'The Daily Show' co-creator Lizz Winstead says her show made comedians 'the watchdogs of the powerful'

The Daily Show' changed the television landscape with its scathing and satirical take on everything from politics to the media culture and ruffled numerous feathers. It continues to do so with host Trevor Noah, even today


                            'The Daily Show' co-creator Lizz Winstead says her show made comedians 'the watchdogs of the powerful'
Lizz Winstead (Getty Images)

When comedian Lizz Winstead co-created the 'The Daily Show' back in 1996, little did she know that the satirical series would come to become such a phenomenon — but she loves that it has.

'The Daily Show' changed the television landscape with its scathing and satirical take on everything from politics to the media culture and ruffled numerous feathers in the process, to put it lightly — and continues to do so with host Trevor Noah, even today.

It was exactly as she had hoped it would be all these years later, a show that made them think, she tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an interview.

"My expectations were that it would be a satirical force that not only exposed the hypocrisy of media makers but also the media itself using truth and humor," she said. It had stemmed from the disappointment and constant let down by the existing media, who they had hoped would be "the watchdog of the powerful".

Lizz Winstead opens up about Feminist Buzzkills of Comedy (Lizz Winstead)

"The hope was to get people to think more about who they put their trust in, be it a politician or a pundit. For years we had thought our media would be, but they let us down on that front and so enter the comedians to become the 'watchdogs of the watchdogs' if you will," Winstead said. And that's exactly what her show has done. 

However, Winstead's talents did not stop with 'The Daily Show'.  She went on to produce and create more shows like Court TV's 'Snap Judgement', serve as a panelist for shows like 'Politically Incorrect' and 'Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn' as well as write a book. Then came her activism — and now she's channeling that into a comedy tour. 

In 2012, she founded Lady Parts Justice (later called Abortion Access Force), an organization dedicated to raising awareness on legislative attempts to block women's reproductive freedoms. Her latest comedy tour, 'Feminist Buzzkills of Comedy' is part of this organization. 

The tour kicked off in Washington DC last month. It is a way to prove to "Jordan Peterson and broflakes everywhere" that "despite their best efforts at trolling them, women and queer folks are hilarious," states their official release.

Winstead is collaborating with comedians and actors such as Maysoon Zayid (one of America's first Muslim women comedians and the first person ever to perform standup in Palestine and Jordan), Joyelle Johnson (currently the warm up comic for Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act on Netflix), and trans comic and activist Jaye McBride among others in what she calls is "a comedy smackdown of misogyny's finest".

As is with Winstead herself, you can expect lots of laughter but that will not be all.

Each show includes hilarious comedy, music or burlesque, an in-depth conversation with local activists and reproductive health care providers, who educate the audience about what is at stake in their community.

To top it off with a call to action in the room, she says, "It is a great way to bring our fanbase together with the change-makers] in their city, and gives them a way to fight back."

Attendees could write a postcard of support to their local abortion provider or sign a petition or call a local, state or federal politician.

"Maybe you will learn about how you can sign up to give rides to people to appointments, or sign up for a bowling team trying to raise money for low-income folks who need help paying for their procedure," she explained.

And while all the madness ensues, she will be on the go writing thousands of jokes for sure — as she puts it, "Patriarchy doesn’t take a holiday and so I don't either!"

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