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'Herlarious' Comics Explain Why They Hate The Term 'Female Comedian' (VIDEO)

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When Wanda Sykes gets together with several of her favorite up-and-coming comedians, it's bound to be a hilarious and unpredictably good time. On her all-new OWN special, "Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious," Sykes and some of comedy's funniest females take the stage to bring on the laughs and also sit down for roundtable discussions on topics ranging from their biggest stand-up flops to misogyny in the comedy clubs.

In this clip from the first episode of "Herlarious," Sykes is joined by Gloria Bigelow, Andi Smith and Dominique Whitten for a candid conversation about a term they feel shouldn't even exist in the comedy industry: "female comedian." Adding the distinction "female" is completely unnecessary, they say.

"A comedian is a comedian," Whitten says. "Why does it have to be separated?"

"There's no 'doctresses,'" Smith points out dryly. She then recalls a time when she arrived at a Houston club to perform and the staff assumed she was there for another reason.

"They started showing me the kitchen and started showing me where the menus were... They were like, 'Do you have your something-something certification?' and I'm like, 'We need certifications for this now?'" Smith says amid laughter from her fellow comics. "They thought I was the new waitress."

Sykes says that comedy club hosts and emcees are also guilty of making the unnecessary distinction. "They never say, 'This next male comic,'" Sykes says. "That always bugged me, too -- 'She's one of the funniest female comics.'"

"Like, 'You're not going to believe this s*** right here!'" Whitten mimics.

"'It's a unicorn coming to the stage!'" Bigelow jokes.

The comics also discuss in the video how prevalent it is to hear feedback like, "I usually don't think women are funny, but you were all right," and how being African-American draws out similar comments centered on race.

Bigelow, Smith and Whitten take the stage (along with celebrity guest Brooke Shields) in "Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious" on Saturday, July 13, at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

Earlier on HuffPost: Life Advice From OWN's Funniest Women

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Filed by Lisa Capretto
 
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