I’m feeling unloved, defensive and more than a little bitter. With the ubiquitous Amy Schumer suddenly synonymous with comedy, it’s obvious that the road of the male comedian has become a lot more perilous. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Mindy Kaling… The list of A List Comedy Powerhouses is so long it’s boring, and there’s not a male in the bunch. Even Judd Apatow is only relevant because his last movie was a collaboration with Amy Schumer.
There are plenty of solid funnymen out there, of course, but there just isn’t the same…excitement.
The truly great male standups like Bill Burr – and even the brave and brilliant Louis CK – are all overshadowed by the Amy’s (remember when Amy Schumer was the “female Anthony Jeselnik”? AJ is now hosting “Last Comic Standing” and is less well known than JB Smoove).
In film, Steve Carrell and Will Ferrell are poised to accomplish what Jim Carrey only dreamed of – spend their sunset years in highly regarded dramas.
On stage and in movies, Kevin Hart’s on a winning streak but let’s be honest, he’s the black Dane Cook; he works so hard to be funny you wish he’d take a laxative.
On TV, Dave Letterman and Jon Stewart have retired. And while John Oliver and Larry Wilmore are solid, they’re carrying the torch, not lighting anyone’s fire.
The closest we have to a king of comedy right now is the great dramatic actor Jon Hamm, and if his performance in “Minions” is any indication, his funny juice dried up when he stopped serving as a comedy jock strap to the femegastars listed above.
There’s Donald Trump, of course, who is funny and entertaining but who, as the presumptive GOP nominee, will have his hands full until 2016, when he gets his own show on FOX or moves to Louisiana, where he can let his hair down and get his hood on. By the way, Trump isn’t white per se; he’s more of a “Snookie” orange, with Caucasian pigment only around the eyes.
I had a glimmer of hope when Jim Gaffigan’s new show premiered on TV Land. It’s funny, with a great supporting cast (check out Adam Goldberg’s recent interview on Respect the Process). But his brand is that of the “besieged, whipped father of five” – one I can relate to on some level (ok, on every level) that appeals to both women and men of a certain age (over 30), but doesn’t radiate the “I’m gonna do it my way”, sexually liberated “eff you” energy of Kaling, or Margaret Cho, who is (thankfully) once again on the rise.
How do we light a testosterone-fueled fire? Where do we go from here?
The answer is so obvious, I’m embarrassed to claim it as my own: we go trans. To be honest, I never heard Bruce Jenner speak until he was on her way to becoming Cait. And while trans goes both ways, who really wants to see Kris Jenner become Chris Jenner? Jeffrey Tambor has been brilliant at least since “And Justice For All” but he’s broken out on “Transparent”. Eddie Izzard, one of the world’s most talented comics, is a cross-dresser and performs in 80 languages, but if he really wants to break out, it’s gonna take more than heels and mascara. Eddie and I need to go full trans, and fast. Soon, as with Cuba and the Americans, the comedy landscape will be overrun with transcomics and we will have missed the boat to the promised land.
I searched for the perfect app to find out what I would – or should – look like as a woman, but comediennes don’t look like regular women. There’s a “funny gene” you won’t get from any app – a certain attitude that makes for a special kind of beauty. So rather than roll the dice with technology, I merely looked at my three daughters, all of whom have inherited the “funny gene”. I’d be proud to look like any of them, or to be as funny as they are. I’m turning to them for makeup and other tips, which is a good first step. But this is a big decision. And a process. Consider me a preoperative transcomedian.
The main thing is that I’ve gotten this off my breast. And it’s settled. My goal now is to become the next Queen of Comedy. I’ll be setting up a GoFundMe page. I’m available for interviews. My story of trying desperately to live life as a man in a man’s body and simply not being funny enough is true and real and painful. And if you don’t like it – tough titties.