is not working out here is it, huh?
Odd and even. The gay people are going
on Monday, the straight people on Tuesday.
What is that for, odd and even?
[audience laughs]
I was walking down the street
with a gay man, Terry. Very proud.
One guy walked over and said,
"I know what you are.
You're one of them homosexuals."
"Well, I think they should take
all you homosexuals
and put them on an island someplace."
And Terry said, "They did, darling.
They call it Manhattan." [laughs]
And then I did a joke saying
Anita Bryant is to Christianity...
...what paint-by-numbers is to art. Right?
[audience laughs]
[Tyler] The next day in the paper,
they say avowed lesbian
Robin Tyler takes on Anita Bryant.
[pensive music playing]
[Tyler] And...
we lost our contract
with the television network.
It was really hard.
I mean, just as we had highlights
and things that happened that were great.
That hurt. That hurt.
Because it was brave.
Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had...
[Marsha] That took real courage
and commitment.
Because every word is a bullet.
You are a loaded weapon,
and everything you say can find a target.
They didn't really want to hear that.
This has been a risk we've all...
That's why we didn't fucking come out
in the '70s and '80s,
because there's always been that risk.
[funk music playing]
[indistinct chanting]
You're never gonna get this push forward
without the pushback.
So I knew that I couldn't stop fighting,
and I told Patti I will never not fight,
because people could hear in comedy
what they could not hear any other way.
If you don't know gay people,
you can be scared of them, right?
Then the minute we started coming out,
all of a sudden, people knew it was
their son, their cousin, their whatever,
and the joke wasn't on us anymore.
[funk music continues]
[Robin] We're not coming
from the love of power.
We are coming from the power of love,
and that will sustain us.
For we must be free. We will be free.
We shall be free.
Because we are everywhere!
[crowd cheers]
You have to make things better for people
in every fundamental way in life
so that everybody has fairly stable,
equal chance of getting somewhere
or fulfilling their lives or anything.
I think that's my approach to comedy.
It might have had some impact.
I grew up in a time
where no one said gay, and I'm gay.
And here are these two women,
these two dignified performers,
both pushing for change
in their different ways in the '70s!
There's one very special person,
Jane Wagner,
whose brilliant talent
has contributed more to what I've done
than any other person I know,
and with whom I share this honor totally.
Talk about brave and true to yourself
and speaking truth to power.
[funk music playing]
In the '70s, gay people
were beginning to push forward,
and you just hope that, eventually,
the next group of comics could follow.
I'm so happy
to introduce someone very, very special.
One minute I'm craving Chiquita banana
[audience chuckling]
The next, a delicious Crab Louie
Go ahead and out me!
Sandra Bernhard.
[audience applauding]
[funk music playing]
[Bernhard] I was a fan of Lily Tomlin
since I first saw her
on Laugh-In back in the day.
She was like a revelation.
We all have to have our touchstones.
It's important.
That connection that we have
with other gay artists
is really powerful.
And Sandra was just...
I mean, everything she did,
I just wanted to... I wanted to be like her.
[upbeat rock music playing]
Comedy is that balm that says,
"I'm going to soothe you
and smooth out all of your fears,
and I'm going to liberate you
from your own repression."
I think it's only fair
that we out some of you tonight.
Sandra Bernhard,
most people knew who she was
because she was
in the movie The King of Comedy,
a Martin Scorsese movie
with Robert De Niro,
and she became even more famous
for her appearances on David Letterman.
Anytime she was on, it was an event.
- Before we wrap this up...
- Wanna see how I'm gonna have the baby?
[Letterman] Stop. No, we don't want...
- [indistinct chatter]
- [screams]
[audience laughing]
I really like to think
of my performing as a variety show,
because it incorporates
all elements of performance.
It's like a throwback from the '70s.
Back then, they had variety shows,
and that was like the core
of American entertainment.
I'll be there.
The variety shows of the 1970s
were like a kaleidoscope.
You would get characters
and musical numbers and costumes.
For the young queer kids of the '70s,
it was like,
"This is the world I want to live in."
Variety shows were really
a big part of my life when I was a kid.
It was like, "That's what I want to do."
I found I loved Flip Wilson.
He was on a variety show.
And Geraldine was very glamorous.
I checked you out a long time ago.
[man] He wasn't just like,
"I'm a man in a dress."
It was Geraldine being funny
while dressed in drag.
[Vilanch] I'm a big fan of variety acts,
and, I mean, I've written
for a million different people.
I actually did the $1.98 Beauty Contest,
and I won.
I thought it was
fucking Kris Kristofferson, so...
[Mason] They looked to these shows
and maybe saw themselves in a song siren,
saw themselves in a costume,
or saw themselves in an actor.
Fifty years ago!
[Mason] They were
a hotbed for both implicit
and also explicit queerdos.
They were creating
a possibility model for queer folks
in the '60s and '70s,
because they didn't have any outside
that were publicly available.
[audience cheering]
[piano music playing]
In 1984, I met somebody
named John Boskovich,
and we started writing material
and working on songs
marrying popular music,
comedy, and commentary,
and it became my show
Without You I'm Nothing.
It's the first day on the job
and the first date with the boss,
and he takes me on a tour
of San Francisco I never dreamed possible.
Sandra Bernhard integrated narrative
in storytelling and songs and glamour.
It was suffused with a queer sensibility,
and it was just
an entirely different way of doing comedy.
We begin on Lombard Street,
the crookedest street in the world,
and I never felt straighter.
We were just trying to be funny
and do something that was clever and crazy
and subversive.
[Aurthur] Without You I'm Nothing
was also incredibly political
because the Ronald Reagan years began
with, uh, very conservative Republican,
religious right politics.
Religious America is awakening,
perhaps just in time
for our country's sake.
[Bernhard] Things were changing.
We were experiencing
sexual liberation and gay liberation
and the two coming together,
and simultaneously being punished for it.
I can think of pastors now in the pulpit
who are heterosexual,
living normal lives, who came to us,
first of all, as practicing homosexuals.
We introduced them
to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
They were born again.
Their lifestyles were changed.
I thought, "Why do we want
to repress each other?"
"Why do we want to take
things away from each other?"
"Why do our disappointments and traumas
have to impede other people?"
[gentle music playing]
Out of the gay liberation movement,
the idea is like,
"I just want to be able to express
my sexuality however I need to."
It's like we have a gay culture
that is out loud and proud,
but the political climate
for gay people in the 1980s
really changed the tenor of gay culture.
It was a, you know, a slap upside the head
that required people to become political
in a completely different way.
From Christopher Street to Castro.
From the night at Stonewall
to the week Judy Garland died.
From Little Richard to Liberace,
there is an undeniable beat.
We are living in very suppressive times.
The AIDS epidemic had taken hold,
and I think there was...
there was a lot of activism,
which always comes out
of a Republican administration
that's trying to crush
all the social issues.
- So this became, like, the next wave...
- [upbeat music playing]
...of, like, having to be there
and jump in, full throttle.
There's something...
That old-time religion...
...I want to ask you
...and that old-time Constitution.
There's something that I want to know
93% of all Americans believe
that homosexuality
is not an acceptable alternate lifestyle.
...You have the answers
The answers can be found
in the word of God.
So tell me...
Reagan was awful.
It was... it was rough,
but Sandra was so bold.
Like, just a wild woman
pointing out hypocrisy.
Jerry Falwell tries to fight the funk,
and he tells us to fight the funk.
Jerry Falwell will give in to the funk.
And it was just so much fun to watch,
and it was just impressive.
You cannot fight the funk.
'Cause the funk fights fascism,
racism, sexism, homophobia.
It was like a battle cry,
and putting on your warrior clothes,
and going,
"We're gonna fight through this,
and somehow,
we're gonna come out the other side."
You are going to funk,
you ingrate motherfuckers!
She just was
so transgressive with sexuality
and drew people to her.
I met so many great people.
Mary Tyler Moore came to my show.
Keith Haring and Madonna.
Where is she? Madonna?
Madonna? Come out!
[audience cheering, applauding]
In queer culture, there was
a before Sandra Bernhard and Madonna
were on David Letterman, and an after.
- What do you do?
- Usually you find us at Kana Bar or at MK.
- En route to the Cubby...
- Hole.
I swear to God, I, like, probably
turned into a pile of dust on the floor.
It's just like, "What is happening?"
They mentioned the Cubbyhole,
which was a lesbian bar in New York City.
I think it's time to fess up and get real.
[Bernhard] Honey, any time you're ready.
- Get real.
- [Letterman] I hate stuff like this.
I just... I just hate stuff like this.
- [Bernhard] Okay, yes. I slept with Sean!
- All right! Shut up!
[audience laughing]
- And he was horrible!
- All right.
You lie!
[crowd laughs]
- Now, listen...
- You were much better!
[audience cheering]
[O'Donnell] Madonna and Sandra
were two very successful,
powerful women in their own right,
very openly flirting with each other.
It... I think it was very positive
for the queer community.
[gentle music playing]
[Aurthur] These were dark times,
and things were not
getting better politically,
and yet there were these moments
when we could see what was maybe to come.
Tonight, to be together,
to be able to talk about sexuality
with fun, and people are holding hands.
Men, women, it's all... People.
[audience cheering]
[Bernhard] I haven't been traumatized
by the '80s.
Thank God I haven't been traumatized.
I'm a lucky person,
'cause a lot of people are.
I love you.
Thank you for coming out tonight.
[audience continues cheering]
Sandra was as much theater
and music as she is comedy,
and that's always what I was drawn to.
[Trixie] When I saw people
like Sandra Bernhard, I felt like,
"Wow, I can add music to my stand-up,
and it really makes it like...
...now I'm adding
a talent level to something...
Comedy's so subjective.
When you add playing
an instrument, it's like,
"Well, at least I'm not a total buffoon."
"I'm a buffoon in a wig."
[audience cheering]
How are you pieces of shit?
[audience cheers]
You know, I love stand-up,
but the only problem is,
stand-up is about being relatable.
And, you know, I've had such
a meteoric rise to fame and fortune.
[audience chuckles]
The only people I can really relate to
are the rich people.
[audience chuckles]
Poor people up there?
Mama, I don't even know you.
[audience laughs]
So this song...
Yeah, this song goes out
to all the rich people.
[audience chuckles]
Hey, rich people
Beautiful, rich people
Don't you hate it
When you double-park your boat?
[audience chuckles]
[audience continues chuckling]
Hey, rich people...
Queerness is sort of an apprentice
and mentor-mentee-based world.
We learn who we are through the people
that we meet that feed our spirits.
It's community.
Good to see you, sexy.
- I'm so happy to see you.
- Missed you.
- Oh my gosh. Good mustache game.
- I know.
[both chuckle]
[James] There is a camaraderie
amongst the gay comedians,
and we, by and large,
get along very well, love each other.
Yeah, we'll talk shit
to each other's faces, you know, that's...
roast each other, whatever.
But we love each other.
There's a camaraderie, there's a scene,
there's a... there's a family.
Scott Thompson.
When I was in college, I think,
I saw Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall
doing a panel appearance on Conan O'Brien,
and it was mind-blowing.
He was unabashedly out of the closet
and gay and a gay man,
and would talk about gay sex.
So, Scott, I think introductions
are in order here.
Yes, of course, Conan.
Yes, I'd like you to meet Randy and Ralph.
- [Conan] Randy and Ralph!
- How are you?
- Or is it Ralph and...
- [chuckles]
You see, I make them wear different hats
so I can tell them apart.
- [Conan] Yeah.
- But sometimes they're naughty boys!
There were three men
that were on television when I was young
that were overtly gay,
but were never allowed to be gay.
Rip Taylor.
Look at this. The odd couple.
[audience laughing]
[Thompson] Charles Nelson Reilly.
Your reign is over, Phillip.
The women are turning toward me.
[audience laughs]
[Thompson] Paul Lynde.
True or false? Christopher Columbus liked
to wear bloomers and long stockings.
It's not easy
to sign a crew up for six months.
Gay men were accepted
as long as they were sort of... laughable.
They were just outrageous,
funny, funny guys,
but that was an object
of humor in those days.
[audience applauding]
So when I decided to do comedy, I went,
"I'm not going to go in the closet."
When I first came out into this business
and started doing comedy,
I... I thought that I might be a stand-up,
but I discovered very early on
that that was not possible.
[gentle music playing]
The first time I went on stage
to do open mic in the '80s,
the comedian who introduced me
told the audience
that I had given him a blow job.
So he literally called me a fag
and then brought me on stage.
So the audience were prime to hate me.
And it happened every time.
And I'd just come out.
And that was really very, very difficult.
So I just decide to create characters
as a way
to get around the way the world was.
All of The Kids in the Hall
was suffused with a queer sensibility.
Like, the very act of men dressing
in dresses and looking good
was very transgressive.
Ms. Francesca Fiore,
do you beat your husband?
[gasps] What? [scoffs]
Yes! But it's hard not to hit him.
[audience laughs]
Scott Thompson seemed
to not even contemplate
that he wasn't allowed
to say the things that he was saying.
I just broke up with my lover, Zeke.
[audience] Aw!
I think he was cheating on me.
His nickname for me was "Next!"
With Buddy Cole,
I took the effeminate gay male stereotype,
and I flipped it,
and I made him not a... not a butt of jokes,
but I made you the butt of jokes.
Now that I own a gay bar,
I can't stay in the closet anymore.
[audience chuckles]
I'm as high-profile as a city councilor.
And I think the other key reason
that Buddy Cole differentiates
from those kind of characters before
is that he was overtly sexual.
The queen was always castrated,
and Buddy Cole,
you knew this character fucked.
[upbeat music playing]
You know, I just thought,
life can change on a dime,
and society can change on a dime.
Like, in the late '70s,
there was a movement
to kind of embrace the homosexual,
in society and on television.
In movies, in pop culture.
You've got the Castro, you've got disco.
Young man, there's a place you can go
I said, young man...
[Aurthur] People were coded as queer,
and they were popular.
...Many ways to have a good time
[chanting] We are everywhere!
It's fun to stay at the Y...
And then AIDS hit.
[reporter] A mystery disease
known as the "gay plague"
has become an epidemic unprecedented
in the history of American medicine.
And it went back 30, 40 years.
Instantly, almost overnight.
Gay men in those days
were considered vile.
[tender music playing]
You have to realize
that during the Reagan administration,
there's a press conference
when AIDS first comes out,
and they all start laughing.
[reporter] Does anybody at the White House
know about this epidemic, Larry?
It's known as "gay plague."
[scattered laughs]
[reporter] No, it is.
I mean, it's a pretty serious thing.
One in every three people
that get this have died,
and I wonder if the president
is aware of it.
[Larry] I don't have it. Are you... Do you?
[reporter] You don't have it.
Well, I'm relieved to hear that, Larry.
Does the president... In other words,
the White House looks on this as a joke?
[scattered laughs]
I'm all for being able to joke
about anything and any group and anybody.
But if it comes from a place of hate, no.
You don't make AIDS jokes
when all these people were dying.
There was a time where comedy
was very accepting of homophobia.
And if you don't believe me,
open up your Spotify
and type in "Eddie Murphy faggots."
Faggots aren't allowed
to look at my ass while I'm on stage.
[audience applauding]
Just imagine... Imagine you're
a gay fan of Eddie Murphy
and that's the first thing you hear.
