Just Funny Archives - GOLD Comedy

Secret Santa: Comedy Writing Edition

When it’s holiday time at GOLD, we do Secret Santas. When we do Secret Santas at GOLD, we do Satire Secret Santas! How it worked: Santas gave Santees a satirical Reductress-style headline, and Santees had to write an article on that headline. The results: Fa-la-la-HAAHHAHAHHA! See just some of the fun below.


Woman Smells Pine Candle Every 30 Minutes To Make Sure She Doesn’t Have Covid

[headline by Kelly Kenlon, article by Saloni Nayek]

An 80-year-old woman, Justina Beiber, was found smelling pine candles to protect herself from the coronavirus. Several neighbors have reported that she “doesn’t believe in traditional medicine because it’s all a scam.” She prefers to give that candle ”a good ol’ sniff to keep the buggers away.” She has been smelling the candle every thirty minutes for the past five months so the pine’s healing properties will accumulate in her respiratory system in preparation for her husband’s visit during the holidays. She states, “People got cooties! You never know what they’re carryin’ around these days.”

The candle appears to be the Bee and Willow Home Crushed Evergreen Pine (Purchase it right here! We will earn a small commission).

After researching Justina’s history further, scientists at Stanford University found that she had bought her local grocery store’s entire watermelon supply to protect herself from Ebola. She has also been very active on “anti-vaxxer mommy gang” and “hatedontvaccinate,” exclusive invite-only networks for parents against the vaccination of their children.

Reporters are unable to reach Justina’s children because they have been hospitalized. No one knows why.


New Study Finds Covid-19 Spikes Follow Excessive Consumption of Mashed Potatoes

[headline by Leah Laird, article by Kelly Kenlon]

A recent study found that 88% of people have turned to potatoes in this time of crisis. The other 12% are still in denial that this year even happened at all. “You know, when quarantine started, I didn’t know what to do,” says regular potato eater and generally stressed-out person Bethany Patterson, “I got really into the idea of space, because I wanted to be anywhere but here. It sounded beautiful to be in a place where there is nothing. Where I could scream and my family wouldn’t get mad at me.”

“Naturally, I found myself watching Star Wars, Interstellar, The Martian, etc. I was particularly inspired by The Martian and Mark Watney’s character and the way he actually just survives off of only potatoes. I saw that and I thought: I wanna do that.”

As we know, potatoes are an extremely versatile vegetable that can be had for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Especially in a global health crisis where there are no rules. Bethany states, “I even went so far as to grow them in my front yard! My family doesn’t talk to me anymore, but I don’t care because potatoes are more important to me at this time.”

Different ways of making potatoes are used for different moments in life. For example, mashed potatoes are for when you’ve been crying for 72 hours, or when you really want a hug, but don’t want to risk death.

All of these recent studies seem to be pointing to the same basic idea that mashed will win the potato race when there is a pandemic. Mashed potatoes are the food equivalent of a weighted blanket. They will engulf you as you engulf them. They will leave you unable to move from your bed, couch or floor because you just put on 15 pounds. Need I say more?

25 funny things to do during quarantine

By Kaitlin Goldin

Let’s face it: as we inch toward month four of quarantine, life is getting real boring, real fast. You’ve watched every Oscar-winning film in history AND all 89 seasons of Gilmore Girls (again), you’ve heard the weird aunt you’re trapped inside with tell her “Did I tell you how I almost met George Clooney?” story every single day, and you’ve tossed your knitting project into your sourdough starter. Although some businesses are slowly opening up, camp is down the drain for the summer, and school/work are still up in the air for the fall. The day-to-day is a big huge drag (and not the RuPaul variety).

But hope is not lost! Fight your cabin fever by diving into the world of comedy, where there is always something new to keep you laughing. Why not use some of the waaaaay too much free time you have to replenish your Vitamin C(omedy)? Here are 22 things to do to help you find the funny this extra special summer. 

