No, this is not what Whoopi Goldberg’s character Oda Mae Brown from Ghost would ask Taylor Swift if Oda Mae existed, but rather this is what my reaction was to reading Jezebel‘s ludicrious.edu/universitylife article entitled Here’s to the LOLs: The Perils of Dating and Dumping Comedians*** by Anna Breslaw. In short, this article breaks down to, “Dating comics suck! So fuck them, but don’t say, ‘fuck you!’ to me or my friends because we keep fucking them.”
like you just heard the wind down music in a game of musical chairs because this article is littered with gross generalizations about dating comics and I can’t handle it. Well, the generalizations are about male comics because there’s nary a mention of female comics. To be fair, Breslaw does step out of her myopic presentation of stand up comedians for a hot minute to convey the following: “In the last few years some holes have been punched in the male-dominated comedy world and women have joined the critical conversation,” The last few years? What about Phyllis Diller (RIP), Moms Mabley (RIP part deux), Joan Rivers, Whoopi Goldberg, Elayne Boosler, Carol Leifer etc? Unlike Breslaw’s sentence would have people believe, female comics were in the convo before Melissa McCarthy took a shit in a sink in the movie Bridesmaids:So Anna: DO. YOUR. RESEARCH. And have a general and informed knowledge about stand up comedy before you write an article about it. K? Thx. Bai.
Except I’m not leaving because I have more to say outside of feeling slighted by the blink and you missed mention of female comics.
Here’s to the LOLs continues with Breslaw’s recount of the time she and a friend went to Hannibal Buress’ awesome comedy show at the Knitting Factory. I perked up because I’ve done that show a few times was curious to see if I would know the comic based on the joke she quoted:
“This new girl I’m dating, I’ve never dated a white girl before [he's Indian] and her nipples are so pink! So pink and small, so cute!”
“Indian, Indian,” I kept saying to myself because like black female comics there’s not a ton of them in the NYC comedy scene. I must know him and lo and behold I do! His name is Nimesh Patel and we’ve been on tons of shows together ever since he started stand up. While I can admit that I was not at this particular show in question, I’ve seen him a lot and and I’ve never heard him utter something that lame and ridonkey kongulous.
But, obviously, Nimesh was at this show and he gives his account in the video embedded below. Watch until 1:43:
Ooooooooh, Anna, you’re BUSTED, bitch! So excuse me while Nimesh and I have a celebratory fruit pop real quick before I break down the Top Chef-inspired appetizer you served up to the reader called “Lie Telling Served Two Ways:”
First of all, let’s address Breslaw taking creative license with Nimesh’s joke. Her interpretation of it is just a statement, while his account has the semblance of a joke. Is it the greatest joke of all time? No, but Nimesh, as you saw in the clip above, admitted that it wasn’t good; yet that doesn’t change the fact that if a writer or a journalist is going to take it upon his/herself to QUOTE a comic, they should get that quote 100% right. Sidenote: if I wasn’t at the show, why I am taking Nimesh’s side so easily? A) I’ve heard him say the joke exactly as he quoted it before, thus eliminating any suspicion that he might have revised it in order to respond to this article & B) I have noticed a trend where writers/journalists have a tendency when quoting a comedian’s joke to REWRITE IT; THEREFORE, RUINING WHY THE FUCKING FUCK THE JOKE WAS FUNNY IN FIRST PLACE.
What happened with Nimesh is not an anomaly, folks. It has happened to other comics. It happened to me as a writer decided to either rewrite my joke from memory or tinker with it and then I saw the joke published and I was like, “That shit ain’t funny!” So not only was I upset that my joke was rewritten poorly and now is unfunny, I was livid that the writer had the nerve to put their version of my joke in quotation marks. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a quote is supposed to 100% accurate record of what was stated. It’s supposed to be a fact and not revisionist history. So unless, writers are going up to a comic after his or her set to ask what the wording of a particular joke was, then they damn sure better not to sit down at a keyboard and write “He said,…” and instead, they better write something to the effect of “Gurl, this what I had heard…”. I mean, Breslaw wouldn’t misquote a teacher or firefighter for an article, so why did she think it was okay to do that to a comic, considering a comedian’s words are his/her livelihood and that just like writers (yes, newsflash, comics write their jokes out!), comics believe that specificity and word choice are paramount when conveying a message, especially when the message is supposed to be a funny one.
But what’s more bold than not correctly retelling someone’s joke in article is the second instance of Breslaw’s lie telling. She had the unmitigated gall to make up a conversation she had with the friend Nimesh joked about:
“My friend—the girl he was dating—cringed beside me. Three drinks later, on the train back to Manhattan, she said, “To be honest, it would have been OK with me if it was funny.”
As we heard in Nimesh’s video, he went home with the friend, so how the hell did Breslaw have this convo? I mean this is just shitty journalism, if you can even call it that. And given her first misstep with not accurately quoting someone, her credibility is already strained at this point, so I’m inclined to once again, take Nimesh’s side.
So because of these instances of lying, there are already two strikes against Breslaw before I even get to the crux of her article, which is that dating a comic is like “dating a writer… but worse. And dating writers is fucking awful.” Then she goes on to make broad generalizations to imply that comics are misogynists and have drinking problems. Sure, there are comics who fit those characteristics, but for her to paint it as an across the board fact is just pure laziness. I am a comic, have also dated comics, and have plenty of comedian friends. Some are in NYC and some living in various parts of the country and a lot of them (male and female) are in committed long term relationships or married with children and without a drinking problem. Or if they aren’t in relationships, they’re navigating the dating world like your average 20 or 30-something: going on shitty dates or hooking or chilling at home by themselves when not doing a show. As for me, I’ve been with mah boo almost a year and a half and believe me, if it was a miserable experience, he would have sent me to the left a long time ago. So as Breslaw went onto list her and her friends different dating experiences, all I kept thing is “maybe you guys are the problem.” Her friend Amy dated three comics and all three of these dudes were bad news bears?
It’s plausible those three dudes were crappy, but I think is it’s even more plausible that if someone keeps dating shitty people, then that says way more about them than it does about the people they are romantical with because e’ery woman over the age of twenty-five knows that when she meets someone who she knows ain’t good for her to not do this:
But instead she should recall what she learned during middle school fire safety class: stop, drop, and roll away from the peen:
Ultimately, who you attract and date is, in a lot of ways, a reflection of how you view yourself. So to say that an entire group of people is theworst.com and undateable is the easy way out and allows one to avoid introspection. And I’m sorry, you’re not going to have a good dating experience unless you do the work: get your shit together and call yourself out when you’re fucking up. E’eryone has to do it. My parents had to do it. So did my brother and so did I. And guess what? After doing the work on yourself, you’re still going to encounter shitty people because they are EVERYWHERE, not just in one profession. So it’s about learning to navigate through the crappy prospects like you rummaging through the $10 DVD bin at Walmart and hope that you find something awesome like Coming to America and then you can say to yourself, “How the heck did no one get this yet? All mine!!” Then you’ll be boo’d up. I’m not saying any of this is easy, but if you want easy, then you’re going to end up with horseshit articles like Breslaw’s.
***Please note that shortly after publication of this blog post and Nimesh’s video, Breslaw amended her article to reflect the actual facts and deleted her fabrications. I’m keeping the lies she originally published in this blog post because I think it’s important for writers and journalists to be called out to the carpet when they blatantly misrepresent facts in the hopes of going viral.