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Funny Ladies: The Great Women of Comedy for the Past Century.
A laugh-filled look at, you guessed it, the sassy, sensitive, and sublimely humorous women who have lit up stages, screens, and airwaves, ranging from radio and silent film stars—such as the original Funny Girl Fanny Brice, the side-splitting Marie Dressler, and the groundbreaking Gertrude Berg—right up to Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, and Kate McKinnon. Brief bios and highlights from their material pepper the discussion, which covers writers and performers like Elaine May; stand-ups like Belle Barth, Phyllis Diller, and Joan Rivers; comic actresses like Judy Holliday, Madeline Kahn, and Bette Midler; and stars who weren't necessarily identified as comediennes but nevertheless turned in brilliant comic performances, like Cloris Leachman. And, yes, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, and Whoopi Goldberg are paid their due, as is, though she was never a performer, Algonquin wit Dorothy Parker—née Rothschild. What characterizes these legends is a certain feistiness, given that so many broke through at a time when showbiz was not considered a respectable avenue for women, paralleled by the fact that so few other professional avenues were available. And, indeed, several, if not the majority, of these gifted women are Jewish. The fun is sometimes guessing who is and who isn't. Presented by author & journalist Stephen M. Silverman

Oct 22, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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