Ladybits Comedy was founded by Abbi Crutchfield and Jen Dziura. We were playing pool, badly. Here’s how one of us remembers the conversation:
One of us: I was thinking of starting an all-female comedy show.
The other one of us: I think all female comics were thinking of starting an all-female comedy show.
One of us: The way we are playing pool is sort of making women look bad.
The other one of us: It would be cool if we did that, though.
Some weeks later, one of us was at a comedy show where the other one’s husband was performing, causing one of us to think of the other one of us. We began texting about possible names for a show:
Later, Abbi came up with the tagline, “Equality, Hilarity, Booze!” Très French Revolution, no?
And here we are.
Credit where credit is due: the late, great Chicks and Giggles was an all-female comedy show, which stopped producing its regular weekly show in 2008. It may be where Abbi and Jen met, although it’s hard to remember. Chicks was a visionary event, founded by Nichelle Stephens in 2004 and primarily hosted by Carolyn Castiglia. It’s time this city had a regular all-women comedy show again — in fact, it’s time this city had as many of them as audiences want to attend.
Here are some of our goals in doing this:
To entertain women who don’t like traditional comedy clubs.
To hold our show someplace where the food is tasty, the ladies’ bathrooms are clean, and you don’t feel like you’re in a frat basement.
To create a community.
To warmly welcome male audience members, without unduly catering our show to them.
To generate more work for female comedians, rather than simply promoting competition for the limited amount of work that actually exists.
To reach out via The Internets to women comedy fans and comedians all over the world.
To offer a lineup that reflects the talent of women of all races, sexual orientations, body types, physical abilities, and ages (and probably some other forms of diversity that we’re tragically forgetting at the moment).
To put on an awesome show that makes you laugh, where you make friends, and where you identify with the voices on stage, and that is funnier than anything you can see staying at home watching your television.
To make you laugh until you cry.
Abbi hosts the show. Jen does the internet stuff (and talks about herself in the third person). Everything else is probably both of us.
Abbi Crutchfield is a comedian, writer and actress who performs stand-up and sketch in all corners of NYC. She was a finalist in the NBC Stand-up for Diversity competition and her recent work includes national commercials, a runner for VH1 alongside Tracy Morgan, and appearances on Tyra Banks and MTV. In addition to Ladybits, she produces The Living Room Show and Positively Awesome.
Jennifer Dziura is a comedian, blogger, and quizmistress best known for co-hosting the Williamsburg Spelling Bee, the nation’s most popular adult spelling bee, as featured in the New York Times and in international press from Tokyo to Sydney. As a standup comic, she has performed at clubs and colleges nationwide and for the troops in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Africa. She writes quizzes and games, hosts math, trivia, vocabulary, and geography competitions for adults, and has produced over 100 shows at venues from Ivy League clubhouses to the famed rock club CBGB’s. She appeared in a Sci Fi Channel pilot for the television show Brain Trust, was filmed as an expert on “how to be witty” for a VH-1 reality dating show, has been heard numerous times on NPR, has written for McSweeney’s, and is a contributor to “The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes” and many other books.