Comedy in DC: She-Ha, Princesses of Power

She-Ha, Comedy that makes up the 25% wage difference with Laughter
She-Ha, Princesses of Power – art by Clay Yount, click to embiggen.

One of the axioms of standup comedy is that it’s a much harder business for women than for men. There are lots of theories floating around about this, usually pointing fingers at SOMEONE’S latent sexism: comedy club audiences, comedy club owners, a society that gives women more family responsibilities than men, etc.  What IS certain is that there are fewer working female standup comics than males, and it’s a shame because there are some damn funny women engaged in this art form.  

She-Ha, Princesses of Power is an all-female lineup appearing next Friday and Saturday at the DC Improv Comedy Lounge, featuring some of my personal favorite superheroines of standup. The show features Erin Jackson, Diana Saez, Aparna Nancherla, Lisa Fine, Leslie Cooley, Kat Wilderotter, Andrea Fuller (Friday), and Jen Wardrop (Saturday).  Having seen Aparna, Lisa, Leslie, and Kat many times around town, I can only tell you to GO. I continue to secretly wish Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would start making noise again just so Aparna can do the bit about Ahmadinejad’s Myspace page some more. So there you have it, these comics are so funny that I’m wishing for an international incident with a potentially nuclear power in the Middle East.

She-Ha, Princesses of Power, will appear at the DC Improv Comedy Lounge on Friday and Saturday, September 19th and 20th, at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $10: buy them through the Improv.

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Flickr 

21 thoughts on “Comedy in DC: She-Ha, Princesses of Power

  1. Well I can certainly vouch for Erin Jackson. She is hilarious. I’ve seen Aparna too and she’s not nearly as funny. In fact she’s just plain awkward and dreadful to watch.

  2. Awkward is painful to watch? Better not tell all those comics who had wildly successful careers built on awkward, character-driven comedy… Steve Martin, Steven Wright, Mitch Hedberg spring immediately to mind.

  3. “awkward is painful to watch” Those aren’t my words, but awkward is painful to watch if the punchlines are weak. That’s the difference in Aparna and great comics like Steve Martin, Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg.

    If you compare her to Erin Jackson or the local comics that you’ve written about there is NO WAY you can honestly say that Aparna is on par with Erin, or Jon Mumma or Jeff Maurer. Sorry, but she’s just not very good.

    Maybe she’s just not my cup of tea, but Erin Jackson is well worth the price of admission. She is great.

    Anyway, enough of that. I really enjoy your site and I appreciate the work that you guys do.

  4. First offs, Aparna is beyond brilliant.

    Seconds, she may very well not be your cup of tea, but what’s the point of saying something mean about her on a community blog? The name of it is “we love dc” not “let’s bash geniuses I don’t understand.”

  5. Jax

    You don’t get it. I almost didn’t post because I didn’t want to respond to the “1″ negative comment…but you asshole Internet critics tend to be heard the most and I don’t want someone logging on to this page and just see your whiney reckless comment smearing my friend and colleague’s name. Aparna is one of the most respected local comics around, male and female. She is respected as a stand-up, as an improviser, and as a writer. You on the other hand are an anonymous coward who has nothing better to do than give negative pub to a show put up by local artists.

  6. If this is the “Jax” that has attempted to perform comedy in the greater DC Metro Area, you have no comedic room to speak about anyone’s talent in the comedy business. You’re like a paper mill telling a piece of shit it smells bad.

  7. Aparna is absolutely hilarious and cool as hell so I’m thinking our friend Jax is just a little jealous.

  8. “oh good, well-earned praise and promotion for something someone worked hard for, i’m gonna slight her!”

    the hell are you thinking, jax?

    i know this is late, and you prob dont want a comments battle, but you did put it out there (for some insane reason).

    are you a comic? i can’t imagine you are, if you have such little sense of what a comment like that can feel like, of the line between criticism and rudeness, and such a narrow, bland view of what’s funny.

    “i don’t have to be a comic to have an opinion!” yeah, well use some common-sense when you express it, or know when not to express it.

    everyone see this show. aparna’s the best on the bill. that’s not just a knee-jerk claim (no offense to the other very talented comics).

  9. Hey folks, just a reminder to look down at the comment policy at the bottom, the over-arching theme of which is: “We reserve the right to remove comments that are abusive, illegal or otherwise offensive to us. We promise not to be capricious, you promise not to be a big fat jerk.”