It petrifies me 'cause girls
be hanging out with them.
They could be in the club, having fun
with their gay friend, give a little kiss...
[kisses] ...and go home
with that AIDS on their lips.
[audience laughs]
Get home to their husband.
Then five years later,
"Mr Johnson, you have AIDS."
He goes, "AIDS?"
"But I'm not homosexual."
"Sure, you're not a homosexual."
[audience laughs]
Sam Kinison dropped into Dangerfield's,
and he did this joke where he said...
[Kinison] Because a few fags
fucked some monkeys.
[audience cheering]
They got so bored,
their own assholes weren't enough.
Because of this shit,
they want us to wear fucking rubbers.
I remember watching this comedy
and being a 16-year-old kid in the crowd,
and people aren't running out of the room
going, "What the fuck is this?"
"This isn't comedy."
They were laughing, overwhelming,
and they were hysterical.
When AIDS finally breaks out
all over the country like mildew,
you got 20 million faggots
running around, and they're going,
"Where... where can this come from?"
"How... How can I get this?"
How can you get this?
It's very simple. Let me explain this.
If you're walking around
with shit on your dick every day,
you're bound to pick something up,
you know what I'm saying?
[audience laughs]
It was hard. Hard because it didn't
make me think I should come out.
Matter fact, it wasn't, "When I came out,"
it was, "I will never come out."
I was not out of the closet on stage.
I was out of the closet in real life,
but not on the stage.
I didn't have... I didn't have the courage.
I thought it would ruin my career.
And, um, I worked at this club
called Comedy You in The Village,
and all of a sudden, this guy
named Bob Smith came on stage.
[jazz music playing]
It was important
because there were very few
openly gay comedians during the '80s.
I have to tell you,
I come from a very conservative family,
and it wasn't easy
telling my parents that I'm gay.
[scattered cheers]
In fact, I made my carefully-worded
announcement at Thanksgiving.
I said, "Mom, would you please pass
the gravy to a homosexual?"
[audience laughs]
She passed it to my father.
[crowd continues laughing]
There weren't any gay men
who were headliners.
Bob Smith had, for the first time,
been an openly gay man
doing stand-up on The Tonight Show,
and what I didn't
really understand at that point was,
there was nowhere
for them to go beyond that.
Agents, managers.
They didn't know what to do with them.
There were no roles from them.
There were no places for them.
[indistinct chatter]
Why not take all of me?
All right.
- When the cameras are on, I can't help it.
- Great set.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, Todd.
I did not know Todd was gay for the first
several years that I knew him,
and we did a lot of shows together,
and then he came out
in a very different way than I did.
He came out having already been known
and established as this beloved,
hilarious, well-known,
headlining stand-up comic.
From the "City of Brotherly Love,"
please welcome Mr. Todd Glass!
Please welcome Todd Glass,
ladies and gentlemen.
Performing today's monologue,
Mr. Todd Glass!
[audience cheering]
[upbeat music playing]
[Glass] So I thought I'd never come out.
And I had, uh, a heart attack.
I had it at Largo one night after a show.
It was Sarah Silverman & friends,
and there were a lot of comedians there.
And after the show,
I just couldn't catch my breath.
I didn't know what it was.
And so they finally called an ambulance.
And as they're putting me
in the ambulance, I yell out to Sarah,
"Call my girlfriend!"
"Call my girlfriend,"
'cause she knew that I was gay.
So I'm like, "Sarah, call my girlfriend.
Call my girlfriend,"
knowing how pathetic this is.
You care about this right now?
Like anyone's, "I think this guy's having
a heart attack. I think he's gay too."
So in the hospital,
uh, my, um... my...
boyfriend... [chuckles]
...came to see me and, um...
he, uh...
[gentle music playing]
He brought me a flower.
And then, uh...
And it was so adorable of him,
and he just picked it just coming in,
like, you know,
like a weed, I think it was,
and he shoved it under my pillow.
[gentle music playing]
And I was like... [exhales]
You know, it really just...
You know, it really just crushed me
that... that that was what our life was.
And then I thought,
"As soon as I get out of here,
you know, I'm going to, uh...
I'm going to figure it out."
[gentle music continues]
[faint applauding]
Next up, please welcome
actor and comedian, Todd Glass!
[audience cheering]
[Glass] Coming out
made my stand-up much better.
People, when I came out, they said,
"Oh, you know, um,
that's sad you had to make up
all those stories about your girlfriend."
I go, "I didn't make up the stories.
The stories are real. I just changed it."
Because relationships, they're just
relationships, at the end of the day.
That's why for years,
whenever I saw comedians go,
"Women to this, women do that,
women do this, women do that,"
I'm like, "Guys fucking do that too.
You're just not dating them, you know."
You think when two guys are dating
and they have to be out at 7:30,
they both go to the car
at 7:30 because they have to leave 7:30?
[audience laughs]
[man 9] For so long, there was no model.
We were figuring it out on our own.
I'm so proud of you.
You were doing so well. Congratulations!
[indistinct chatter]
Gay comedians didn't have
any number of the many great
straight white guy comedians
to look to as our North Star.
Guy, how are you?
You look beautiful. How are you?
I just got back from Palm Springs.
Palm Springs is a utopian community
that imagines what the world would be like
if gays and Republicans could cooperate.
[Branum] A couple
of years into stand-up,
I watched my friends who were
straight guys get mentorship
and get guidance from the people
who were like them who'd come before them.
I had this weird moment of realizing
those people don't exist for me.
Those people don't exist
because they didn't start stand-up.
Those people don't exist
because they're closeted and scared of me,
and those people don't exist
because a bunch of them died of AIDS
because the government
didn't do anything about it.
[man 10] I feel like I looked up to
a lot of women comedians,
like Sandra Bernhard
and, like, all these women
that were performing and coming up
at that time. I got to see them.
I just can't even think
of one example in the last umpteen years,
prior to myself,
where I saw another gay man perform.
Um, I think queer women
were the influences.
I am queer.
[upbeat rock music playing]
[audience cheering]
That's how I like to identify,
which, uh, for me means
I don't care who you are.
- I want you to want me.
- [audience laughs]
I grew up in San Francisco, and I think
that my point of view as a comedian
was really formed
by the diversity of San Francisco.
[rock music playing]
[Cho] We had a long tradition
of counterculture heroes.
We had a long tradition of feminism.
We had a long tradition
of gay storytellers,
and queer comedy
was a very big part of that.
Josie's Juice Joint was where
you would see all of the gay comics,
and you would see a lot of drag too.
People like Lypsinka, who blurs the line
between art, stand-up comedy, and drag.
You know, we were blending politics,
activism, punk rock,
and your queerness didn't pull you out
of what could be considered
mainstream success.
Like, you could be gay and you could
still be a star in San Francisco.
In 1990, I was doing really pretty well
in my stand-up comedy career.
[audience applauding]
I hope I get famous.
I think I might be on my way.
I just, um, got my own TV show.
It's called All American Girl,
and it's very...
- [audience applauding]
- Thank you.
You know, I wanted it to be called
the Margaret Cho Show
because I'm such a fucking egomaniac.
They had their own suggestions.
Um, East Meets West.
Wok on the Wild Side.
[audience laughing]
W-o-k, wok.
[audience continues laughing]
So I had a huge tantrum and said,
"Fuck you. We're gonna call it Chinkies."
[audience laughing]
But when you get into the eight o'clock
hour on network television,
it's a very different thing.
This is what I wore
to my coming-out party.
You were a debutante?
No, lesbian.
They really didn't understand.
You know, it wasn't just my Asianness.
I was female. I was crass.
I was queer. The queerness
they couldn't even get around.
They wanted something
that they could understand,
as opposed to this crass lady
who likes ladies.
"Listen, there's a problem."
