A Must Read Manifesto
Over the last few days Christine Marie Evans asked me read her “manifesto” about the life that brought her into comedy and what it’s been like since. She asked me for my thoughts.
In February an article titled “The Comedy Industry Has a Big Alt-Right Problem” published in The New Republic, a magazine once known for its journalistic integrity, despite a staunch Liberal view, caused a small ripple within the comedy community. In fact had it not been for a retweet from Anthony Jeselnik I doubt anyone would have cared. The article was written by comedy blogger Seth Simons who has become somewhat of a comedy cancel culture inquisitor.
I have no qualms with this man. He has the right to call people out and criticize them. Since February I’ve had several people approach me about the context of the article, one of those people is Christine Evans. She made some great points on what he said, the accusations he’s made and the facts he’s ignored. Recently she showed me something she wrote and what she likes to call a manic manifesto. It’s 55 pages of random thoughts about comedy over the last 15 years since she began working as a server at the The Comedy Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA, then on to Comix, Standup New York, The Stand and Comic Strip and now as a Television and radio producer.
It may be hard to imagine someone reading something that long, but she’s putting it out there so people can understand what a bi-sexual woman in the comedy world has gone through and what that means. Something I’ve noticed in Seth’s pieces is a lack of female representation, but he prides himself on outing misogyny within the comedy community. He conveniently leaves out women like Christine and her role in what he deems is an “alt-right problem”. Yet she is the very person he seems to want to protect from these “alt-right” comedians who all apparently thrive on promoting a rape and racist culture.
Whether you knew about Christine or not before this you will know her now and she won’t be going away. Over two months of journaling led Christine to admitting to the world for the first time that she is a recovering addict. She has been raped. She also admits that she was in both physically and verbally abusive relationships. From a troubled past, like many others in the comedy community she gravitated to the art form. She flirted with being a standup but realized just being part of the process was more than enough for her. She made a name for herself as a laborer climbing up the latter from server to assistant manager to manager to running clubs and booking shows. She eventually became a television producer and most recently became the executive producer of The Bonfire on Sirius/XM.
She has also spent the last 10 years romantically involved with a comedian. He has been accused of being one of the alt-right comedians and I can tell you there is nothing alt-right about him, nor are the comedians and friends around him. Yet somehow one comedy blogger decided to the contrary and has made sure whoever follows him believes the same.
Christine makes it clear, this comedy blogger does not speak for her and he does not speak for any of the other women who like Christine work and are involved in this comedy community, whether the comedians are alt right or left, black or white, Catholic or Jewish.
To anyone who decides to read Christine’s journal understand what it is. What you will be reading is not in any kind of order or format. They were random thoughts punched into a computer at different times over the last two months. There were times she’d wake up in the middle of the night and jotted down some thoughts. There were other times when she heard other people talking at work or at a comedy club and it inspired more thought.
If you read all of it you should tell her what you thought and let her know how it sat with you. There is plenty I’m sure people will disagree with. But it’s about time comedy fans finally heard from a woman and understood how she felt. She is more than qualified to be mentioned in an article about Alt-Right comedy and even more qualified not to be conveniently ignored.
Christine mentions that the comedy community took her in, gave her a home, a life, a career. If what has been said is 100% true, how would Christine have survived it this entire time? Without incident. Without being abused. Without being alt-right. Whatever that means.