Secret's Out: Why Letterman Show Didn't Book Many Female Comics

We already learned that women working for “The Late Show with David Letterman” sometimes get more than just a weekly salary.

Now, we’re finding out why so few female comics grace Letterman’s iconic stage.

David Letterman

Letterman’s comedy booker, Eddie Brill, has been fired for suggesting in an interview that female comedians aren’t as funny as their male counterparts. That, combined with the fact that the show booked only one female comic last year, sealed Brill’s fate with the program.

Brill’s appraisal of the state of female comedy didn’t go over so well at the newly launched Mirth Magazine, whose editorial condemning Brill subsequently sparked a discussion between readers, female comics who participated in the Times profile, and eventually Brill himself. At first, Brill claimed to have been quoted out of context–a claim that was quickly refuted by the interviewer, Jason Zinoman–but hours later, Brill came around to recognizing that he “should have been more accurate with my words and feelings in the interview,” and admitted, “It is time for me to accept the consequences of my printed words.”

The funny part of the story, and not in any “ha ha” fashion, is why it took an interview like this to reveal the biased nature of the show’s talent selection.