This history of the women who make us laugh is “a piercing, smart, and essential read for students and fans of comedy” (Booklist).
“I’m not funny at all. What I am is brave.” —Lucille Ball
The Girl in the Show explores how comedy and feminism have grown hand in hand to give women a stronger voice in the ongoing fight for equality. From I Love Lucy to SNL to today’s rising cable and web series stars, Anna Fields’s entertaining, thoughtful, and candid retrospective combines personal narratives with the historical, political, and cultural contexts of the feminist movement.
With interview subjects such as Abbi Jacobson, Molly Shannon, Mo Collins, and Lizz Winstead as well as actresses, stand-up comics, writers, producers, and female comedy troupes, Fields shares true stories of wit and heroism from some of our most treasured (and underrepresented) artists. Creating a blueprint for the feminist comedians of tomorrow using lessons of the past, The Girl in the Show encourages readers to revel in—and rebel against—our collective ideas of women’s comedy.
“Tracing the modern history of the ways women make us laugh, Anna Fields connects the dots from Mae West to Amy Schumer, from Sophie Tucker to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Fascinating, funny . . . required reading for an era in which all of us—men and women, comedians and fans alike—are discovering how powerful we are when we stand up.” —Mary Elizabeth Williams, author of A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles