The Vermont Cynic

Comedian Jen Kirkman on life at 44 and Louis C.K.

Jean MacBride, Staff Writer

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Tommy Lau
Comedian Jen Kirkman took over the stage at Vermont Comedy Club with bootcut jeans and plenty of stories to tell.

Although best known for being a regular roundtable panelist on “Chelsea Lately,” Kirkman had plenty of new material about life as a woman and comedian.

She relished being 44 years old and not caring what other people think. She explained that being in your 20s is stressful and being in your 30s is maddening because of people’s expectations.

Kirkman showed how she defied these expectations from the start. She said she was happy not having kids, especially since the United Nations report on climate change said they wouldn’t live long anyway.

She hilariously related how the faith she was raised with influenced her. She recalled how she was taught by her Catholic mother not to pray too often or someone else with greater issues would be unable to get through.

Although Kirkman exuded a cheerful welcoming presence, she was adept at talking about the inequities of sexism, despite addressing her relationship with Louis C.K. in a way that left something to be desired.

Kirkman easily suggested whirling your arms around in a move called the windmill to become an undesirable target for male aggression. She also observed that every day was Halloween for women, so there was no need for them to experience haunted corn mazes.   

When she addressed her relationship with Louis C.K., she emphasized how women are told not to tell rape jokes while men are, but avoided condemning Louis C.K.’s behavior beyond the realm of practicing comedy.

Maybe this is to be expected from a comedian who doesn’t want to take things too seriously, but nevertheless, I found it disappointing. Louis C.K. did more than tell jokes, he exposed and assaulted women, and I felt the emphasis on what Louis C.K. said inadvertently downplayed what he did.

Despite condemning Louis C.K.’s behavior in a twitter feed, I believe Kirkman as a self-proclaimed feminist should do better at acknowledging the awful behavior of men, even if they’re her associates.

Forgetting this misstep, Kirkman was delightful to watch. Witty and cool, she easily engaged the audience with jokes woven into epic stories of modern life. It is no wonder that Kirkman has two Netflix specials to her name since it’s so pleasurable to fall into her jokes.

She left a hole in the room when she left but had given plenty of jokes for us to remember her by.

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Comedian Jen Kirkman on life at 44 and Louis C.K.”

  1. Bonnie on October 20th, 2018 12:38 am

    Please learn how to use “too” instead of “to” in a sentence.
    Also, please check all prior reviews and let us know if your very first comment concerns the attire of the headliner.
    Last, It seems your prissy hang up with Jen not going into depth on Louis CK, has more to do with your inability to understand, well, comedy.

  2. Sarah Shanks on October 24th, 2018 9:37 am

    Why is it Jen Kirkman’s job to speak up about Louis C.K. in her stand up act? HE HASN’T EVEN TALKED ABOUT IT. Your expectations make no sense for a comedy show. This article is anti-feminist and garbage.

  3. Tim on October 24th, 2018 11:39 am

    I would hope that Jens comedy and story would be about her and her narrative rather than that of the person doing the harassing. She clearly wanted to make light of the fact that it had happened to get it out of the way so the joke/ story could be told and move on.

  4. Aung on October 26th, 2018 1:57 pm

    I don’t even know where to begin. Wow.
    First of all, what you had attended was a COMEDY SHOW – not a Ted talk on sexual harassment. For you to criticize her for not elaborating further on her unfortunate Louis CK experience DURING HER ACT is ridiculous.
    Jen has discussed what had transpired with him on many forums; social media, her podcast etc. To insinuate that she sugarcoats what a piece of shit he is – is utterly insane.
    She wants to move on from that now.
    So let her.
    Also, she doesn’t have to prove to anyone that she is a feminist – (presently I’m proudly wearing a “Feminist AF” necklace from her (now defunct) jewelry line.)
    Anyone who follows her on social media or listens to her “I Seem Fun” podcast, knows this about her.
    Your review of her show (& let’s be honest, her) is just so fucking dead wrong & sad.

  5. Aung Munster on October 28th, 2018 8:50 pm

    I don’t even know where to begin. Wow. First of all, what you had attended was a COMEDY SHOW – not a Ted talk on sexual harassment. For you to criticize her for not elaborating further on her unfortunate Louis CK experience DURING HER ACT is utterly ridiculous.
    Jen has discussed what had transpired with him on many forums; social media, her podcast etc. To insinuate that she sugarcoats what a piece of shit he is – is insane.
    She wants to move on now.
    So let her.
    Also, she doesn’t have to prove to anyone that she is a feminist – (presently I’m proudly wearing a “Feminist AF” necklace from her (now defunct) jewelry line.)

    Your review of her show (& let’s be honest, her) is just so fucking dead wrong.

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Comedian Jen Kirkman on life at 44 and Louis C.K.