"The network has a problem with you."
[Cho] And so my appearance
in television was really rejected.
[dramatic crescendo]
Queer people on television
face this weird conundrum
of, like, being allowed to be out,
but also being told, like,
"Don't be too out."
Like, "Oh, it's great that you're gay,
but just not too gay."
Like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
I have come here today
to discuss a difficult challenge,
and one which is received
an enormous amount
of publicity and public
and private debate.
Our nation's policy
toward homosexuals in the military.
[crowd chanting] We're here, we're queer...
[Stryker] In the country, it was the sense
that things were bad and getting worse,
and there was
this kind of punk, DIY sensibility,
like the fierce urgency of now.
[crowd chanting] We're here. We're queer.
We're feminists. Don't mess with us.
We don't have time for,
like, incremental progress.
You just have to,
like, throw down right now.
[gentle music playing]
The AIDS crisis
made activists out of people,
unassuming people who were like,
"I can't be silent anymore."
Because it was life or death.
I think my favorite activist group
was from the '80s, and they were ACT UP.
And they had a great slogan,
which was "silence equals death."
It meant, "if we don't talk about AIDS,
we will die of AIDS,"
and, um, I adopt a similar slogan for me,
"silence equals non-existence."
[audience applauding]
[Cho] Queer comedy is really
how we dealt with trauma.
Trauma in the form of homophobia,
trauma in the form of racism,
trauma in the form of sexism,
trauma in the form of just not being
accepted by society at-large.
So after I didn't become
a television star,
it was really a natural step
to go back to stand-up comedy.
I wanted to find my audience.
I wanted to find my group.
I realized I just had to do it my own way.
Margaret Cho!
[audience applauding]
[upbeat music playing]
[Cho] I was able to create
my own comedy shows
and film them and make them for television
without having to worry
about what I said or did.
I could do whatever I wanted.
I went through this whole thing.
You know, I was like, "Am I gay?"
"Am I straight?"
And I realized I'm just slutty.
[audience laughs]
[man 11] First time
I watched Margaret Cho,
it was the first time I saw
someone discuss any queer identity
without insulting it. [chuckles]
I love the word "faggot"
because it describes my kind of guy.
It was like, "Oh, gay people exist,
they're very real,
and I think they're amazing."
I'm like, "Oh, okay. [chuckles]
I didn't know that was allowed."
We only love three things.
That would be ass,
Judy Garland, and Margaret Cho.
She was doing shows
that were for us by us,
and that led
to a groundswell of alt comedy.
You know, weird ragtag lineups.
A more diverse group of comedians
who don't sound or look
like comics you've seen before.
[music crescendos]
I remember listening to Margaret
do stand-up for the first time,
and it was everything that, when I started
doing stand-up, they said not to do.
It was bawdy,
it was raunchy, it was, you know,
she was just... she didn't give a fuck.
[audience applauding]
So many of us felt like we didn't belong
in traditional spaces.
I was told a bunch by other comics
when I was coming up,
"Don't talk about sex."
[indistinct chatter, laughter]
[Booster] Every time
you talk about sex, or even dating,
you're reminding people
of the way you have sex.
Even if it's not a joke about anal sex,
that's where their brains will go,
and it'll gross them out.
As soon as I got the opportunity,
all I wanted to talk about was the stuff
people wanted to keep behind the curtain.
I love my boyfriend so much.
He's my soulmate.
Um, he is white,
but, um, on any given night,
he does have a little bit
of Asian DNA in him.
- Heyo!
- [audience laughs]
Yes! Oh, he hates that joke! Um...
[audience laughs]
But he is the bottom,
so he has to take it. Um...
[audience continues laughing]
[indistinct chatter]
At that time, queer comedy
was really, uh, sort of a solace.
And for me,
it's really important for audiences
to have a queer voice
that they can find hope in,
to find joy in.
It's life-affirming.
[funky music playing]
Like she didn't see me.
[woman] I... I apologize.
I mean, I'm the most gigantic
human being in the world.
- [woman] I'm sorry.
- [Gold] I'm kidding!
[woman] Okay. [laughs]
[producer] Perfect.
Wait. I'm putting this away.
- [producer] What the...
- Fuck.
- I don't want this in my pocket.
- [producer] Okay, give it to me.
Hi, everyone.
I always knew I wanted to be a performer,
but I didn't know how.
I was so tall and... and awkward and gay,
and I looked at these women,
like Joan Rivers, Moms Mabley,
these people who were
brash and honest
and hilarious,
and I thought, "That's what I want to do."
I wanted to be a comedian
who happened to be a lesbian,
and that was the way I always felt.
People knew I was gay,
but, uh, I didn't really have
any material about being a lesbian.
I love to get my mother mad.
I did this my mother a few weeks ago.
So if you guys want
to piss your mother off, do this.
Next time you're driving with your mother,
stop in front of the local strip joint,
put the car in park,
and say, "I'll be right back."
"I just have to run in
and pick up my check."
[audience laughs]
Like you're working there as a stripper!
I actually did that joke in Atlanta
like a month ago, and someone yelled,
"We get paid cash."
[audience continues laughing]
I saw how they pigeonholed people,
how they could only work
for certain audiences,
how they wouldn't get hired.
Hi, I'm Suzanne Westenhoefer,
famous lesbian comedian.
- [audience cheering]
- [upbeat music playing]
[Westenhoefer] The first clubs I played
were comedy clubs in New York City.
In the early '90s, if you got up
and said you were a lesbian or a gay man,
it was the end of your career.
Many of the other comics would tell me
to stop talking about gay stuff.
"You're never gonna
get anywhere with that."
"You could be big, and now they're never
going to ask you back."
[audience cheering]
I started out. I did gay comedy
in straight clubs in New York,
and a lot of clubs would play me,
but there was one that wouldn't.
I don't wanna mention
the name or anything.
Comic Strip!
[audience laughs]
And, uh, it was really amazing.
I auditioned for them three times.
I did really well,
and this little worm of a manager
walks up and goes, "You were really good,
but I don't think we can use you."
"'Cause we groom our people for TV,
and I don't think there will
ever be lesbians on TV."
[audience laughs]
I was very aware that it was limiting me.
I think the majority of the homophobia
was in that I didn't get things
that I maybe didn't even know existed.
They just weren't offered to me
the way they were offered to other comics.
[audience applauding]
I said, "No lesbians on TV?" [exclaiming]
"What about Wimbledon?"
[audience laughs]
[Westenhoefer chuckles]
[Westenhoefer] They didn't
let me audition for stuff.
I remember very clearly being told once,
"Oh, you're an openly gay comedian?"
"Is all you talk about being gay?"
I said, "It's not all I talk about,
but it's like being Black."
"You're Black when you're on stage,
whether you talk about it or not, right?"
She was like, "Okay, thank you.
Get her out of here."
And that was... that was always sort of...
uh, it bummed you out.
I act now like I wasn't weeping somewhere
and trying to keep my mascara
from running at the time,
but it was... That was painful. You know?
[tender music playing]
[Westenhoefer] There was still the hate,
still the bigotry,
so much work to be done.
The next time someone says
to you, "Oh, you choose to be a lesbian,
and you choose to be a gay man,"
say, "No, I did not choose it."
"I was chosen."
[crowd cheering]
[man 12] To insist that male-male
or female-female relationships
must have the same status
is patently absurd.
We need to stop the homosexual agenda,
which is going to take over
our town, our schools.
[Mason] The Gay '90s were not so gay.
We had the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act,
and we had the Defense of Marriage Act,
which defined marriage
as between a man and a woman.
[pensive music playing]
[man 13] It centers around children.
There's a big move
for gays to adopt children,
and if they get marriage,
now that you've said we can marry,
what's stopping us from saying men
and women are interchangeable as parents?
