Plenty of times in her long career, comedian Wanda Sykes has heard -- and combated -- the stereotype that women can't be funny. For her new special "Herlarious," Sykes brings up this stereotype to fellow comedians Gloria Bigelow, Andi Smith and Dominique, who launch into a debate about whether or not it stems from male comedians being intimidated by women in comedy.
"You have to be so strong to be a female comic and I think... maybe that's intimidating," Dominique says.
"Who am I intimidating?" Bigelow disagrees. "I think it's just that same kind of misogyny thing that's everywhere else. Honestly. Why wouldn't it be in the comedy club? It's in everything else."
"Don't you think, though, that boys want to be the funny ones?" Smith poses.
"I think it's a mix," Sykes offers. "It is intimidating when you see a woman on stage -- especially killing, doing it well -- it does put them back because they're like, 'I can't one-up her.'"
In Bigelow's experience, trying to one-up another comic is just part of the job. "When I first started going up, I was the only woman in lots of rooms. I always felt like I had to be funnier," she explains. "So, I don't think of it as intimidating. I think of it like, 'I've got to do my job, and my job is to make people laugh. I'm going to try to do it a little better than you, sir, but that's my job.' That's what they're trying to do, too. Everybody's trying to do the same thing."
Though Bigelow says she doesn't see why male comics would be intimidated by female comics, Dominique offers her own theory. "They don't want it to be said that we're better than them," Dominique says. "Because we're women."