On Friday evening, Portland's comedy Twitter tangled with B-list national comedy Twitter and kinda won.
It all started when Aries Spears, who you might or might not recognize from MADtv or Jerry Maguire or The Pest tweeted out:
I don’t care how incredible a female mc is the best female mc could only hold her own wita a subpar male mc! Rap like sports is a man thing!
— Aries Spears (@AriesSpears) December 12, 2015
Amy Miller, our own inaugural Funniest Five winner, retweeted:
Then, Miller continued, asking the well-known comedian, if comedy was similarly "a man thing."
UPDATE: Miller emailed us to let us know that that "spitting on yr dick" bit was in response to another tweet on this looooong thread, in which Spears said: "I don't fuck wit females on that level! I like women to spit on my dick n leave the wax to the fellas." Miller added: "Wax = making records." Spears decided to clarify his statements:
Then, Miller decided to see if she could turn this classic sexism into gold, or at least a few bucks and a guest spot:
The entire Twitter back and forth is a bit hard to parse, especially because Aries Spears tweets SO MUCH that it's impossible to figure out what's happening. Still, Miller appears to have come out victorious, kinda.
So now, all Miller has to do is do five perfect minutes of comedy to prove once and for all that women have the ability to be as funny as men. NO PRESSURE, AMY. Miller ended on a positive note:
So, go see Aries Spears and Amy Miller this weekend and let us know: Are women even capable of being funny?
UPDATE: Miller responded to our request for comment with this message:
"I'll be doing a short set on the Thursday show unless Aries changes his mind. I'm not available the rest of the weekend because I have to leave town to do my own headlining gigs.
At this point I'm responding to these situations by A) Being funny and B) doing the work. Anytime I can spin a shitty situation into an opportunity for myself, I will. Because comedy won't change if women quit. It's always easy to complain about the culture but we have to do the work.
You can't blame the comedy club for his success because it's a business. As long as there is an audience for a subpar sexist comic, clubs will keep booking them. If Helium is going to make money to continue to support me or Hari Kondabolu, sometimes they have to book Aries Spears. I blame consumers for his success. If you're going to a comedy club, do some research. Don't just click BUY on any asshole you saw on TV once. Why would you read a movie review before you spend $10, but then wander into any stand-up comedy available? It's a very personal art form. Chances are your sensibilities won't always line up with the person on stage. Aries will always have an audience because he's a great entertainer but it would be nice if comics were held accountable for their shitty opinions off stage. Particularly when women make up half of the comedy audience and often do the date planning. Why are we paying someone to demean us?
So as much as I would like people to see me "prove" myself in five minutes, if you come to this show, a dude who thinks women can't rap or play sports is going to get booked again."
Instead, come to MY show at Helium on December 30th!
Here are screen shots of the conversation plus more, just in case you want more context: