Scout Durwood on “Funny Girls” and making people laugh from her lesbian perspective


When Funny Girls debuts on Oxygen tonight, you won’t see much of Scout Durwood. Despite the fact she’s one of the reality show’s main cast members, it appears the out comic doesn’t have enough drama to be a part of the pilot.

“I think that would be fair to say,” Scout said of her lack of participation. “My personal life happens to be wonderfully boring, so for me—they didn’t have that easy of an entrance.”

Funny Girls - Season 1

Funny Girls follows six female comedians in Los Angeles, and Scout is the sole not-straight one among the group. In tonight’s premiere, a huge part of the show is dedicated to the rivalry between Stephanie Simbari and Esther Steinberg, which started because of a guy.

“Straight female comedians get bent out of shape over boy comedians,” Scout said. “Or I think there is kind of danger of dating someone that is in the world because it’s hard for them then. Because it’s hard for them then to go before you without everybody going ‘That’s his girlfriend’ or whatever. When those worlds leak into each other, that can be part of the drama. I’ve never dated a comic.”

Straight female comics also tend to have a way of “mimicking” each other, Scout said, which can create some competition amongst themselves.

“There’s a style of straight female comedians that’s like on fire right now, where they’re real sexual on stage, that I think is really funny. You see that a lot. So many female comedians go really blue.”

Funny Girls - Season 1

Scout said her sexuality isn’t a focus of her part on Funny Girls, and we won’t meet her girlfriend either. (“I’m not single,” she says.) But she does offer up dating advice to her friends and the other women, and recently started a Tumblr called Sex Advice from a Lesbian.

“I don’t know that I was talking about [being gay] as much as maybe they wanted,” Scout said. “I’m proud of my sexuality, it’s a lot of who I am. And I think it’s nice that I don’t have to hide it, but it’s not the thing that everybody knows about me. It’s hard to be a lesbian comic and not just be ‘a lesbian comic,’ but if I talk about sex on stage, I’m talking about it from a perspective most of my audience doesn’t know. I think it’s nice I can be the level of gay that I am publicly and that it’s not a big deal.”

Scout said she was originally called about the show two years ago, but after shooting some scenes, it didn’t go. So when it got picked up this time around, she was thrilled to see it come to fruition.

“Going into it I was really jazzed to see women as comics, and to watch us struggle. Because stand-up is brutal. It’s still a boys’ club,” she said. “There are lot of women in it but it’s still a boys’ club.”

The women are filmed doing stand-up at open mics and shows around L.A., and some of their bits were specifically written for Funny Girls, to illustrate what was going on in their lives. (Think Seinfeld’s stand-up at the beginning of each episode.)

Despite her not-so-single status, Scout said she joined Tinder to be able to talk about it on stage. That kind of material proved to be the most fun part of the process.

“We were writing about what’s going on in our lives, and it forces you to write really quickly. It’s a little bit writing outside of your wheelhouse,” Scout said, saying she even made a few raunchy jokes that she knows will likely be broadcast. “I made a blow job joke about blow jobs As soon as I got off stage, I was like ‘That’s gonna air.’  Most of [the audience] have given or received a blowjob. Good for them!”

Funny Girls - Season 1

Scout has been performing comedy for several years, and if she looks familiar, you might recognize her from a previous reality show: A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.

“We get to drive the plot on this show,” Scout said. “Tila Tequila was like ‘pretend to like this girl.’ Tila Tequila, first of all, I was very young and didn’t—like, I would not have done Tila Tequila. I went to the producers and was like ‘This isn’t—I’m not what you’re looking for. This is the wrong idea.” I would get notes like ‘We can’t understand your big words.’ I was pretty humiliated.”

Funny Girls will give Scout some retribution, as she says the women on the show are all friendly now, “like that Ellen show, One Big Happy,” she joked. “We’re all friends, which is cool because it’s not always the case on a reality show.”

Scout’s hope is that Funny Girls will help her to get a “leg up” and help her get to the next level as a comic.

“To be honest, I would love for it to leverage into a scripted series,” she said. “My dream would be to do a half-hour, like a Comedy Central half-hour or something.”

And when that happens, you can be sure Scout will not be shying away from being herself.

“I try to out myself because I don’t ‘look like a lesbian’,” Scout said. “I’m another human who happens to date other beautiful humans of the same gender.”

Funny Girls premieres tonight on Oxygen at 8/7c.

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