Ever Mainard on JezebelAs some of you may know, last Tuesday, at the tail end of an already excellent show, Ever Mainard did a set at Chicago Underground Comedy that blew a lot of people’s doors off. She discussed a real (and painfully recent) incident where she had a terrifying encounter with a sketchy dude at the Morse stop on the Red Line. She openly broached an extremely sensitive subject (the fear of sexual assault) and, in doing so, dipped a toe in some dangerous comedic waters.
Anyone who’s done stand-up for any length of time has sat through terrible open mics and listened to terrible comics tell terrible jokes about the “terrible two” (yes, I just made that up): rape and abortion. 99.4% of all jokes that touch on these subjects are gaggingly awful attempts at shock-value comedy.
But we knew even before she walked off the stage that her set was one of the rare exceptions to this rule. It was honest, and raw, and rough - and had the entire room of men and women laughing. Not just the “ha ha, and clever juxtaposition of words and ideas” laugh, or the “ha ha, that caught me by surprise” laugh, but a - bear with me for using such a grandiose word here - transcendent laugh. You could hear a tone of “this has been my experience, too” in the laughter. And more than a hint of “this girl is blowing my mind” in the laughter.
She was discussing something terribly painful that most people avoid acknowledging or discussing in regular conversation, and she was doing it ONSTAGE. And she was owning it, and reforming it, and channeling it into something entirely new.
It was something really special. People stuck around after the show to tell her so, and asked us to put the clip online, so their friends could see it.
The next morning, Ever asked me to put her set online, so I edited it up all slick and pretty (even was inspired to write a new bit of music!), and uploaded it, texting with her all the while. Shortly thereafter, I asked her “What would you think about me titling this clip ‘Here’s Your Rape?’” (a line she repeats in the bit). With both of us knowing full well the it might open up a whole can of ugly internet worms, she said yes, and I changed the title. (Here’s the clip: http://youtu.be/29ArdxWYBGQ)
Then I spent about an hour emailing various online media outlets I thought might be interested in posting and commenting on it. Feminist blogs, gay blogs, Chicago blogs, comedy blogs, street harassment blogs, and even public transportation-related blogs. LOTS of positive response, and lots of reposting.
Below is a sample of the places where Ever’s “Here’s Your Rape” video has been posted online. The Jezebel post (as of right now) has been read over 32,000 times, and the count on my YouTube posting is stuck at just under 5,000, which I know from experience means it’s getting tons and tons of hits (which will show up in the hit count sometime later).
"Ever Mainard proves that rape jokes can be funny — in this case, funny because they’re true."
"Mainard makes a lot of excellent (and hilarious) points in this clip"
"Local comic Ever Mainard had a set this past Tuesday at Chicago Underground Comedy that people are still talking about."
"Perfect example of how joking about rape can be funny if it’s clever, insightful, honest and/or you know - funny. The “here’s my rape” thing is something every woman can relate to, which is sad, but she keeps it from getting too dark by staying wonderfully absurd."
"Props to Chicago funny lady…@evermainard for getting props from @Jezebel!"
"this is fantastic. I pretty much think this all the time."
"it’s funny because it’s true; i can’t count how many times i’ve been walking by myself and thought this."
We’re very proud of Ever. ❤❤