Late night with anyone else


author: annie trussler | op-ed editor

Credit: Derek Steen via Flickr


You didn’t know which John I was talking about, did you? It’s that bad.

No one’s a bigger fan of watching Republicans be torn to shreds on cable television than me; in fact, almost nothing thrills me more, especially when Donny T goes all four-year-old twitter-ballistic. Iconic, truly – there is nothing more 2017. We all know John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon…who do many things, but most importantly, all share the same gender.

Don’t get me wrong, like I said, I take great pleasure in watching the world’s ugliest politicians get eviscerated vis-a-vi expertly crafted jokes in nice suits, but I’ll admit that I find it increasingly unappealing to hear about the plights of the marginalized from the mouths of straight, white men (Trevor Noah being the racial exception).

The message of late-night liberal talk shows are important, they are informative, they are witty, they are often vicious in ways other platforms don’t have the resources to be, but they are glaringly, painfully male (like most things, I say, everyday, even in my sleep).

We all know there is a wealth of funny women in the world: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones to name a few, and still, the face of talk show culture is white, it’s male, it’s heterosexual.

We simply cannot afford to wait for these men to walk in female/queer shoes, because they simply never will; I’m not naïve, I’m not blind to the voices the masses will listen to. Anyone will listen to a man in a button-up than a woman in a smart pantsuit (still bitter). I fully expect there would be a tragically masculine uproar if we suddenly swapped John out for a prominent female presence for a single night.

You didn’t know which John I was talking about, did you? It’s that bad.

These things will take time, as all “what-should-be-obvious” scenarios do. It’s fairly obvious the shit the modern world is enduring will continue to get shittier, and it will triple in magnitude, force, toxicity, and maleness, and lord do we need some funny-ass ladies right about now.

I don’t expect these men to be swapped out, nor do I particularly want that. I want partnerships, I need alliances, I need more guests, and platforms supported by these already extremely powerful leftist men. Rachel Maddow brought forth Trump’s tax returns, and she was torn apart by men, left and right alike, believe it or not, but so much of the “left platform” stands on the suffering of women: young women, old women, women of color, queer women. We’re powerful allies to have, and to be fair, there are more naturally talented women in this world than there are mosquitos. Just, no one listens to us.

It’s too late to salvage history, but “her”-story can be made now. There will be people after us, young women, who will reflect on this god-awful time period, and maybe, just maybe, be able to write essays about the efforts of hilarious women with a voice.





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