Celebrate Black Women in Comedy With VH1's New Documentary, All Jokes Aside
As Women’s History Month comes to an end, VH1 is celebrating the achievements of black women in the world of comedy with a new documentary.
All Jokes Aside: Black Women In Comedy features a host of talented ladies—including Martin’s Tichina Arnold and Insecure‘s Yvonne Orji—discussing how they deal with racism, sexism and the lack of representation in the industry.
“As a black person, it’s hard,” Arnold says. “Black female comedians channel their anger through the comedy. We’re not complainers, which is why I think people put that ‘Angry Black Woman’ tag on us.”
Orji recalls similar obstacles at the beginning of her career.
“I remember when I was starting out at comedy clubs, and without fail a male comic—or just a man in general—would say, ‘Oh, so what’re you doing tonight? Are you doing spoken word? You singing?'” To which Orji would reply, “At the comedy club? ‘Comedy’ being the operative word, sir. Why are you asking me these things?”
Also appearing in All Jokes Aside: Black Women In Comedy are Michelle Buteau, Marie Faustine, Tiffany Haddish, Luenell, April Reign, Amanda Seales, Sasha Stewart, Sydnee Washington and Debra Wilson. Together they speak on the the ups and downs of practicing their craft.
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Following the documentary’s release, VH1 held a live panel discussing diversity and black women in entertainment with host Franchesca Ramsey and guests Buteau, Ellen Cleghorne, Azie Dungey and Naomi Ekpergin.
Watch all of the great moments from the panel here.