    More politeness, please, everyone. Jax, this means you, especially.

  10. dear sirs,

    “That’s the difference in Aparna and great comics like Steve Martin, Steven Wright and Mitch Hedberg. ”

    that and about 15+ years experience. maybe the comments are a tad premature. condsidering aparna has only been at it for a few years, i’d say she’s doing fairly well for herself (UNLESSSSS she’s been doing comedy since she was 10 years of age, in that case, Aparna, you are no mitch hedberg, try as you may). if she can stay away from bangin’ heroin or poppin’ oxy, she’ll have a long luxurious career ahead of her.

    “Maybe she’s just not my cup of tea,”
    oh, nevermind. i think you just used a cliche to sum up your point of view and my waste of time.

    good day.

  11. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. Mine is that I think Aparna has real talent, and she’s a good comic. Awkwardness is part of her appeal, but she’s also terribly smart and has a great stage presence. I always enjoy seeing her perform. Comics (female or male) deserve all the credit they can get, because that sh!t ain’t easy. Rock on!

  12. Aparna is one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen! I’m in the same boat as her, only about three years in comedy. Some shows are amazing; some are so horrible the crowd walks away angry at how unfunny you were.
    I’m assuming, Jax, that you became a fan of Mitch Hedburg or Steve Martin from their CDs, like everyone else. It should be noted that they were professional comics, 15-20 years in the business, and at their comedy zenith(essentially). Yes, that’s right, comedians DO grow over time. I have read scores of interviews where the comedian talks about how embarrassingly unfunny they were in their first five years.
    My point is, Aparna is already devastatingly funny NOW and I can only imagine the places her talent will take her from here. She gets some of the most positive fan reaction I have ever seen, and she gets that by striving for originality. She will someday have an army. Humor is subjective and all, but your comments were rude and unnecessary. You could have just said you liked Erin Jackson.

  13. The purpose of the Comedy in DC feature, and indeed the larger purpose of We Love DC, are to talk about what we personally enjoy. As someone who loves comedy, to the point of having taken a few faltering steps into performing it myself, what I’m after here is to encourage people to go out and watch more of it. Instead of spending 10 bucks on whatever warmed-over “I see dead people” crap Hollywood is cramming down our throats this week, spend that 10 bucks on someone putting themselves out there in a very personal way to stand on stage, alone, in front of a roomful of strangers, to tell jokes with no backup.

    It’s okay to not like a comic I feature here. It’s okay to say so, and it’s okay to disagree. But I’m going to ask everyone to avoid going-for-the-throat. Comedy is hard enough. There are 7 comics appearing at She-Ha tonight. Surely you will like some of them.

  14. Okay I KNOW you didn’t just slag Ricky Gervais cuz I would hate to have to lay the smackdown on a friend. Riiiiiiiiiight?

  15. Stop hating on aparna. I mean seriously, she’s so good she gets to go twice a night at most shows.

  16. Is Aparna clever? Sure. Her material is original, but just not filled with very strong punchlines.

    But is she funny? Not so much in my opinion.

    I realize that comedy is subjective and I’m just expressing my opinion. If she is going to be a part of a show where people pay she’s going to have to deal with criticism. Instead of bashing me and defending her you should check out

    I’m not being mean, I’m not attacking her looks, or her style of dress. I am simply pointing out that I do not find her to be as funny as the other comedians featured here.

    I’m basing my opinion on the two times I have seen her. Once was at the Drafthouse comedy contest a few months back. I live in Arlington so I go there a fair amount. On that night she bombed (not horribly but the laughs were minimal).

    I went to a show at the DC Improv earlier this year and she was part of a showcase for something. Erin Jackson was on the show so I decided to check it out. Most of the comedians did well. Aparna BOMBED horribly. She had the worst reaction of everybody on the show. It was abundantly clear that she had no business being on the show.

    If Aparna doesn’t want to read anything that’s not 100% positive and laced with puppies and pumpkin pie then please tell her to turn off her google alerts.

  17. I realize this is days later and maybe no-one will read it. but i just got the net back, so:

    legit criticism: “I am simply pointing out that I do not find her to be as funny as the other comedians featured here.”

    unnecessary rudeness: “she’s just plain awkward and dreadful to watch.” (going out of your way to single her out)

    you asked for the retaliation.