Trevor Noah Disproves ‘Notion That There Are No Women in Comedy’

Vanity Fair is taking some heat today for unabashedly promoting the boys club that is late night television:

The most pointed critique came from soon-to-be late night host Samantha Bee:

As one of the new faces in late night, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah may have actually made the situation worse when he told Newsweek this afternoon, “I don’t agree with the notion that there are no women in comedy.”

He proceeded to cite specific proof that there are, in fact, female comedians who are actually quite successful:

“I would even argue that women are more powerful than men in comedy right now. If you look at the top comedy actors, Melissa McCarthy by far is killing most of the numbers of other actors. You look at Amy Schumer right now—I would argue that there is no more preeminent voice in comedy. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, their movies coming out…”

Who knew?

The problem, assuming you believe there is one, is on late night TV, which remains as male as ever. But Noah also points to progress in that department:

“Yes, that Vanity Fair cover is all men, which is what it is. But I guess what we need to look at is how is that evolving? The first step in that is you go, OK, there’s two men of color. That’s a big jump. Pretty soon there will be a woman that’ll be added to that. And there will probably be more women, which is gonna be fantastic. And over time, that’ll happen; it’s a conversation that we need to continue having.”

Yes, progress is being made. But as the reaction from Bee and others demonstrates, it has not been nearly fast enough when it comes to women, a point that David Kamp finally gets around to mentioning at the end of his article in Vanity Fair.

“What’s conspicuously missing from late-night, still, is women,” he writes. “How gobsmackingly insane is it that no TV network has had the common sense—and that’s all we’re talking about in 2015, not courage, bravery, or even decency—to hand over the reins of an existing late-night comedy program to a female person?”

New shows from Bee and Chelsea Handler don’t come out until next year. But would it have killed the magazine to include them in the photo shoot?

[Photo via screengrab]

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