  1. While your family is out on a walk, decorate inside for Halloween or Christmas decorations. Holidays are fun, and time is a flat circle!
  2. Halloween alt: Haunt your house by leaving creepy notes in the steam on your mirror, flickering the lights, and moving objects from across the room with invisible string. 
  3. Play this hilarious Press Briefing drinking game. Or, if the kids are around, play a game of Press Briefing Bingo.
  4. Paint one wall in your room lime green so that your Zoom background is flawless.
  5. Perfect the family recipe as proof that you could be your parents’ favorite child if you really tried. 
  6. Start a cult. Everyone is looking for connection right now! 
  7. Cope with your loneliness by drawing a face onto anything that looks remotely human. Your light switch. Your ceiling fan. Your child (wait…). 
  8. Turn your home into a capture the flag war zone. Divide your family up into teams with themed names like Lysol vs. Clorox or Fauci vs. The World. Bonus points for costumes. 
  9. Hold a pie- or hot-dog-eating competition over Zoom or with your fellow prisoners. These are now socially acceptable activities for any day of the week, according to me.
  10. Play an online version of Cards Against Humanity with a group of friends PLUS one wild card (Grandpa Howard). 
  11. Invent a new cocktail (or mocktail) and get your family to guess the formula. Extra credit: Do Hippy Hippy Shake
  12. Join the always funny folks at Second City online for drop-in improv classes. 
  13. Take the time to master a cool party trick, like making a flute out of a straw or applying lipstick with no hands like Molly Ringwald. Mine is being able to recite 100 digits of pi, so I’ve already taken the coolest one. Sorry. 
  14. Start your own podcast, like so many funny ladies before you. Listen to 2 Dope Queens or My Favorite Murder to get your creative juices flowing. 
  15. Double down on the comedy intake by reading one of these memoirs by badass female comedians.
  16. Borrow crayons, paint, and glitter glue from the kid of the house and create abstract art. See if anyone can tell the difference between your creation and what is on the MoMA website. 
  17. Play dress up with your pets. They can only hate you for it so much. 
  18. Make yourself cry a little bit by virtually riding all the Disneyland rides
  19. Have a friend talk you through a blind makeover. 
  20. Tune into Comedy Quarantine to end your day with a laugh and to support comedians whose performances were canceled due to the virus. 
  21. Go down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. Search the first thing that comes to mind, then continue clicking links to new pages until you somehow end up reading about the correct orientation for toilet paper. (Yep, that entry exists!)
  22. Call up your grade school rival and bask in how far you’ve come.
  23. Create a hilarious display in your window or on your lawn to entertain your neighbors. Check out @themoorbears on Instagram for inspiration. 
  24. Write funny notes to the people in your house, then stick the notes somewhere they won’t be found for a while (like in the final pages of your brother’s book, or in the toe of your roommate’s ~sexy stilettos~). Who knows when the surprise will strike? 
  25. Learn to write and perform standup comedy (you can do standup online!) with GOLD’s online class (and community, and events, and open mics, and Q&As with celebs, and more!). Being cooped up with family, we all have a lot of material to work with. Now’s the perfect time to find your funny. 

What’s been making you laugh during quarantine? Tweet @GoldComedy to spread the funny!

Kaitlin Goldin is a writer, theatermaker, and storyteller studying at Brown University. During her time inside, she’s been writing her first full-length play, taking a stab at stand up comedy, teaching a class on comedy and politics, and banging her head against a wall. You can find her on Instagram at @kaitlingoldin. 

Black Lives Matter

I founded GOLD Comedy to help make sure that girls get taken seriously. Some people say our purpose is “empowering” teen girls, but there’s more to it.


Girls already have their own power. It’s on everyone else to respect that. 


So really it’s more about (let’s call it) “de-empowering” everyone else. That’s the kind of cultural and structural change I’m really talking about.  That kind of change needs to happen in the comedy world, which—not coincidentally, like the world-world—is (despite obvious progress) still structured from the ground up to privilege and promote straight cis white men. 


That kind of change requires more than just—for one thing—not telling (or sharing) racist jokes. (Though that’s obviously imperative.) It means telling (and sharing) anti-racist jokes, especially if you’re white. It means not just opening doors for comics of color and everyone else outside what’s still the norm. It means breaking them down and building new ones.


Comedy—as content and business—is too often a tool for normalizing, perpetuating, and promoting violence, racism, and racist violence. But the reason we’re here is that comedy can also be a force for good, even stronger than a balm or a break. (“The best medicine” is a cure for COVID-19.)


Comedy, handled right, provokes and demands new ways of thinking, helps shift the standards of what’s acceptable (and what’s not). Comedy (and comics) (especially white comics) (and white industry gatekeepers) really can do their part to help drive—both slowly and as seismically as we’re seeing right now—the kind of structure and culture change required to ensure that black lives matter.  


This is almost literally the least we can do, but it is important to follow and share the anti-racist work of comedians of both color and of, shall we say, pallor. A teeny tiny sampling of some who may not yet be on your radar: Ted Alexandro, Kerry Coddett, Sarah Cooper, Ayo Edebiri, Negin Farsad, Jena Friedman, Ziwe Fumodoh, Akilah Hughes, Dwayne Kennedy, Leighann Lord, Zahra Noorbakhsh, Jeff Simmermon, Elsa Eli Waithe, WellRED Comedy (Trae Crowder, Corey Ryan Forrester, Drew Morgan), Kristina Wong. (Tag @goldcomedy on Instagram or Twitter with other recommendations!)


Also, I recommend following and supporting Teens4Equality. It’s the group that organized Nashville’s recent15,000-person #BLM in five days, founded by six teen girls. Told you they had power. 

Lizzo Would Not Be Your Friend, Sry

It’s funny how the same girls who made me want to eat seven almonds a day in high school are now screaming “Truth Hurts” at the club. And while I’m happy for their growth, to them and others I have to say: I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% convinced that Lizzo would not be your friend. Sry. 

Lizzo has many friends. For example, Megan the Stallion, who occasionally twerks to Lizzo’s flute accompaniment. If you have ever made me feel bad about having a second slice of pizza at the office, you’re not one of them. If the phrase “intermittent fasting” has come out of your mouth in the past week, you are not one of them either. And if you recently contributed to an article about how Brandy Melville’s clothing is “cute”–despite being the fact that they employ anorexic waifs who could take the SAT for each other without being caught–it is safe to say that you are currently not, and will never be, Lizzo’s friend. 

This announcement does not bring me any joy, and I’m sorry to be the one to make it. But there are probably other friends out there for you, like Louis C.K., or anyone who wears Lululemon leggings as a fashion statement. 

As the personal manager of Lizzo’s goodwill, I’d like to draw attention to the fact that there are not only individuals but whole companies that are trying to be Lizzo’s friend. Why else would they refuse to hire people who are black or fat or at that intersection, and yet feature Lizzo on a cover? Why else would they flung out Lizzo Instagram stories with the desperation of desert vultures in the past couple of weeks, while refusing to practice what they preach on the daily? They could be jumping on fake-woke bandwagon. They could be attempting to use Lizzo’s name to distract from their general exclusivity. Or–and this is far more likely–they crave Lizzo’s personal attention. Her fluffy arms, enveloping them into a hug when Mike “wants to open the relationship.” Her presence beside them on the couch, while they cry to her about Mike.

This will not happen. 

And so, to these companies, I would like to get this out there: you do NOT have a chance of befriending Lizzo. I highly doubt that Lizzo would ever meet you for a morning covefe, much less for an hour-long vinyasa yoga session. If you ask me, I don’t think Lizzo would even hold your hair back while you throw up. She might, however, jerk your entire head into the toilet bowl. 

You may be wondering if I’ve ever talked to Lizzo. And the answer is no. However, I have it on good authority that Lizzo would specifically reject your attempts at friendship. In fact, she would rather choke on the 85-carat diamond necklace she wore to the 2019 VMA’s. If she ever sat on you in one of her

I’m not here to point fingers, or be snarky, or to make you feel bad about yourself. I’m just here to announce that if you have engaged in the hypocritical behaviors I talked about earlier, you specifically are an asshole and I’m pretty fucking sure that Lizzo probably wouldn’t even friend you back on Facebook. She wouldn’t even delete your friend request–she would probably just leave you hanging for years and years, until Facebook ceases to be profitable and shuts down, pumping the data they have mined for years into another, sexier platform. On which she would continue to ignore your attempts to reach out. The last polar ice cap will melt before Lizzo gives you any attention: personally, virtually, or in whatever other dimension emerges in the next centenium. 

