The people — mostly women — that filled the Barrymore Theatre wall-to-wall on Sunday night collectively doubled over for two hours when Ilana Glazer compared her HPV to Britney Spears and Phoebe Robinson detailed the ins and outs of eating fried chicken in front of her boyfriend for the first time.
Glazer, most famously one half of the iconic friendship from the Comedy Central hit series “Broad City,” teamed up with Phoebe Robinson, one of two dope queens that host the beloved podcast, “2 Dope Queenz,” to bring us two individual stand-up sets. The duo makes a lot of sense. Together, they host a podcast called “Sooo Many White Guys,” a response to the overwhelming number of white males in comedy. In addition to Robinson and Glazer’s antics and chemistry, it makes a point of featuring guests who are mostly non-white and/or non-males. Both Glazer and Robinson are both brilliant, hilarious women and often use their comedy as a vessel to talk about sexuality, race, womanhood, romance, gender and pretty much anything else.
While feminism’s widespread growth into the mainstream — largely thanks to media like “2 Dope Queenz” and “Broad City” — is an incredible thing, I saw the poster for the tour and felt a bit uneasy. In it, Glazer stands next to Robinson, the brim of her hat reading “Feminist,” over poster text that reads the name of their tour: YQY (Yaaas Queen Yaaas). I love “Broad City” and “2 Dope Queenz” — and generally think both shows do a good job incorporating intersectional feminism into their content — but I think media as a whole warrants a critical discussion of feminism becoming an over-commercialized, over-simplified “brand” in substitute for the multi-faceted, complex ideology and social and political movement it is. I worried: What does it mean to pay to laugh at, be entertained by and celebrate womanhood in a time like this?
It took just a few minutes of the show for my fears to subside. While it’s important to be aware of the work to be done for all kinds of women on all fronts, there’s small but inherent work in the communion of collective female joy. That’s the gift Phoebe and Glazer gave to us. It surpassed being the goofy “brand” of feminism I wrongly worried about and turned into a night of self-care in the form of the laughter and positivity that we all need to keep going, especially right now.
Despite all the impeccable jokes and catharsis of their relatable stand-up sets, one of my favorite moments was actually an unplanned micro-moment unrelated to comedy. They flipped a coin to see which comedian would perform first and, after Glazer won, they cheered for each other and embraced in a genuine hug you’d give to a beloved family member or best friend. It was a small, sweet moment representative of the supportive and communal mood of the entire event and made me thankful for the kind, funny, brilliant women around me who filled the venue and stage.