UPDATE: Stormy Daniels has since clarified that early reports that she was planning to tour are false and that the show planned for March 20 is, as of now, a one time thing.
Last weekend Stormy Daniels announced that she’s going on tour as a stand up comedian, touching off some heavy debate over whether a headlining spot should be given to someone who had not yet ‘paid their dues’ in the stand up comedy world. The debate centered largely over a post by headlining comedian Laurie Kilmartin, who wrote on Twitter, “Doing standup is not a reward for being famous. Please leave the weekend gigs for actual female comics.” Acrimony ensued. Producer, writer, podcaster, former porn star and currently paying-her-dues stand up comedian Alia Janine weighed in on the debate for us.
If anything is more annoying to comedians, it’s when celebrities ‘all of a sudden’ want to try stand-up comedy. Some get upset because they have worked for years doing bar shows with three audience members getting paid in drink tickets before they could even get passed at a club that pays cash. While others are more comedy purists, who believe that if you didn’t start doing stand-up by doing open mics and bar shows you’re not only not a real comedian, but you lack respect for the art. Both groups have very valid points. People should have to work for things they want and should respect the process. As they say, “It’s the journey, not the destination!” Or whatever other cheesy quotes you can find on my Instagram, @Alia.Janine ;). So, when Stormy Daniels, (you know, the porn star that is sort of helping save the free world) announced she would be performing at the Joke Joint in Houston, TX. Wednesday, March 20th the comedy community had some firm opinions. Some were supportive, but most were, in true comedian form, not happy to see someone headlining a club without putting a minute into any real stage time.
At first, I shrugged it off as just another porn star trying stand-up, only this porn star has the star power to headline a club for her first gig. Big whoop. If anything, she would learn pretty fast it’s not as easy as it looks and would work her way from there if she were to even stick with it. She’s a smart woman with a lot of opportunities right now, obviously. However, when I started reading some of the tweets from comics, I got annoyed. How many male comics have used porn stars on their shows to sell tickets and podcasts to use their fan base because they lack one? How many comics have jokes about porn and porn stars? How many comics get pissed when some jackass like the Fat Jew makes money from stolen jokes, but can’t grasp the concept of paying for their porn? That’s an art form, too, people.
As for the ladies, wow. Really? Women love to pick and choose their feminism, don’t they? What happened to supporting each other and trying to fight the patriarchy together, or whatever? And you wonder why there hasn’t been a woman president yet? OK. Because I didn’t see the same amount of outrage about Bam Margera headlining West Side Comedy Club last night, or his behavior and he’s a white male. We all know how much we need another white male comic that acts entitled, right ladies?!
What I have learned from being in both industries is if you want something you have to ask for it. People can sit around and hope for people to recognize them, or wait for their agents or managers to book them, or they can get off of their lazy asses and ask. Do the work and ask. A lot of the comics pissed off could very easily headline any club they wanted on a Wednesday night. So, why so pissed off at Stormy Daniels? She’s not taking any spots from anyone any more than any of the other celebrities randomly going up. Maybe some of you are just that lazy. But I’m guessing it’s probably because she’s a sex worker and no matter what else she does she will always have to carry the burden of that ridiculous stigma because of pure ignorance due to lack of depth, knowledge, and understanding. But what would I know about any of that…
Alia Janine is a stand-up comedian, producer, writer, and former porn star with a B.A. in Psychology. Alia is also the host of the Whormones Podcast in the Stand-Up Labs Network. She has an eclectic background, which gives her comedy a unique and sometimes dark twist. Alia has been featured on multiple SiriusXM shows, Vice, and Fox. She hosts her “Hardcore Comedy Show” every 3rd Friday of the month at Creek And The Cave, and can be found performing around NYC and the country.