To all the fat-shamers who are obsessed with being obsessed with Lizzo for clout, I am here to announce that you most definitely do not have the juice. Of all the friends that will cross your path in your lifetime, Lizzo will not be one of them. Neither will I. 

Romaissaa Benzizoune is from New York City and from-from Morocco. Her writing has appeared in outlets including BuzzfeedMcSweeney’s, and The New York Times

How to write a funny protest sign

Right now, everyone’s mad about something. And during a time of high-visibility, ultra-Instagrammed civic engagement, we have more opportunities than ever to amplify our infuriated opinions.


You only have one piece of poster board to make your point, and you want to hit home.

This is about getting a laugh—and it’s about using humor to make a serious point.

But what makes for a funny and powerful protest sign? Let’s look at what makes these signs hilarious and important, and talk about how you can be not just bitter — but better.


Be passionate (but open to understatements).


If you’re thinking of going to a protest, but you feel so lukewarm about it that you’re tempted to carry an anti-protest sign, think again. That’s a dick move. Unless you’re counter-protesting – which should ignite equally passionate feelings – there’s no reason to show up just to yuck someone’s yum.

Here’s an exception missed by the people who made the post I linked to above: If your “lukewarm” sign is deliberately ironic, understated for comic effect, and/or flat-out sarcastic. For instance, this lady, from that article:

That’s not the face of a someone who’s “a little upset.” That’s the face of a woman who has brought home the bacon, fried it up in the pan, and gives zero f*cks if you feel like a man at this point. If you want to harness the power of sarcasm, think of the thing you would love to SCREAM at people. Then, think of how you would dial that all the way back to where it’s totally ludicrously understated. For instance:

At a rally for DREAMers: “Please let my friends’ parents stay here to actually parent them.”

At a protest against bullfighting: “This is bull.”

At a demand to take down confederate statues: “Didn’t these guys lose the war?”


You see what I mean.


Go big. Comedy is about being genuine, and then exaggerating—taking your point to the max. Things just aren’t bad, or hellish, they are almost literally HELL, says this woman:

Use comparisons. This is one of GOLD’s own  5.5 types of jokes! This girl’s sign is hilarious, awful, and true. By comparing dress codes to guns, she’s highlighting their ridiculous nature. What’s more is she’s actually raising two important issues instead of one: girls’ dress codes and gun control. Comparisons are great for multifaceted protesting—and for, you know, being funny.


This is where corny works.

I’m not usually pro-puns. Used wrong, they can be so corny they make you cringe. However, when you’re working with a fortune-cookie-sized message, you have to employ whatever will work in a small space. Be punny, rhyme like the wind, indulge your inner dad.

Use your age. It’s funny when kids swear. It just fucking is. Also, kids are usually more observant than adults — we’re not so cynical, and we care a lot about the world around us, despite the stereotype of the bored and angsty teenager. Take your unique point-of-view and apply it to comedy! This kid probably has uttered the words “I’d rather die than go to math class”. That’s something kids say. They don’t usually follow it up with calling people a-holes. That’s the punch. Solid.

Gillian Rooney is a teenage American comedian and writer based in Connecticut. 



“How are your college applications going?” And 4 other questions to never, ever ask your niece at the dinner table

I have always imagined the summer before my senior year of high school would be exactly like Grease. I would spend my days soaking up sun at the beach, at some point falling in love with a beautiful boy from another country, all the while maintaining my perfect hair, body, and makeup. It is now, however, quite clear to me that Sandy did not have a cell phone or a high-powered mom, because my days are mostly tied up with text messages about getting groceries, bringing the car to the car wash, and every rising senior’s favorite questions: How are college applications coming along? Have you emailed the X College rep yet about visiting? When are you going to sign up for your SAT?

