Episode 37: Nanette
Andi and Lise had their minds completely blown by “Nanette,” the comedy show/performance piece by Tasmanian comedienne Hannah Gadsby, currently available on Netflix. In this brilliant and searing examination of comedy and who it serves, “Art, [Gadsby] makes clear—from painting to comedy—does not liberate everyone equally. It can replicate the same privileges and exclusions as the culture in which it was made,” Moira Donegan says in her piece on “Nanette” in the New Yorker.
“Nanette” is a blistering tour de force in which Gadsby lays part of her soul bare and then leaves the audience to grapple with its role in perpetuating the marginalization of those it demands entertain us.
And in the wake of the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement, Gadsby’s indictment of homophobia and misogyny and her dissection of comedy has become a phenomenon and a statement. “I really was writing as though I was throwing a grenade,” Gadsby told Rolling Stone, “and I fully expected for the show to seal me off in the margins. I am so shocked and overwhelmingly stunned. It’s become bigger than me. And I’m happy for that.”
Both Andi and Lise are of the opinion that this is the first major piece of art—a blistering fusion of comedy and storytelling—to emerge since the 2016 elections and will probably come to define this era in ways we don’t yet even know.
Hannah Gadsby’s “Nanette” on Netflix (US; check your local Netflix site if you’re not in the US).
Gadsby’s just released memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette is available at various booksellers. Check your faves.
Rolling Stone interview with Gadsby
Moira Donegan at the New Yorker on “Nanette”
Sophie Gilbert at The Atlantic on “Nanette” as a radical, transformative work of comedy