It's immoral.
It's unhealthy and destructive.
[Gold] It was crazy.
Erik and Lyle Menendez.
One night, the parents are watching TV
and eating ice cream,
and they shoot them to death.
They can get married!
They got married in jail!
I can't get married.
Jerry Sandusky. Pedophile.
He had more rights than me.
Mary Kay Letourneau
marries her fucking student
and has the kid's baby.
It just made me crazy,
and at that point, everything shifted.
And once I had a child, that was it.
I came out as a gay parent.
[gentle music playing]
Every comic talks about their family.
No one's going to tell me
I can't talk about mine.
I am a lesbian with two children,
and, uh, so I should tell you
a little bit about it.
I had... I had my kids
with my ex-partner, Wendy.
All right, that's not really her name.
She doesn't want to be identified.
She wants me to call her Wendy.
- Her real name's Sharon. Anyway, so, um...
- [audience laughs]
What kind of message
does it give to your children
when you do not walk around with pride
and adulation for your family
and the family you have created?
[gentle music continues]
We used an anonymous sperm donor,
who's actually sitting right here.
Thank you so much for being here.
Kids are really looking forward
to meeting you tomorrow. And...
When I started talking about
my family and my kids,
I absolutely did it
at my own expense in terms of my career,
but I could not do it any other way.
I could not look at my son's face
and say, "You don't talk about this,"
or "We should be ashamed,"
or "We're not the same as."
I couldn't do it.
[gentle music continues]
[Mattel] I'm obsessed with Judy Gold.
One of Judy's records, I remember
hearing her talk about having a child.
I think, "Oh, she has a wife and a child."
"But she's gay. But she has a family."
And my mind exploded.
[audience cheering]
And then, it was like
normal family things,
not "gay family things."
- Hello, everyone!
- [applauding]
Hello, my queers!
I love you all!
[Gold] Comedy gives people the opportunity
to see the world
through someone else's eyes,
and a great comedian
will make you laugh and make you think
and maybe even... change your mind.
When everybody knew Judy was a lesbian,
there weren't many places for her to go.
The next place I saw her on television was
as producer on the Rosie O'Donnell Show.
I've lost staff members.
Come get your son. There you have it.
When I worked on the Rosie O'Donnell Show,
I thought, "This show is a phenomenon."
Everyone was watching it.
Every magazine cover.
And I remember thinking,
"If you only knew that we're all gay."
"We're all gay theater kids
putting on a show for you."
[audience applauding]
You know, when I had my deal
with Warner Bros. to do my talk show,
I told them that I was gay,
because they were spending
millions of dollars
ramping up this show,
and I just wanted them to know.
I said, "You know, just in case you care,
I want you to know."
I don't imagine I would ever come out,
because I didn't imagine it at that time.
You know, my show started in '96,
and that was pre-Will and Grace,
that was pre-Ellen coming out.
I mean, I remember thinking
when Ellen was gonna come out
as her character on her show,
that she was going to ruin her career.
I went in and I'm like,
"You gonna do this?" She's like, "Yeah."
I'm like, "Wow. Are you nervous?
Are you scared?" She's like, "A little."
I don't know how this leaked out either,
'cause we were really trying
to build this up slowly and reveal it, uh,
in a way that would change people's
opinions, basically. Uh...
We do find out
that the character is Lebanese and, um...
- Lebanese?
- Yeah.
She said she was gonna do a bit on
that the character
was coming out as Lebanese,
and I said, "Okay."
So we were talking about jokes with that,
and I said, "I could say I like
baba ghanoush and Casey Kasem."
- I'm a big fan of Casey Kasem. Listen.
- [male voice] You go girl.
[audience laughs, applauds]
Maybe I'm Lebanese.
- You could be.
- [O'Donnell] I could be Lebanese myself.
I didn't know that.
- You know, sometimes...
- [audience cheers]
...that's sad 'cause I pick up sometimes
that you might be Lebanese.
I didn't want to leave her out there,
you know, without supporting her
and sort of claim no communion with her.
There's a Tori Amos song.
She sings,
"Your mom shows up in a nasty dress,
and it's your turn now
to stand where I stand."
"Everyone's looking at you.
Take a hold of my hand."
And that's what I felt about it.
Like, "I'm not gonna let you stand there."
"Take hold of my hand, right?
We're gonna do it together."
Half of Hollywood is Lebanese.
- [O'Donnell] Really?
- Yeah.
People don't know!
[Branum] Ellen's coming out
was a sea change in America.
It was somebody that we saw every week
on an adorable little sitcom,
being honest about being queer.
I'm gay.
[audience laughs, cheers]
The show was
immediately cancelled after that,
but it forced people to really think about
a queer person's inner life
and the fact that we had known
and come to love Ellen,
and then we learned that she was queer.
What happened?
Did she torpedo her own show
by pushing a gay agenda?
Or did this network
pretty much abandon her?
The problem is that, to a lot of people,
if I talk about my wife,
I'm talking about my life.
If I talk about my husband,
suddenly, I have an agenda.
We're all raised with,
"There's something wrong."
"You're not quite normal. You don't...
You just... There's something wrong."
There's nothing wrong,
and someday people are gonna get it.
[producer] Have you noticed that some
of the most important who've come out
in such big ways
have been lesbian comedians?
You would hear people be like,
"I don't like gays, but I like Ellen."
And you're like, "Okay." [chuckling]
And it's the power
of making someone laugh.
"This person makes me feel good."
"Maybe them being gay is not so bad."
I think women are just braver than men.
I think the biggest...
Yeah, the biggest coming outs
have been Ellen and Rosie and Wanda.
[pensive music playing]
[Sykes] When I first came out,
it was the national day
of protest against Prop 8.
- [man chanting] Two, four, six, eight!
- [crowd] God does not discriminate!
[Sykes] The woman who was
the head of the center, I guess,
started saying there's
someone in the audience,
and they are
a strong ally of our community,
and I'm looking around like,
"Is Drew Barrymore here? Who's out here?"
You know, "Is it Pink?
Who's in this audience?"
"Who else is out here?"
And, uh, then she said Wanda Sykes.
I was like, "Oh shit.
They think I'm an ally."
"They don't... That's right,
they don't know I am in the community."
[audience applauding]
I got married October 25th.
My wife is here.
[audience cheering]
[Sykes] And then when I,
uh, came back to my friends, uh,
and Alex was there, my wife was there,
they said, "You know
you just came out, right?
I was like, "Oh wow, I guess I did."
"I'm really out, huh?"
[audience applauding]
Thank y'all so much.
Look, I just... I just wanna say...
Look, the... Just give a big hand
for everybody you've seen tonight.
I mean, oh my God.
[audience applauding]
And I got... I got...
A lot of these performers,
I am standing on their shoulders.
[audience continues applauding]
The first Black female
I saw on stage, she was out.
Karen Williams.
She was just funny,
and she just happened to be gay,
and she just talked about,
"Yeah, you know, my girlfriend."
And I was like, "What?"
She said it on stage, and I looked around
like, "Did anybody hear that?"
Lesbians calling out to Jesus
when they're having an orgasm.
Once again, the man gets the credit.
[audience laughs]
Growing up, my favorite
was, uh, Jackie "Moms" Mabley.
[gentle music playing]
She was a Black woman,
and you didn't see that on TV, you know.
She's this character, but she was real
because she reminded me
of some of my aunts and my grandmother.
I remember as a kid watching Moms Mabley
on things like the Smothers Brothers show.
- You know Mom don't like old men.
- You don't?
No. Any time you see me
with my arms around an old man,
I'm holding him for the police.
[audience laughs]
And I had no idea as a kid
that, uh, she was an out lesbian,
uh, that she came out
in her twenties in the '20s.
