Interview with Page Hurwitz

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Page Hurwitz’s MySpace profile lists her occupation
as "Misanthrope/Birthday Clown." But when she’s not grumbling about
the human race or making balloon animals for squealing children, Hurwitz is
developing, producing and writing comedy shows for television, and writing captions for photos of herself.

Page Hurwitz in a completely candid photo

A New York native now living in Los Angeles, Hurwitz began
her comedy career performing at Josie’s Cabaret and Juice Joint, the fabled
venue in San Francisco’s Castro District that also helped launch the careers of
Margaret Cho, Whoopi Goldberg, Lea DeLaria and Marga Gomez.

Hurwitz spent the next several years touring all over the U.S. and Canada, and writing for various TV
and film projects for Comedy Central, NBC, Warner Bros. Animation and
Nickelodeon. Most recently, Hurwitz co-executive produced and wrote the fourth
season of the hit NBC show, Last Comic Standing.

Hurwitz can also be seen on the 2005 Logo comedy special, Wisecrack,
delivering a hilarious stand-up performance that was taped live at the Abbey in
Los Angeles.

The Abbey is also where I met with Hurwitz to talk about Last
Comic Standing
and her future projects, whether women are funnier than men,
and what we love about our fellow Angelinos. (Again, all photos and captions provided
by Hurwitz.)

AfterEllen: Last
Comic Standing
just wrapped another season. Tell me who won, because I
don’t want to look it up.

PH: You mean you didn’t watch it?

AE: I didn’t watch it.
PH: You’re such a … Listen, Donna,
this is ridiculous, do you even know what the name of the show is? It’s Sabrina
the Teenage Witch,
[laughs] the one with the mechanical cat. That cat is
hilarious.

AE: [laughs] What? A
mechanical cat won Last Comic Standing?
PH:
No. A woman named Iliza Shlesinger won Last Comic Standing. It’s
the first time a woman has won.

AE: That’s great. Why don’t women win more
often?

PH: Women don’t win at anything,
Dara.

At work on Last Comic Standing,
Page is drunk with imagined power

AE: Oh yeah,
I forgot.

PH: There’s a misconception that
women aren’t as funny as men. I think you can argue that men aren’t as funny as
women. If you look at the sheer number of people who audition for our show, 90
percent are male, and an overwhelming majority of them don’t make it. The women
that audition actually have a better percentage of success, at least in the
early rounds. But I’m just making a stupid argument. Honestly, it’s stupid to
say that men are funnier than women, or women are funnier than men, or gay
people are funnier than straight people.

Funny is funny; it doesn’t matter who you are. Although Scandinavians aren’t
funny at all.

AE: No, not like
Norwegians; they’re hysterical. Especially gay Norwegians.
PH:
We’ve had a lot of gay and lesbian performers on our show. We’ve had
Michele Balan. This season, we had Erin Foley. And there have been a ton of gay and lesbian comics who get auditions and make it
to the nighttime rounds, so they get some camera time. Sabrina Matthews was on
the show in a previous season, too. I love her.

AE: Oh yeah, me too. She’s
one of my favorites. What are you working on these days?
PH:
I’m developing a series for TBS, called Comedy Road Show, a
variety show that will feature local and regional performers, like a modern-day vaudeville.
We’ll also have short films and animation, and novelty comedy acts.

AE: I’d like to see a
conjoined twin comedy act. Can you do something about that?

PH: You know, Denise, it’s funny you
say that. I was just talking about conjoined twins. I had a show last night and
I was thinking, "Oh, damn it, I should have said ‘conjoined twins.’"

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