I and every other senior do not need the stress acne brought on by the same forced and uncomfortable college conversations with everyone we meet, so I’ve decided to save myself and all others in my position a trip to the dermatologist by writing out all the questions we need blacklisted. To every nosy aunt, well-meaning younger brother, and unrelated adult just trying to “connect with the youth”: Please spare us applicants the unwanted dinner-table small-talk and take a close read here before asking any questions related to college, the application process, and/or our future. (Any questions you want to ask about me that are not on said list may be directed to my secretary, a.k.a. my thirteen-year-old brother who also has no time for your b.s.)

How is the application process going?

There are two types of seniors: those whose tiger parents forced them not to get a job this summer so that they could have more time to sit alone in their dark room tearing their hair out over the 13th supplement about “why X University,” and those who actually have a life. I personally have not made myself a Common App account, and this question is only going to remind people like me that they are losing the college process. The tiger children, on the other hand, see this question as the reason that their eye will never stop twitching. To be safe, stay away from this one at all costs.

What schools are you looking at?

I will personally give $10 to any person who has asked this question out of genuine interest, because every time I’m rattling off my list to someone I can see their eyes glaze over until I name their alma mater. They will then go on a rant about how [insert elitist university here] is such a wonderful community and truly understands the meaning of deep learning. To every person who has subjected me to such a monologue: Your name has been added to a loooong list of people who will not be receiving my holiday card come December.

What school is your first choice?

Based on acceptance rates, every senior knows that by answering this question, they’re most likely setting themselves up for a bunch of “I’m sorry” phone calls around decision time. Instead, I think people should start asking prospective students about the top choice schools of their worst enemies, so then when decisions come out the whole family can have fun basking in the beautiful warmth of karma.

What’s your major going to be?

This one comes mostly from my family members. I used to answer it honestly, telling people that I am interested in a lot of subjects but that I ultimately want to do something related to storytelling, until I realized that the only reason such family members are asking is because they want to ensure that someone will be able to pay their nursing home and medical bills while their own children are off “finding themselves” (read: smoking weed on a beach in Thailand). I now tell them something like finance or econ, which is of course every seventeen-year-old’s dream. Long story short, teenagers are going to tell you whatever they think will end the conversation fastest, so why waste anyone’s time with the chit chat?

I know a girl at X University who is exactly like you! Do you want me to connect you two?

Every time someone’s offered this I end up having an awkward brunch with a four-foot tall pre-med who is so high strung that she tears out bits of her own eyebrows, and the only similarity between us is that we both look vaguely Jewish. So thanks, but no thanks. If I wanted to meet other people of my ethnicity, I’d just call up any Hollywood executive.

Now, you may be wondering, what questions are fair game to ask teens? Pretty much anything else, besides whose alcohol you found in their closet or which suitor you saw sneaking out their bedroom window. But when it comes to college, let us come to you.

Got any college-question horror stories? Tweet us @GOLDComedy!

Kaitlin Goldin is a student, writer, performer, and devout McJew based in the Bay Area.

How to ride a bike – the exam

Sure, you could share the road and stay safe. But how is that even a workout?

Hello, and welcome to Rules Of The Road For Cyclists. I’m Dr. Eva-Belle Ringer, Ph.D, and I would like you all to call me “doctor” because after fourteen years of teaching driver’s ed, and then being laid off and replaced by an app, I really need a boost.

In this class, we will learn how to properly ride a bicycle in public so that motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians all remain safe. This is my 33rd class this week because, evidently, following the rules of the road is as difficult as pulling on stockings over just-lotioned legs. I should know — I attempted to do that this morning, which is why I’m 50 minutes late.

But enough about my morning routine. If you’d like to forgo this week-long course in favor of testing out by taking this quick final exam, then go nuts. I get paid regardless. But remember, you must get every question right or the fine folks at the DMV will send a representative to your place of residence, chain your bike to a flatbed truck, and throw both truck and bike into an enormous furnace. Typically, this representative is myself, wearing a skull cap and dungarees, and I get paid for that regardless too. Ready? Here goes:

Where can you ride your bike?

  1. On the street.
  2. On the sidewalk, going 24 miles per hour amongst the baby strollers that are probably clocking 0.0001 miles per hour, the little babies.

At night, while riding your bike, what colors and type of clothing are appropriate?

  1. Bright colors and any clothing that is reflective.
  2. Anything from your Goth phase or a black deep-sea diving suit.

