Each week we highlight a pioneer who has paved the way for women in comedy!
December 9, 2020 Show
Mel Michele did a special shoutout to Gail Jones by interviewing the legendary Bay Area comedian. Gail started her life in comedy after finding that she had a knack for making people laugh and putting her audience at ease when delivering talks on sex education. It didn’t take her long to develop a stand-up routine combining her humor from the lecture circuit with the growing pains she endured as a small town good-girl. Gail’s pivot to comedy led her to be a Finalist in the Rooster T. Feathers Amateur Comedy Competition, in the Battle of the Bay Comedy Competition, and the Killer Laughs Comedy Competition. She has performed at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and many places around the country. During the interview, Gail emphasized that it’s never too late to be a standup comedian. Learn more about Gail Jones on her website. You can also check her out on Facebook at @GailJonesComedy.
December 2, 2020 Show
Cynthia Annette did a shoutout to comedy legend, Moms Mabley! Moms Mabley was born Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894. She was a standup comedian and actress who got her start on the African-American vaudeville scene. Moms was known as “The Funniest Woman in the World.” At one point, she was the highest-paid comedian of her time, earning more than $10,000 a week at the Apollo. Her signature stage look was a floppy hat and a housedress, and a lot of her jokes focused on her disdain for old men and love of young men. One of her signature lines was ”Ain’t nothin’ an old man can do for me but bring me a message from a young man.” In her real life, she came out at age 27 in 1921, making her one of the first openly gay comedians. Moms Mabley used her comedy to draw attention to and speak out against racism.
- Learn more about Moms Mabley from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the documentary, Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley
- Check out her routine on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour here.
- See her sing Abraham, Martin, and John on Playboy After Dark here (at age 75 and 4 months, she was the oldest living person ever to have a US Top 40 hit)