Whitney Cummings Says Comedians Have Become the Enemy

Maybe positioning comedy as ‘emotional sex work’ can help?
Whitney Cummings Says Comedians Have Become the Enemy

Whitney Cummings went all Pogo over the weekend, declaring, “I have seen the enemy, and he is us.” “Us,” in this case, is Cummings and comedians in general, as “over the past couple of years, comedy has taken quite a hit,” she told Page Six. Society is dealing with its own issues right now, and apparently, it no longer wants comedy’s help. “It’s usually our job to comment on and confront, and all of a sudden, comedians started becoming like the enemy.”

You can probably guess Cummings’ examples: Chris Rock telling an innocent alopecia joke and getting slugged at the Oscars. Chappelle rushed onstage during last year’s Netflix is a Joke festival. Taking on “sensitive subjects” used to be in the comedy job description, Cummings argues, all in the service of helping everyone “cope and to laugh at horrible things.” But something shifted. “All of a sudden for a litany of reasons, people started saying, ‘Comedians are bullies and they’re causing violence,’ and we’re like, ‘Wait, what?'” How is it, she wonders, that comics are the bullies but they’re the ones getting chased around the stage?

Cummings isn’t taking the situation lying down. To increase understanding between comedians and the normals, she’s launching a new series, Whitney Cummings Presents, on free-to-stream OFTV. (Yep, that’s OnlyFans TV, the new, non-nudie brand extension as OnlyFans continues its baffling attempt to break into comedy — Cummings announced another OF project late last year that doesn’t appear to be running, so maybe this is taking its place?)

The show will feature Cummings talking to top-name comedians — well, Dan Levy (we’re pretty sure it’s not the Schitt’s Creek one) and Bob the Drag Queen — about the process of creating comedy. It’s a concept familiar to anyone who’s listened to the dozens of comics-talking-to-comics podcasts out there. Any prospective guests can breathe easy, though — Whitney Cummings Presents aims to be “a space where comedians don’t have to be scared anymore … so we can be the country that at least we’ve been trying to be.” Hey, somebody has to save America.

Anyone put off by watching a comedy show on OnlyFans? Get over it, says Cummings. “My thing is always follow the sex workers,” she explains, a sentiment embraced by several stand-up comics over the years. “That’s what comedians have always done. We’ve always been hand-in-hand with sex workers. Stand-up in America really started in strip clubs, and you know comics are kind of emotional sex workers.”  

Describing Rock’s Selective Outrage special as emotional sex work? Suddenly, comedy is making sense again.

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