Do you make a right turn in front of a moving vehicle?

  1. No.
  2. Yes, because nothing can hurt me when I’m “in the zone” — not even a half-ton tow truck.

A stop sign and a red light both mean what?

  1. Stop.
  2. Keep going, enter traffic, and plow headfirst into a city bus.

Should you alert pedestrians and vehicles of your presence by ringing a bell?

  1. Yes.
  2. No. I prefer to blindside both pedestrians and vehicles. It goes without saying, I love lengthy hospital stays, months of physical therapy, and filing lawsuits. (I get paid regar- … you know what? You passed. See you at the bike rack.)

MELINA SAINT THUNDERDOME is a graduate of Second City’s Sketch Comedy Writing program. @melinasaintthunderdome

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Crouching weirdos, hidden fencing

As a young girl, with an ambitious, athletic and empowered mother, I was signed up for many sports classes. I soon found out, through softball, soccer, basketball, even gymnastics, that I wasn’t coordinated, fast, competitive, or even flexible. I would pout on the way to practices, count down the minutes of games, and await with anticipation the end-of-season pizza parties which would inevitably reward 6 weeks of hanging on for dear life. Which is how, at the end of a very long list of possible athletic talents, I came to rest my sights on fencing.

Fencing is a weird sport to talk about. First of all, chances are, people won’t even know what it is. All too often, well-meaning moms or, more frequently, dads, will assume I’m building literal white picket fences. I’ll save you the trouble: not even close.

To speed things along, here’s how Wikipedia describes it: “Fencing is a sport in which two competitors fight using ‘rapier-style’ swords, called the foil, the épée, and the sabre; winning points are made through contact with an opponent.” It’s a pretty basic concept, but the long, awkward conversations in which I have to find multiple ways to describe it to confused and regretful houseguests (see: Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party) say otherwise.

The next reaction, usually delivered in that high-pitched, condescending tone that teenagers all know and hate, is, “that’s so cooool!” Adults, just because it isn’t football or soccer doesn’t mean you get to squeal different synonyms for the word “unique” at us.  We’re fencers, not unicorns. My problem isn’t even the forced excitement, it’s the unwillingness to admit that you have nothing else to say on the subject. There are painfully few people who know enough to ask about weapons, or new rules, or their favorite fencers, and even fewer who care enough to ask about anything at all. Adults need to get their shit together when it comes to fencing.

That said, “unique” might be the kindest description of fencers. I knew I was in for it when I saw that was about the most socially adept person in the gym. We fencers are — there’s no other way to put it — an odd bunch. Most high school varsity sports hold the promise of their players being considered cool, or at least cool-adjacent. Fencing, not so much. Let me put it this way: most of the school is unaware that a fencing team even exists, because, even if you’re in it, you don’t advertise it.

So what is so weird? First things first: in high school sports, looks matter. Football wouldn’t look half as badass (not that it is) as it does without the muscle-padding protective gear. In fencing, though, our masks are more reminiscent of fly eyeballs. The head-to-toe white canvas jackets and pants make us look like Renaissance knight paper dolls. In addition, fencing is the sporting world’s island of misfit toys. Sure there are some ‘real’ athletes, but most are like me- kids who couldn’t hack it in more ~mainstream~ sports. In fact, it’s even a perk sometimes to be gangly and oddly thin- more wingspan, less target area for an opponent to hit. Overall, our already-mostly-poor social skills don’t quite get developed at the same rate- it’s a pretty individual thing, just you and your opponent. All in all, we’re all pretty much some degree of weirdo, although we technically fall under the ‘varsity athlete’ umbrella.

That being said, my fellow weirdos are irreplaceable. Without all the external pressure from a cutthroat sport (like Connecticut soccer, the white-boy sport to end all white-boy sports), our teammates can actually become friends, close friends, rather than just competitors. Some of my closest friends are my team members, and if the price we pay for keeping the team sacred is listening to ignorant adults and snotty kids talk about how “special” it is, then we’ll gladly take that. We wouldn’t trade fencing for anything in the world.

