Comédie, Egalité, Sororité

Marcel Lucont offers a personal, Gallic perspective on the sexism in comedy debate

While the debate rages once again about women in comedy, with reference to the Chortle and Funny Women awards, it seems to have almost gone unnoticed that I, a French man, have once again been omitted from both of these awards.

While Chortle editor Steve Bennett's reportage of the judging process makes interesting reading, in fact all he has achieved here is to highlight the fact that not a single judge on either side is French.

Such an obvious bias is something I have come to expect while wowing the UK's comedy clubs with my prowess and Gallic insights these past four years, especially from a website with "" in its title. However it is mainly the Funny Women Awards with  which I have beef (French beef).

It is my belief that the definition of a woman goes beyond 'a being with breasts and a vagina,' and anyone who debates this is clearly the worst kind of sexist. And yet, without fail, I have been denied entry to these awards year after year, despite a very clear reasoning for my inclusion.

On one year's application I stated that I had previously identified as a woman in the past, although being new to the country at the time my English was still far from perfect, and I believe it may have read ‘was previously identified by a woman.’ Such a grammatical error from an international applicant would, one might hope, be overlooked by the organisers of what claims to be a progressive contest.

SImilarly, my intended phrase on a subsequent  form a year later: ‘Once used to be a woman’ should not have left me without a place in a heat simply due to my omission of the words ‘to’ and ‘be’ in that sentence.

And, only last year, I used my new-found grasp of alliteration in the English language to form the phrase ‘firmly fond of funding feminism,’ which somehow made its way onto the application form as  ‘fucked a former finalist’.

As for the Chortle Awards, I have evidently not slept with the correct judges once again.

What we appear to have from both parties are grapes so sour that they could be made into English 'wine'.

I intend to protest against both awards by staying at home and 'awarding' myself. However, if any women wish to 'explore their funny side' chez moi, you are welcome to come and do so (for €20 an hour)...

Published: 29 Feb 2012

Today's comedy-on demand picks


Australian comic Yianni Agisilaou takes a romp through the glory days of the animated comedy. Previously performed at festivals, and now streamed via Zoom, the show asks whether an obsessive knowledge of the world's longest running cartoon embiggen one's understanding or is that unpossible?

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... including the latest Mark Thomas show and the next Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Domestique.

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