Before there was a Schumer or a Silverman, or, for that matter, a Feminist Sexpert, there was a Snow.
Carrie Snow is a true trailblazer in the field of women’s comedy. A writer and featured performer on the original Roseanne show, her classic line “a male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who has never owned a car.” is often quoted and even was featured in the book Funny Ladies: The Best Humor from America’s Funniest Women. She has appeared on the signature comedy show An Evening at the Improv, and was acknowledged alongside the likes of Bette Midler and Thea Vidale in Joanne Gilbert’s chapter “‘My Mom’s a C***’: New Bawds Ride the Fourth Wave” in Transgressive Humor of American Women Writers among a revolutionary wave of bawdy (or “bawd”) feminist comics (Carrie Snow).
“I’ve been a sex-positive role model since before they coined the phrase,” said Snow, a native and resident of California.
In more recent years, Snow has marked several significant life milestones, including her 40th anniversary in standup, as well as the far darker marker of what she calls her ‘stroke-aversary.” After suffering a stroke in 2018, Carrie Snow has relearned how to walk and talk, and is fighting to make it back to the stage–where she belongs.
“I will perform comedy again,” she vowed.
From the grand stages of Caesar’s Tahoe to the classic footlights of The Comedy Store, from opening from everyone to Jack Jones to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, to her one-woman show, “7,000 Sailors Can’t Be Wrong,” Carrie Snow has made countless audiences laugh at various points around the world (Carrie Snow website). But The Feminist Sexpert first discovered her sublime talents via a different venue.
As an avid collector of DVDs and videotapes featuring male exotic dancers (hey, everybody’s got to have a hobby), I bought a tape during my collegiate years entitled “Bachelorette Party”; a recording of a male revue show that featured a clever, no holds barred female emcee. I loved the manner in which this talented announcer, one Carrie Snow, made the ladies of the audience feel at ease while while delivering snappy zingers and introducing the heavenly hunks who took the stage.
“I wanna do that, too!” mused Young Feminist Sexpert, who since then has counted Carrie Snow as a role model and a really cool chicksta.
Snow, in fact, served as an emcee for a male strip show for a year in the 1980s; a period during which she famously joked that her diaphragm underwent several size changes for the duration. As someone who herself toiled a pr person and sometime emcee for male revues, I second this sentiment.
“When my dad was in town and asked where she should pick me up to go to lunch, I said, ‘Come to the club with the sign outside that reads, ‘Erotic Live Acts,’ Daddy,” she quipped.
Whether writing jokes for male dance shows or penning 50 jokes a day as an active writer on the original Roseanne show, Snow never held back, saying the things many women were still afraid to say, with boldness and aplomb. And in the process, she became an advocate for female comics.
“I went into the business so I could say what I wanted to say. I was once called the female Lenny Bruce,” she said. “I also wanted to be an educator for women, to draw intention to the inherent sexism in the comedy business. Some managers wouldn’t represent women.”
Snow also found that female comics, much like their acting counterparts, were judged by their image.
“Some female comics were posing for Playboy, and someone talked to me about posing,” she said. “I said, ‘I’m funny. I don’t have to be naked.”
Further proving her talent, Snow won a local Emmy nomination for her performance on Comedy Tonight and appeared in a supporting role in the Diane Keaton/Ed Harris movie Running Mates. She appeared in the documentary The Aristocrats (IMDB).
Yet standup comedy remains her true love. And it is the ambition of this standup woman to stand on stage once again.
Readers, let’s help Carrie Snow by donating to a GoFundMe account established to help her afford the costly occupational therapy needed to send her back to the comedy stage; considering the number of times she has ‘stood up’ for us ladies, it’s time for us to give back. Donate now at Fundraiser by Carrie Snow: Help Carrie Snow Afford Occupational Therapy (Carrie Snow Fundraiser).
“When I see comics like Amy Schumer up on there on stage,” she said, “I’m so pleased that I may have helped to pave the way.”
You did, Ms. Snow. You did.