Five things you SHOULD say to a teenage fencer:

  1. What’s your weapon? This demonstrates interest without making you sound completely clueless to the person you’re talking to. Chances are, they’re pretty passionate about their weapon and will be more than happy to discuss it.
  2. I heard they call it ‘physical chess’. This is true! Aside from the ‘strategy’ similarities, fencers tend to be some of the smartest athletes.
  3. What’s your academy? Just like ‘what’s your weapon?”, this shows you know a little something about the sport. Most fencers, even basic high school ones, practice in the off-season at an academy. More likely than not, they love theirs (there are some fierce rivalries) and will tell you all about it.
  4. Who’s your favorite fencer? Although fencers aren’t as famous as football players, there are some incredible, inspiring fencers out there. Check out Ibtihaj Muhammad, who recently had a barbie made in her image.
  5. Fencing seems really difficult. We often get brushed off, since our nerdy rep precedes us. But fencers work just as hard, if not harder, than most other athletes. Give us some credit!

Gillian Rooney is a teenage American comedian and writer based in Connecticut.

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5 hilarious musical theater songs—sung by women—that will cure what ails you

Music is one of my deepest passions, and I have always considered myself to be a true connoisseur. My preference is an elegant blend of Aerosmith/Elton John/Spice Girls, with a dash of Beyoncé and Bach if I’m feeling a lil’ crazy. (Side note: I would be honored to DJ your next celebration or family gathering.)

But whenever I’m in need of a true catharsis, nothing gets the job done like a good show tune. In fact, singing show tunes always seems to be the best medicine for me, even if singing means tone-deaf-ly belting the soundtrack of Kinky Boots at my car windshield. And like a true alchemist, I have labored over the perfectly blended concoction of emotion, cleverness, and woodwinds to create the ultimate pick-you-up sing-along playlist.

At the risk of revealing far too much of my inner self to the Internet, I give you folks this bad boy: 28 of my favorite musical showstoppers, each with its own unique flavor of Broamedy (Broadway comedy; the trademark’s still pending but I swear it’s gonna catch on) to make your day a little more dazzling.

Here are five highlights from my list. The rest are similar enough in tone that it’ll become clear why they’re each there about halfway through the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Gowanus Expressway.

1. “Do the Sacred Mass,” Sister Act

A nun walks into a bar, and walks out a musical legend. Playing Deloris Van Cartier in the original (and stacked) Broadway cast is the unstoppably sassy and ultra-talented Patina Miller, whose powerhouse voice makes this version of the number so memorable. But beyond my love for Miller, I am obsessed with the way that the song is able to turn ultra-serious religious references into a boppin’ dance number. Absolutely hilarious.

2. “I’m Breaking Down,” Falsettos

Following a mother whose life is falling apart as her husband leaves her for a man, “I’m Breaking Down” features the top-notch vocals of Stephanie J. Block as Trina. This incredible character number perfectly sums up one of the greatest pressures put on women: keeping it all together. Additionally, it offers an actually realistic representation of women’s inner feelings (I know. I didn’t think it was possible either!).

3. “Getting Married Today” from Company

An oldie but a goodie. On its surface, the song is about a woman getting cold feet on her wedding day, but it’s really about so much more: Women, all of us, asking if marriage should  really be the goal. It moves so fast, like the heartbeat of a hummingbird, that you can’t help getting amped as you skitter frantically through the lyrics. It’s challenging — in the best way.

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4. “The Negative,” Waitress

Finally! A depiction of female friendship as being both hilarious and healthy. In this song, the characters Dawn and Becky try to convince Jenna to take a pregnancy test. All their nerves complicate the situation, leading to funny moments of confusion such as the part when Dawn accidentally reads the instructions in Spanish or the way Jenna reacts to finding out that she is, in fact, pregnant. But even faced with this stressful situation, the women come together in beautiful harmonies that give the song a heart-warming feel of unity and cohesion. My friends and I love to belt out this number for car karaoke.

5. “Changing My Major” from Fun Home

I’m still not sure whether I find this song more funny or heart-wrenchingly adorable. Medium Alison — so named because she’s the second version of the show’s creator, Alison Bechdel — beautifully describes being young, experiencing first love, and exploring sexuality. Bonus Fun Fact: Fun Home is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist, so singing along with its soundtrack actually helps smash the heteronormative patriarchy!