- Mr. Jones, this is Marcella.
- Hello, big boy!
I got your fish
and rice all ready for you.
You know, I'm from South Carolina myself.
[jazz music playing]
[Warfield] If I could go back in time,
I would be in drag
with Moms Mabley picking up women.
Are you kidding me?
[faint chuckles]
[Mason] Moms' brilliant use of comedy
as a critic and disruptor
of the social dynamic of her time
was nothing short of genius.
[Mabley] I'm gonna vote
and vote for whoever I please,
and I'll thumb my nose at the Klan,
and I double dare 'em
to come out from behind them sheets
and face me like a man.
I see Moms Mabley in Wanda Sykes.
She sort of picks at the issues,
large and small,
of just living in the everyday world.
It's harder being gay
than it is being Black.
It is. 'Cause there are
some things that I had...
There are some things that I have to do
as gay that I didn't have to do as Black.
I didn't have to come out Black.
[audience laughing]
I didn't have to sit my parents down
and tell them about my Blackness.
[audience continues laughing]
I didn't have to sit them down.
"Mom, Dad, I got to tell y'all something."
[audience chuckles]
"I hope you still love me."
[audience chuckles]
"I'm just gonna say it."
"Mom, Dad...
I'm Black."
[audience laughs]
"What? What did she just say?!"
"Oh Lord Jesus!"
"She didn't say Black, Lord!
Did she say Black?"
"Mom, I'm Black."
"Oh no, Lord Jesus! Not Black! Oh my God!"
"Oh, not Black, Lord!"
"Anything but Black, Jesus!"
[audience laughing]
To watch her come out,
it felt really powerful.
Especially to see her
as a Black queer experience,
and I also remember thinking to myself,
"This is how I feel."
I hadn't been able
to put words to it before.
[gentle music playing]
[Mason] Wanda had a special
where she talked
about living with her French wife,
but it ultimately ended up being
this really heartwarming
and wonderful depiction
of domesticity between two women.
- I'm snoring now.
- [audience chuckles]
That's different. Yep.
You know, my wife, boy.
God bless her putting up with it.
You know, 'cause first, it started off
with just some deep breathing.
You know, just like... [breathing deeply]
And then it quickly escalated to...
- [snoring]
- [audience laughs]
How do I know?
Because my wife records it.
[audience laughs]
[Mason] That was normalizing queerness,
and particularly normalizing
multiracial, female same-sex love.
[upbeat jazz music playing]
[Warfield] Wanda and the lesbian pioneers,
they made it okay for me to say I'm gay.
When I started,
lesbians terrified me.
They fucking terrified me.
I had... I would... I would...
"What do they want?
Why are they looking at me?"
You know, "Leave me alone."
Then it all made sense.
[upbeat jazz music continues]
And I realized how often
I have tried to mitigate
my own homosexuality
and, uh, make it palatable,
if not acceptable.
And I never have to do that again,
and that's very liberating.
I didn't know I was gay.
Growing up in the '50s and '60s,
nobody talked about being gay.
I had no idea what gay was.
I didn't know there were
gay people in my family.
And they weren't even down-low gay.
They were stereotypically flaming gay.
[audience laughs]
Like Aunt Butchie and Uncle Twirl.
[audience continues laughing]
[Sykes] It's very important
for queer comedians to be seen and heard.
There's kids out there and people
who live in areas where they're not seen.
So it's good to see us
speaking out for them.
That's encouraging to them.
In queer spaces,
there's a lot more opportunity
for women to headline,
for Black people to headline.
When I first moved to the States
and nobody knew who I was,
I got in doing Olivia, who does cruises
and resorts and stuff for women.
I was able to actually
start making money in America
as a comedian doing queer spaces.
[upbeat '80s music playing]
[Holmes] In the '80s and '90s
and into the 2000s,
queer venues and scenes
began to spring up.
Some people call this
the "lavender circuit."
[Mason] You would see folks
who are queer, Black, female identify,
performing visibly.
When I started, there was Kate Clinton,
Karen Williams, Marga Gomez, Lea DeLaria
doing stand-up
at gay events, gay festivals,
or cabarets, where they
were doing their own show.
For people who don't know
what a women's music festival is,
this is what it is.
At a certain period in time,
large groups of women
converge in the woods,
where they share mosquitoes,
leeches, and chips,
and somehow become better lesbians.
[audience laughs]
I am a city girl, okay?
There are ax murderers in the woods.
I don't want to be there!
Felt like kind of a... an underground scene.
There would be a gay lineup
or a gay night.
Gay comedians could perform,
be out, and do that stuff,
and they were, generally,
of course, where the audiences were gay.
The guy meant to introduce me,
I know he meant introduce me,
as a Stonewall lesbian,
but he actually introduced me
as a Stonehenge lesbian.
Come on, straight people.
If you let us marry each other,
we'll stop marrying you! [chuckles]
To me, there's nothing more humiliating
than a game of softball.
[audience laughs]
Because, you know, I can't throw anything
besides a really good brunch.
[audience continues laughing]
When I was starting out,
it was very common for gay performers
to be on the cruise ships
with the gay companies.
You kind of knew your summers
were going to be busy,
'cause Pride was coming, and you just have
these certain things to expect.
My very first headliner show ever
was at Pulse, Orlando.
[tender music playing]
Those were the places
that were hiring me, gay clubs.
Those were the people
that were saying, you know,
"You're one of us. We wanna support you."
And it meant so much.
People would accept you and love you,
and they just want to have a good time
and laugh and support...
any gay entertainer.
Those places,
they're really important parts
of this comedy community.
[Yashere] I love those shows
because you've got a lot of gay people,
and they're from places where they're
in the closet or hide who they are,
and they get to completely be themselves.
And that release makes for
a great comedy audience... [laughs]
...because they're just so happy
to just be who they are.
[tender music continues]
I was really blown away
after my special Sweet & Salty came out.
I was getting a lot
of messages from parents
who said their kids are using
my special as, like, a litmus test
to see how their parents responded,
and if they laughed and smiled,
their kid then came out to them.
I'm gay."
I know it sounds corny,
but laughter is medicine.
It helps you bond with people.
So we definitely need it.
I believe we should be aiming high.
Comedy should say something
to try to move us forward.
Still continuing to fight
for, um, equality.
I just love all y'all,
and thank you so much for being here.
Thank you for having us here,
and just thank you so much.
Appreciate y'all.
[audience applauding]
People who tell their truth
and are able to be authentic
and honest and give their life perspective
are doing a service,
especially when it's queer people.
[indistinct chatter]
- Hi, Eddie. Rosie.
- [Eddie] Hi.
- Hi, Rosie.
- How are you? Good to see you.
There are so many people
that do stand-up in a fully-realized way.
I remember Eddie Izzard.
I always loved Eddie Izzard.
[upbeat rock music playing]
You watch her transformation
and the freedom that she feels to dress
and be and live who she truly is.
This isn't the glamorous part.
But you need this bit.
[O'Donnell] You know, that's something
that has just been mind-blowing to me.
How helpful, I think, for a world that's
often confused about what means what,
to have people stand in their truth
and their own real identity
and be able to express it for themselves.
[indistinct chatter]
[Izzard] I came out in '85,
and then I started stand-up in '88,
and I started it in boy mode,
and... 'cause I thought,
"I can't introduce this as well."
"Blood is thicker than water" means
that you should be kind to your relatives.
But custard is thicker than blood.
[audience laughs]
Does this mean
we should be nice to trifles?
As time went on, I'd feel it taking off.
I'd been pushing for it to take off.
And I thought,
"I need to tell people that I'm..."
It was TV, was the thing at the time.
TV, trans.
The language has changed over the years.
And pull that into society.
We were outside society.
I think it was LGB at that time,
but, you know...
The T wasn't there.
