Silverman and Schumer. Sufferers of "Boy" envy.

In yesterday's Variety, TV critic Brian Lowry embarrassed himself by revealing not only is he really kind of scared of girls who tell jokes that he considers too ribald for vagina-possessors, but he also demonstrated that he has a real thing for plagiarizing himself.

In a shitty writeup of Sarah Silverman's new special, which he titled "Sarah Silverman's Bad Career Move: Being As Dirty As The Guys," Lowry finds Silverman "maddening" because despite being attractive, she simply refuses to tell the kind of dainty material more suited to a pretty lady with a microphone. Here's how he opened his review:

"Despite all manner of career-friendly gifts – from her looks to solid acting chops – she’s limited herself by appearing determined to prove she can be as dirty and distasteful as the boys..."

The worst part about this review isn't that he's revealing himself to adhere to a sexist double-standard for what men and women should say on stage. It's not that he has such little familiarity with the world of comedy that he doesn't know what an antiquated notion it is to think only "the boys" can tell a pussy joke. It's that the guy is so limited as a writer and a critic that he threw the exact same criticism at Amy Schumer seven months ago.

Here's how Lowry opened his April 24th review of Inside Amy Schumer:

"Like a lot of female comics, Amy Schumer seeks to distinguish herself in part by proving she can be just as filthy as the boys, and other than genitalia, there’s not much to differentiate “Inside Amy Schumer” from countless others [sic] Comedy Central sketch shows featuring guys."

Who are these "boys" he's so obsessed with? Does "the boys" include every male comedian working today? Are Amy and Sarah chasing after dirty "boys" like John Mulaney and Marc Maron, comics who rarely go anywhere near as blue as Sarah Silverman will gleefully. What about Jim Gaffigan? Is he one of the "boys," luring lady-comics to the dark side of talking about their vaginas by stage-whispering about Hot Pockets?

Is Lowry really unable to differentiate this Inside Amy Schumer sketch about women responding to compliments from all those "Comedy Central sketch shows featuring guys?"


Just like a bunch of dudes, right?

And for fuck's sake, what "Comedy Central sketch shows featuring guys" is he talking about? Key and Peele? Kroll Show? I just checked. I don't see any other sketch shows on the network.

According to Lowry, Sarah Silverman should stop doing the act she's been doing for twenty years, which he is certain she's doing solely to keep up with an anonymous collective of filthy-mouthed male comedians whom Lowry affectionately calls "the boys." It's not that he has a problem with girls saying naughty words. According to Lowry, it would simply be a good "career move." Even though Silverman's career was built on that same dirty and boundary-pushing act, a career that's so far yielded her numerous specials and theater runs, and one of the best series ever to appear on Comedy Central. Not to mention a bunch of other industry pleasing IMDB credits I don't need to list here because I'm not writing for a dying entertainment industry rag.

Here's the bottom line, Brian Lowry: you are a TV critic, not a comedy critic. I have no idea if you know anything about TV, but I am certain you know nothing about comedy. That's evident by the fact that you have to Xerox old reviews any time you write up something new from a female comedian. The fact that you don't know "proving she can be just as filthy as the boys" is an outdated, ridiculously condescending cliche proves you should let other people write about comedy. 

Ask your editor to take you off anything to do with standups, especially female standups. It will be to your benefit, so you won't look like such a scared old man being made to blush on his sofa by unladylike language. And it will be to Variety's benefit, since it means they won't have to worry about their desperately clueless writers being forced to recycle their own terrible reviews anymore.

(by Bob Powers)

Sources: Sarah Silverman review | Amy Schumer review