On Laughter and Labor: Putting Funny in Your Workflow
It goes without saying that we’re big believers in the daily grind. And working your butt off. And keeping your head in the game, honing that laser-like focus so you can disrupt the status quo, etc., etc. Of course we are. But between taking twenty-seven “generals” in a week, negotiating that pay raise, voluntarily waking up early so you can run before your workday starts, and then attending your friend’s art opening after you get off, it can all start to feel like a lot. And while no one needs to be reminded that stress does a number on you physically, mentally and emotionally, it can be tough to break out of that intense cycle.
Which is why you need to make sure you’re laughing, girlboss. Not only is it, y’know, fun, but it’s vital to counteracting the inevitable side effects of stress. Naturally, we recommend starting with burp queens Sophia and Liz on Girlboss Radio each week. But after you devour that, we’ve compiled some of our favorite recent discoveries from some of the funniest women around. They’ll crack you up, first and foremost, but amidst all those endorphins floating around, you also can’t help but be inspired by their remarkable talent and achievements. Call it research, R&R, whatever you want—but go ahead and let that dopamine loose, lady; you deserve it and you need it.
ON THE PAGE:
- The woman inside Inside Amy Schumer: Executive producer and head writer Jessi Klein lays it all out in her essay collection You’ll Grow Out of It, which hit the shelves last week. Much in the same way of the TV show, Klein plays to the contradictions that make us human; yeah, she’s brilliant and she’s won two Emmys for her work on a massively successful subversive feminist TV show, but that doesn’t stop her from hate-loving Gywneth, hate-loving The Bachelor, or obsessing over the lifestyle Anthropologie thinks we should all be living. Irreverent, frank and laugh-out-loud funny, her comedian and writer peers have been vouching for this book like crazy, and it’s no wonder why. Highly recommended for anyone who’s been a little bit in love with their therapist. Watch the book trailer (starring Klein and Nick Kroll) here.
- She’s just a (very funny) person. Tig Notaro had a terrible year in 2012; in a four-month period, she was hospitalized for C. diff, her mother passed away suddenly, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A few days after her cancer diagnosis, she went on stage and delivered a gut-wrenchingly raw (and yet still hilarious) stand-up set that has now become the stuff of legend. I’m Just a Person, which came out last month, dives deep into that year and Notaro’s life leading up to it. As you might expect, the book wields a heft and seriousness that can’t be shorn from Notaro’s experiences, but she also can’t help but be her brilliant comedic self. Bonus: This NPR interview where she talks about how her mother used the screws from her foot surgery for olive garnishes in martinis when she entertained at home.
ON THE WEB:
- Three weeks after the fact, we’re still not over The Toast closing. Co-founded by Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe, the Toast was a feminist, weird, no-rules hub chock full of hilarious hyper-specific oddities (like this commentary piece “This Guy on an Old Harry Potter Forum Says Dumbledore Is a Time-Traveling Ron Weasley and I Want to Hear Him Out,” for example) mixed in with poignant, provocative, smart essays. It lasted for three far-too-brief years, and the only thing that is remotely comforting at this point is the notion that after the following they built, Ortberg and Cliffe surely must have some new and exciting projects in the works. In the meantime, the archives are still around. Here are a handful of whack pieces of Internet greatness to get you started if you’re unfamiliar:
If Channing Tatum Were Your Boyfriend
This piece of fanfic about being Louis C.K.’s ex-wife
If Justin Bieber Were My Terrible, Golden Son
Texts from Jane Eyre (which spawned a whole book by Ortberg)
This take on the de-cluttering phenomenon
- Put a Meryl on it. There’s not much to explain about the @tasteofstreep Instagram feed, which is exclusively Meryl Streep photoshopped onto/into various foods. No explanation. Just pure enjoyment.
ON THE SCREEN:
- Snake bite: It’s been a few months since Ali Wong’s standup special Baby Cobra came out on Netflix, but we’re gonna hammer this one home ICYMI, because it’s that good. The comedian and writer for Fresh Off the Boat, who, at the time of filming, is 7.5 months pregnant, gets frank on all the important topics: pooping at work, racism, the secret to trapping dudes (something she takes very seriously), retirement goals and vaginal lubrication. In other words, nothing is off limits. Here’s a sneak peek of her best girlboss advice: “You want to be a grown-ass woman? Stop dating skaters. Stop dating skaters unless you want to wake up on a mattress in a kitchen. They're sexy on the outside, malt liquor on the inside. Horrible."
- The best worst people: The second season of Difficult People, starring Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner, premiered last week on Hulu, and with it comes another season of the best friends acting out all your indulgent pop-culture thoughts and petty impulses so that you don’t have to; aside from being hilarious, the show is cathartic as all get out (mommy issues! Twitter drama! So many one-night stands!). In addition to creating and starring in the show (which is produced by none other than Amy Poehler), Klausner is also the author of the very funny book I Don’t Care About Your Band and hosts the grab-bag comedy podcast How Was Your Week?, both of which possess Klausner’s special brand of pop-culture skewering/adoration.