So I came out in '85.
Thirty-seven years ago.
Um, people had come out as trans before.
[dreamy music playing]
[Stryker] The concept of transsexuality
really just bursts onto
the public radar screen in 1952 and 1953,
primarily due to this woman
named Christine Jorgensen.
[dreamy music continues]
Christine Jorgensen was
the first major transsexual celebrity.
She was the Caitlyn Jenner
of her generation.
Christine Jorgensen would, you know,
come out on stage and tell a few jokes,
sing a little and dance a little
and do a quick change number.
So it's like the first trans celebrity
in modern times
kind of has a comedy act that she does.
So I started talking about it onstage,
but not wearing a dress,
not wearing lipstick.
Journalists were saying,
"Well, he is saying this and blah-blah..."
"Um, is this a joke?"
I thought, "Okay, I'll throw on a dress."
[audience applauding]
If you're a woman,
you can talk about sexism.
'Cause men can never really get there.
If you're an ethnic minority,
you can talk about racism.
But for me, personally, white male
middle-class, completely fucking useless.
[audience laughs]
There's no angles there. You can't say,
"When I was growing up, I had it...
all right. Uh..."
[audience continues laughing]
If anything's working in my favor,
it's, "Thank God I'm a transvestite."
[Izzard] "Oh, so you are?"
"Trans, TV, whatever,
however you're defining it."
"But you look a mess."
That was their next thing.
Okay. Um, I've only got
a couple of dresses, so fuck off.
So I thought, "I better work on the look
to try and get that better."
And it became this thing
stronger than before.
[upbeat '80s music playing]
Being honest about being trans
caused some positives and some negatives.
They were kind of
a little bit thrown by me, I think.
Going, "What do we make of this person?"
Also, if you're trans and you're wearing
makeup back in those days
they thought,
"Oh, it's all about the makeup."
Everyone knows my stuff.
It's got nothing to do with it.
I just happen to be trans.
My stuff is Python.
My stuff is talking about haircuts
and banjos and pigs in space
and... and the end of the world
and the beginning of the world.
But in America, it was different.
The Founding Fathers landed in 16...
[audience laughs]
They set off from Plymouth
and landed in Plymouth.
How lucky is that?
[audience continues laughing]
"This is Plymouth?"
"We just come from Plymouth."
"We've gone around in a circle, lads.
Back on the boats."
They finally got there, said, "Ah,
this is where our God has brought us to."
"We can...
we can practice our religion here."
"We can raise a family.
There's nobody here."
"Excuse me."
- "There's nobody here..."
- [audience laughs]
"Yes, a land empty of human exist...
Who the fuck are these guys?!"
[audience laughs]
[Branum] When Eddie Izzard
got on that stage
in that magnificent silk print gown,
robe, whatever it was,
she shifted who we thought
could have a perspective.
Like, she took people
who were only objects,
and she gave them agency
with such wit
and such charm and such glamour.
We knew that gay people existed.
We understood that gay people
were out there,
but we only really understood trans people
as, like, a one-off joke
on Night Court or something like that.
We as a society have always seen
trans women as objects,
and then we don't consider trans men.
[audience applauding]
[host speaks indistinctly]
[Butcher] Being trans
is very different to me
than, you know, just being gay on stage.
'Cause I used to just be gay on stage.
[host] Our next performer's
first comedy album, Butcher,
debuted at number one on iTunes.
Please welcome the only guy here
who actually likes sports,
River Butcher!
[audience applauding]
[Butcher] It's like this thing
that you can talk about or not talk about.
It's not something that you
should have to talk about all the time,
because it's your gender identity
and how you're walking through the world,
but I also don't want
to be, like, afraid to talk about it.
I love being this guy
in a room full of people.
So lets say 50 people, 50 people,
and somebody just beelines past 49 people
and is like,
"Hey, what are your pronouns?"
[audience laughs]
You don't need to know
those 49 other pronouns, just this guy?
What is it about
this robust sideburn and then...
[audience chuckles]
...one other sideburn that's really trying
that is confusing you?
Somebody today that I just love to watch
what they do with gender
is Solomon Georgio.
[chuckles] Just the in and out of it.
I just love it.
It's, like, so fun and joyful,
and... and people love it.
Solomon Georgio!
[upbeat music playing]
[audience applauding]
[Georgio] Comedy has always helped me
through my self-identity journey.
When I started stand-up,
I'd always wear suits.
I don't know why. Like, I just...
I wanted to be... I want to be a showman.
I wanted to actually start off
by sincerely apologizing to everyone.
Um, I did my best to look decent,
but I ended up looking amazing.
[audience laughs]
I definitely spoke in a deeper voice,
and I definitely didn't
allow myself to cross my legs.
I didn't allow myself to enjoy
any feminine qualities that I had.
I definitely hid them back,
and I've learned through stand-up
that not only should I not do that,
it is actually a benefit to me
to embrace myself.
As you can tell by my outfit,
I have been, um,
aggressively gay this year.
[audience laughs, cheers]
[Georgio] I think
it's my own personal journey
and sort of accepting that I might fall
in a bigger spectrum than I do.
And I think the greatest influence for me
and my gender expression,
especially with comedy,
was watching Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill.
I can constantly look back at that special
and find something to pull from it
and understand about myself
and the absurdity
of the culture we live in.
[faint applauding]
[woman 9] When your stories
aren't being told,
or people like you aren't given
the opportunity to perform,
it makes it harder for you
to imagine you having access to that.
And I think it changes
your view of the world,
because you've been shown
by society that it's a no.
- Am I getting the right pronouns here?
- With me?
- Yeah. Pronouns. Okay.
- I'm she/her.
And you're a "they"?
I'm trying it.
I'm trying to be "they," yeah.
I don't necessarily want to be talking
about gender and... and sexuality,
but I feel like I should
because everyone else is,
and people with huge platforms
are talking about it
and punching down
at this very small population of people.
[scattered applause]
It wasn't that long ago
when adults asked a kid,
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
they meant, "What profession?"
"Penis equals man? Okay, boomer."
[audience chuckles]
In stand-up comedy, they're always
looking for somebody to make fun of.
At the moment, it's transferred to trans,
as... as Dave Chappelle discovered.
[pensive music playing]
Humor is the razor-sharp edge
of the truth.
There's no such thing as just kidding.
So if anybody does homophobic jokes,
they mean it.
[director] A, B, C, common mark.
[woman 10] A lot of these jokes
and a lot of these ideas,
I'm not solely blaming them
for the violence, but I see the harm
when the comedy special
is being played across the nation,
and that certainly can contribute
to how people will go out in the world
and treat people
who are different from them.
[gentle music playing]
The problem with these hurtful comments
that you hear from comedians
is that it dehumanizes us.
They are obsessed with our genitals,
where we go to the bathroom.
I don't care
what you think your intentions are
or how we're supposed
to interpret your jokes.
If we're telling you it's transphobic,
you can't go,
"No, it's not. No, it's not."
As trans comedians,
we definitely have a specific...
experience with certain obstacles,
because transgender issues
are so much in the news right now,
and so people are really heated.
I miss the good old days when the men
who dressed as women were real men.
They don't qualify
for the Women's World Cup
because they used to be a woman,
but now they don't want to be a woman.
You know, the way that you can tell
who holds all the power in a society
is by who you can't make fun of.
- Right?
- That's right.
These are the people
you can't make fun of.
So it's very clear they hold all
the institutional power in our culture.
Being a woman
who is Black and who is trans,
and being on the receiving end
of... of these jokes,
it's easier to read them
than to watch them
and see the room full of people laughing.
"Gender is a fact."
"You have to look at it
from a woman's perspective."
"Look at it like this. Caitlyn Jenner,
whom I've met. Wonderful person."
