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The Many Mrs. Maisels – The History of Jewish Female Stand-Up Comedians

March 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Before The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, there was a long history of Jewish female comedians, standing up and speaking out. Although stand-up comedy is often described as a ‘boys’ club,’ the truth is that there have always been influential women on the scene. Alongside Jewish male comics like Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, Jack Benny, and Jerry Seinfeld, there were pioneering Jewish female stand-ups like Jean Carroll, Joan Rivers, Totie Fields, and Sarah Silverman, offering their inimitable insights on the experience of being a Jew—and a woman—in the United States. From tackling double standards to deflating stereotypes like the “Jewish American Princess,” Jewish female stand-up comedians have made major contributions to the way that American audiences have seen Jewish women—and the way that Jewish women have seen themselves.

Presented by Grace Overbeke, assistant professor in the theatre department at Columbia College. Her academic focus is in comedy studies and has been published in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Theatre Topics, Theatre Annual, The New England Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Studies in American Humor, and The Jewish Forward. She holds a BA in theatre and English from Wesleyan University and an MA and PhD. from Northwestern University in theatre and drama.

The Faye Sigman Woman of Valor Lecture is made possible by the generosity of the Taxman and Temkin families.

This is a hybrid event with both an in-person and virtual option. Free but registration required at https://wisconsin-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MA66E_0MQU2q8Ftf05k99g#/registration

Cosponsored by UWM’s Departments of English and Women’s and Gender Studies; and programs in Digital Arts and Culture; Film Studies; and Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies