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June 19, 2012

Andy Nulman: Forget about labels, go out there and be great!
by Liz McKeon - 0

By WICF Contributor Kate Conner

Andy Nulman has had enough of the gender debate(s). As co-founder and current president of the Just for Laughs Festival (now celebrating it's 30th anniversary), he's been around for a long time.

Andy Nulman - Credit Heidi Hollinger
From being in Aspen, in 2000, when Jerry Lewis infamously declared that women aren't funny and that our sole purpose in the world was to produce babies, to collaborating and being absolutely blown away by the talent, skill, smarts and skill that is Tina Fey, Nulman has seen it all.

And although there will probably always be "the haters,"  those who won't (or can't) appreciate a joke simply because it is coming from a women, it's time, he says, to ignore gender. "Too many lines have been drawn between male and female comedians," Andy says. "It should just be about 'comedians.' You are a not a female comedian, you are a comedian. Period."

The rules that apply for a man, are the same that apply to women: "Get out there, be unique, be different, be special. Make a statement." Ask yourself, "Will you be remembered the next day?"

"If you are not pushing for greatness every time you are out there," Nulman passionately continues, "don't blame the industry, don't blame the scouts, don't blame Eddie Brill, don't blame Letterman, don't blame Just for Laughs, don't blame the club owner — blame yourself."

When confronted by new comers, his advice is always the same:

Pay attention to your "look," say something different, stand out, be unique, don't be afraid to take the shot, don't be afraid to fail. Nobody remembers the bland, nobody remembers the OK, nobody remembers the kind-of good.  People remember those who make them step back and say "Holy Fuck!".
"Eleven is where comedy needs to go.  Don't tone it down, that is what leads to pablum. Take it to a new level. Take a risk. Forget about labels, go out there and be great!"

More from Andy: When Andy Nulman isn't at the gym, hanging out with his dog, performing theater or heading up Just For Laughs Festival and Television, he can be found blogging at "Pow! Right Between the Eyes"


WICF contributor Kate Conner is a long time comedy nerd who recently took the plunge onto the stage and into the spot light. Kate can be found performing at a wide variety of different venues including Comedyworks, The Comedy Nest, her living room, and the hospital psych ward. Originally from Minnesota, Kate, her husband and their four kids now live in MontrĂ©al. Read more about Kate at

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