Some jokes just aren’t funny.
This past week both Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari returned to stand-up following public accusations of sexual misconduct, which has sparked a myriad of feelings amongst comedy fans.
As we figure out how to keep laughing while holding accused parties accountable in the wake of #MeToo, here’s a list of eight queer comedians to support instead.
Following the success of her Netflix special, Nanette, the Australian comedian and writer has been having quite the moment in the spotlight. With a memoir due out next year, Gadsby’s reign isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Cameron Esposito’s material is often centered on social justice, feminism, and LGBTQ representation. But even when busy headlining comedy specials and working on new material, the L.A.-based performer still gives back. Proceeds from her latest show, Rape Jokes, which examines sexual violence in a way that’s healing for survivors, benefits RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S. She also hosts the podcasts Put Your Hands Together, co-hosted by Rhea Butcher, and Queerly.
Suzanne Westenhoefer has never been shy about her sexuality—in fact, using her lesbian identity for material is how she got her start in mainstream comedy clubs, telling gay-themed jokes to straight audiences in the early ’90s. Her last TV special, A Bottom on Top, aired in 2007, but Westenhoefer is still busy touring across the country.
One of Tig Notaro’s most popular specials, 2015’s Tig, was a vulnerable look at the award-winning performer’s journey after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Notaro and wife Stephanie Allynne also wrote First Ladies, an upcoming Netflix comedy starring Notaro and Jennifer Aniston as a lesbian couple in the White House. Her latest special, Happy To Be Here, is also available on the streaming service.
Sampson McCormick is a Grammy-nominated stand-up comedian, writer, and activist whose material often tackles religion, sexuality, HIV stigma, and more. The first openly gay and Black male comic to headline the Howard Theater, he continues to perform across the country.
Search Party star John Early has stolen scenes in movies like Neighbors 2 and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, as well as TV comedies like 30 Rock, Broad City, and Difficult People. Early’s millennial-focused humor clearly connects to his audience, as he regularly sells out live shows.
Originally from the Midwest, Rhea Butcher is an L.A.-based stand-up comic, actor, and writer who has performed for audiences across the country. Their first show, Seeso’s Take My Wife, co-starring Cameron Esposito, was met with critical acclaim.
Jes Tom is a comedian, writer, and actor who mines their identities as a nonbinary Asian-American. Known for the Funny or Die film Soojung Dreams of Fiji on Amazon Prime, Tom also performs around New York City.