Like what you hear? Share this article with all your comedy/theater-loving nerds!

KAITLIN GOLDIN is a student, writer, actor, and devout McJew based in the Bay Area.  

I Lived It: The fun fact I shared at orientation was a lie

I’ve never considered myself a dishonest person. I’ve always been a communicative girlfriend; an honest best friend; and, in my more recent years, a candid daughter (my mother was not thrilled to learn about the hit-and-run, but I know we’re stronger for it).

So when I stood up at Dylan&Josh’s weekly Team Meeting, I never expected to lie. After all, Dylan&Josh is the important men’s lifestyle brand that bravely fights to deliver high-end toothpaste to males, and I had just been entrusted with the role of their head of sales of their radical product. According to the company handbook, the mission requires us to be transparent. And brave. And progressive. And fashionable. And scrappy. And wildly successful. We are all of these things, and they never conflict with one another. In that moment, I wanted the CEOs, Alex and Alex (Dylan & Josh were names that tested well with male audiences), to know that they weren’t making a mistake by hiring me.

At Dylan&Josh, Team Meetings are no ordinary town-hall gatherings. Team Meeting is a blast! And by “blast,” I mean new hires share fun facts about themselves at every meeting. These range from “I hiked Kilimanjaro with my dude Justin” to “I hiked the Appalachian Trail with my dude Justin.” Team Meeting is truly so fun and different from normal corporate meetings, I practically want to gouge my eyeballs out, rip of all the premature-balding men’s hair in the company, and scream “CAPITALISM IS LEGIT EVIL AND UR ALL COMPLICIT LOL!!!!” Yeah, it’s a good time.

I had been planning my fun-fact for weeks. I had the perfect one to convey to the rest of the company that I, too, grew up white and wealthy, but in an offbeat way. When the microphone got passed to me (our start-up only consists of 30 people, but you better believe our Team Meeting takes place in a stadium because that’s fun and an appropriate use of resources!), I calmly stood and cleared my throat.

“Hi, I’m Angela, the new head of sales, and my fun fact is that I was a Junior Olympic archer in high school.” This elicited oohs and ahh’s from the crowd. I sat down, my cheeks burning. My co-workers probably assumed that I was uncomfortable with public speaking. Of course, had they seen me on the witness stand following my pesky little felony, they would’ve thought differently. The truth is, I wasn’t a Junior Olympic Archer in high school. I was training to be one, but I never actually made it to Nationals.

This isn’t rare. Most of the girls on my high school team didn’t make it to nationals. Nationals was highly competitive! So, what compelled me to sputter such a downright lie? A falsity? I guess, at this company where production speaks volumes, I wanted to show that I produced results. So I lied. I said I had a marker of success when, in reality, my passion for archery had merely helped me develop a strong work ethic, the ability to collaborate with a team, and a passion for being active. Who gave a crap about those things?

In the following hours, I felt like I had a target on my back. This was worse than being the only woman working at a men’s lifestyle startup! Everywhere I went, I felt eyes on me. Could they tell I was lying? Did they think I was a fraud? Did Alex & Alex no longer trust me to do my job at Dylan&Josh? I started to get hives. Luckily, the Product team was developing a new men’s skincare line; I tried out the beta and it made my hives disappear.

By the time they reappeared in a vastly brighter hue (turns out the skincare line had bypassed a few important QA iterations in the rush to disrupt the market before Elon’s Musk could launch), I had left the company — they found out about my history of manslaughter before uncovering my massive alternatruth — but I have chosen to reframe this as a valuable lesson. Lying is not a core value. From now on, I strive to be truthful and honest.

Also, if you could fill my canteen balance, I’d appreciate it. Orange may be the new black, but ramen noodles are still the only thing you can safely eat in prison.

SOPHIE ZUCKER (T.A.) is a comedian-slash-child-star who loves musicals and slime. She has appeared in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and has written and produced videos for Jill Soloway’s wifey.tv. She wrote, produced, and starred in a million sold-out shows in New York and is now a TV writer in L.A.. @mightyzucks

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