Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies


Matthew Brim

Committee Members

Dana-Ain Davis

Subject Categories

Other Arts and Humanities


Stand-Up Comedy, Queer, Queer Stand-Up Comedy, History


Stand-up comedy has long been a straight comic’s domain. In the last decade or so, there’s been a seismic shift in that paradigm as more openly queer comics have taken their spot on the stage. This emergence has created a queer comedy boom, where queer comics are centered. There has been scant documentation on the history of queer stand-up comedy; this project does just that. It tracks the historical presence of queer stand-up comedians in the spaces these comics occupy—the stage—from the early 1900s to the current moment of the queer stand-up comedy boom, a comedic goldmine of counterhegemonic content. It investigates the moves a comic has to consider when building their act. It avoids theorizing or reviewing stand-up comedy; rather, it celebrates the milestones of queer stand-up comedians—from their challenges to their triumphs. This capstone project meets the requirements of a thesis while exceeding that genre, and it should be read simultaneously as a book proposal.