"Caitlyn Jenner was voted
Woman of the Year
her first year as a woman."
"Ain't that something?"
"Beat every bitch in Detroit."
"She's better than all of you."
"Never even had a period.
Ain't that something?"
[tender music playing]
I'm both Black and transgender,
and it's worth
talking about the two things,
the parallels between them,
but you can only
really understand those parallels
if you're actually identifying
with fucking both.
They are not actually doing jokes.
They're just lecturing people,
and they think that anything they say
is okay 'cause they're a comedian,
but it's like, well,
if you're not telling jokes,
it doesn't matter
if you're a comedian or not.
These comedians are viewed as
"the greatest minds of their generation,"
and the millions of people
that listen to them are like,
"Oh my God!
Everything that they say is so brilliant."
It's dangerous for us.
[tender music continues]
[Martin] My issue is less
with Chappelle and more about
the people in charge
of platforming his ideas.
Saying something like gender's a fact.
Even the World Health Organization
says gender's a social construct.
But if something is factually not true,
I think it's dangerous to platform it,
'cause surely there's a responsibility
when there's actual
real-world violence happening.
I just think we are in the midst
of a really pernicious backlash
and scapegoating
of all things queer and trans.
And, you know, I'm curious,
you know, how... how comedy
will step up to address that.
[host] Now please welcome
one of the UK's greatest exports,
actor and comedian, Eddie Izzard!
[audience applauding]
[Gold] People are coming out as trans,
and we realize there's
a lot more trans people than you thought.
And just like in the '80s,
there's a lot of gay people, people.
And other people are reacting
like, "No, no, no, no."
It's the same thing. They're scared of it.
It's fear of the unknown,
and that's why it's so important
for trans people to get onstage,
make people laugh, and someone say,
- "I really... I liked her."
- [audience cheering]
[Izzard] I know in America,
you still believe in God.
He isn't there, kids. Um...
[audience laughs]
But well done for still believing in him
after World War II.
Sixty million dead
and he didn't come and help. But...
[audience continues laughing]
People might say I'm an atheist.
No. I believe in something.
I believe in us. I believe in humanity.
I believe there's more goodwill
than ill will in the world.
That is my belief.
[audience cheering]
Good night. Thanks for being here.
Comedy itself has gone
into a different phase.
People now want to hear more about you,
and a lot of LGBTQ comics
have led that way.
I don't think my mic was on at first.
That was by design.
[woman] Yeah. Exactly.
[Notaro] In 2012, I had beyond...
a rough time.
So I just went onstage and decided to...
to talk about
exactly what was going on in my life
rather than whatever nonsense
I had been talking about previously.
I was diagnosed
with bilateral breast cancer,
and I ended up getting
a double mastectomy.
And before I had a double mastectomy,
I was already pretty flat-chested,
and I made so many jokes over the years
about how small my chest was,
that I started to think
that maybe my boobs
overheard me...
[audience laughs]
...and were just like... [sighs]
"You know what?"
[audience chuckles]
"We're sick of this."
[audience laughs]
"Let's kill her."
[audience laughs]
Used to be that you would watch comedians,
and you were like, "Tell me a joke."
"What's your setup? What's your punchline?
We don't want to know your story."
It's very different now.
It's very personal.
You got Hannah Gadsby, who shared
some very intimate things about her life.
She really burst open a door
to a whole different style of comedy.
I put myself down in order to speak,
in order to seek permission to speak,
and I simply will not do that anymore.
Not to myself
or anybody who identifies with me.
[audience applauds]
I realized that I was telling
my story in a really, really toxic
and homophobic almost way.
I was aware that I was different,
and when I was onstage,
I always had to talk about that.
I had to solve the puzzle that is me
for my audience,
before they felt comfortable to laugh.
A little bit of housekeeping, people.
Um, I'm a lesbian.
- What? Ah!
- [audience cheers]
Oh no! [retching]
[Gadsby] And as you get more
and more experience,
the frustration builds
until you then do a show like Nanette,
and just go, "Fuck it."
[audience applauding]
[Gadsby] Back then, in the good old days,
uh, lesbian meant something different
than it does now.
Back then, lesbian wasn't about sexuality.
A lesbian was just
any woman not laughing at a man.
[audience laughs]
"Why aren't you laughing?
What are you, some kind of lesbian?"
[audience continues laughing]
In the '90s,
it was jokes first, identity second,
and now its identity-forward,
which I think is so much more exciting
and much more fertile.
[Booster] To be the first Asian-American,
out gay man to have
a Netflix special feels really...
[faint applauding]
Netflix gave him a special
and they won't give me a special?
[whimsical music playing]
It's 'cause he has abs...
and I'm pregnant.
There's like a whole wave of us coming,
and we're not only taking
a little piece of the pie,
we can actually take over.
You know, we can tell our own stories.
We can be authentic.
When I am getting fucked,
I sound like someone's dad
woke up in the middle of the night
and didn't turn the lights on.
[audience laughs]
[attendee] Oh my God, no!
Ow! Goddammit!
[audience continues laughing]
Shit! Shit! Shit!
Hold on! Hold on! Hold on! Hold on!
Jesus Christ! Who put that there?
I've played in a lot of corners of America
that I wasn't supposed to really.
And I've had people walk out.
I've had people yell at me after the show.
I have had people stick around
after the show and told me, "Thank you."
"Meant a lot to see
a gay performer be funny."
I've had people write me afterwards
and say they saw something
a different way.
It makes me wanna keep doing it.
[gentle music playing]
[audience cheering]
Can we hear it
for this incredible, historic cast?
[audience continues cheering]
[Feimster] Comedy's the one thing
that is still getting in there and saying,
"No, we can all laugh at this." You know?
And I do think it is
a powerful tool for, you know, equality.
[applauding continues]
Queer people taught America
to stop being scared of us
by making jokes.
[Feimster] There's a lot of people who put
their careers on the line by coming out.
With every person that did it onstage,
it cracked that door open
a little bit more, a little bit more.
It's just a totally different world.
In comedy, in culture.
It isn't a verboten thing.
It isn't a hidden thing.
It's the mainstream.
It's like the subtext became the text.
[applauding continues]
[Izzard] Hellish things are happening,
but there's more positive people out,
and you just need to be out,
and you need to punch above your weight.
If you're gonna be a comedian,
be the best comedian.
If you're gonna be a librarian,
be the best librarian.
That's what we have to do, and women
and people of color need to do this.
And when we hit boring,
when LGBTQ hit boring,
then we've made it.
[uplifting music playing]
I must have a lot of hope for the future,
because I'm thinking if I live to be 100,
I get to live 18 more years.
So if I want to live all that time,
I must be sort of hopeful
about some... some kind of decent survival.
Maybe I can live to be 110.
[faint cheering]
[music fades]
[upbeat music playing]
I shouldn't have this fucking baby.
But I'm gonna. I'm gonna.
I'm gonna.
It's Steve Bannon's baby.
So it's an important baby.
Growing up, I was like, "I wanna be...
I wanna be Martin Luther King."
And then I became
Martin Luther Queen instead. [laughs]
[Feimster] I have a lot of characters
that no one's ever seen.
My entire garage
is full of, like, costume chests. [laughs]
My wife is like,
"Can we please get rid of these?"
"I mean, you're a grown woman now."
I'm like. "They're my costumes!"
"These are my costumes!" [laughs]
James Adomian isn't gay, by the way.
And everybody knows that.
It was a career choice.
There was this place
called Rusty's Bagels.
And as a performer, you'd go there,
but you had to buy
a bagel and cream cheese
before you could get onstage.
I mean, how much more do you want?
Should I write a book
and sell it to you? [laughs]
The reason why Queer women
are great comedians
is because we just don't
care about what guys think,
and we just don't care.
[music halts]