NBC Press Day: Wanda Sykes, Roseanne and Jill Flint


On Tuesday I attended NBC’s Summer Press Day, a day long panel extravaganza filled with actors you vaguely recognize from USA, E!, SyFy, Netflix, and of course NBC. Walking in to the press room with my iPad mini and seeing 50 laptop screens aglow felt a lot like Elle Woods walking in to that Harvard classroom with just a notebook. Happily, I quickly realized that reporters brought laptops to entertain themselves during panels they didn’t care about. My iPad mini more than rose the the occasion.

The first show of interest was Last Comic Standing, executive produced by Wanda Sykes. Also on the panel was Roseanne Barr (a judge) and out executive producer Page Hurwitz. One highlight was when a reporter brought up the “women aren’t funny” question.

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2014

Reporter: For Ms. Barr and Ms. Sykes, could you talk a little bit about how things have changed for women in comedy, and in light of last fall, when we had people still making comments that women aren’t funny on Saturday Night Live and things like that? Is it getting better? Is it getting worse? What needs to be done?

ROSEANNE BARR: It’s just something that stupid people say. It’s totally irrelevant, and I don’t pay any attention to it. There’s a lot of great women stand up comics in this competition. There’s a lot of great women comics, you know, for many years. And that’s just something easy that people are allowed to get away with. If you were going to change the word “woman” to another ethnic, to an ethnic word, they would not be allowed to get away with saying stuff like that. But that’s the thing that hasn’t change and never will change, the attitude of the people who are invested in that kind of crap, but we don’t pay attention to it.

WANDA SYKES: I wholeheartedly agree with Roseanne. I think it’s a ridiculous statement. I don’t think it’s true, and I think — and no offense to you -‑ but when we keep getting asked that question, all you’re doing is just giving more credit to it, so it should not be said. There’s a lot of men who aren’t funny.

PAGE HURWITZ: If I can, I would just say you answered your own question just by looking at this panel. I mean, you have two of the funniest people on the planet sitting here who happen to be women in the company of three other hilarious people.

ROSEANNE BARR: Next time say “Jews.”

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2014

Next came The Night Shift, a new hospital show about sexy doctors doing medicine type activities while looking intense yet attractive yet natural. The Night Shift is relevant to gay ladies because Jill Flint aka lesbian FBI agent Lana Delaney is going to play a lead The Night Shift character named Jordan Alexander. After the panel Jill Flint and I spoke one-on-one.

NBCUniversal's 2014 Summer Press Day

AfterEllen.com: What do you think fans of you on The Good Wife would like about you on this show?

Jill Flint:
My fans from The Good Wife are going to enjoy seeing a woman who is taking charge in this position, and she is making a difference, and she is making a change. My character is not a wilting flower.

AE: We have our Hot 100 coming up. Who would you pick?

Jill Flint:
You know I have always thought that Liv Tyler is probably the most beautiful thing that ever walked this earth. But then I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of Cate Blanchett.

NBCUniversal's 2014 Summer Press Day

Jill Flint and I both go for statuesque brunettes.

NBC’s Summer Press Day came to a close so I skipped off into the sunset with my phenomenal goody bag containing a Sharknado to-go cup, large bottle of Adam Levine’s new fragrance and a box of white wine that I am currently drinking. Keep it real, NBC.