Host: Jennifer MacLean. Comedians: Margaret Cho, Poppy Champlain, Katy Trevino, Penelope Lombard, Cathryn Michon.
The Grrl Genius Club premise: Men are called “geniuses”; unjustly, women aren’t. “Our whole idea is if we can have more self-proclaimed, over-hyped girl geniuses, then finally the real girl geniuses will get their due.” With this in mind, one might expect an hour of male-bashing, feminist-hype comedic bits at the Grrl Genius Club benefit series; instead the female comedy troupe generally makes light-hearted jokes about issues relevant to women — including the pains of periods and pregnancy, unwanted facial hair, sexual harassment and vain obsessiveness over body parts.
Being able to laugh at the good and bad empowers a person, and confronting such issues with honesty and humor not only teaches one something about oneself, but also those within earshot — lofty ambitions not quite achieved by the Grrl Genius Club.
While moments of the hour-plus show, featuring six female comedians including Margaret Cho (formerly of the sitcom “All American Girl”) and one “enlightened” male, were utterly hysterical, far too many periods of choppy performances with long lulls resulted in a show a small step above amateur night.
The bumpy entertainment of headliner Cho was forgivable, being that she served as the last-minute replacement for Stephanie Miller, who bowed out for a CNBC gig; referring to a spiral notebook, the actress/comedian recounted the absurdity of several personal stories and, within a span of 15 minutes, managed to get laughs from quips about her menstrual cycle, clothes, sprinklers and finally, oral sex.
Flanked by cardboard cutouts with drawings of two women reading brainy books while seated under hair dryers depicting intelligence gauges going off the charts, each of the previous five female comedians had winks of hilarity in their 10-minute sets, but Poppy Champlain and her heroin jokes, along with the fluid delivery of Katy Trevino’s insights into pregnancy, both appeared the most together and prepared — and funniest.