Standup comic Cameron Esposito set a self-proclaimed record this year: she made The Greatest Period Joke of All Time. And she was right: It went viral. Here's why it made the Internet laugh so hard.
Marie Claire: So what makes a period joke so "taboo"?
Cameron Esposito: The number of times I have seen a microphone become a penis on a comedy stage—yet, we're still fighting to just be able to talk about our bodies as if they exist. Chelsea Peretti has a period joke about if guys had their periods we would hear about it constantly. But—and there's not a man who lives in my house because I'm a giant lesbian—I think that straight girls, for some reason, still hide this from dudes. It's something that you can't talk about with your partner because you think you're too disgusting need to, like, sleep in a tent in the woods. Come on! We need to get over our inhibitions between each other especially if we are in committed partnerships, but even if we're just making out. Here's the thing: Women totally fart and we do lots of other things and we need to be honest about it.
MC: And what makes it so damn funny?
CE: Standup is more personal than it's ever been, and by that I mean that a comic tells a joke about their specific life and it is not necessarily about, like, airplane food or whatever, it's about this happened to me. But even in that zone to get taboos to work, it's even better if it's a taboo that actually affects you. Like a dude getting up and talking about periods, that's where you would lose me because I don't know if you know what the heck you are talking about. But a woman getting up and talking about it—and there are more female members in the audience now than ever before. There's this new generation of female fans and surprise! women will consume content made for them. It's a post-Bridesmaids world.
MC: How do you make a "taboo" funny?
CE: Anything can be funny. But you can't joke about something without being aware of the weight of what you're talking about.
MC: Any other taboos that make great joke material?
CE: Pornography—women should talk about pornography more because I think there is a really weird misconception that women don't consume pornography and I don't understand why we are continuing to allow that. Even "sexperts" say things like, "Men are more visual and women imagine after listening to the 50 Shades Of Grey audio book."
A version of this article appears in the August 2015 issue of Marie Claire on newsstands July 21.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
As deputy editor, Jen oversees Cosmopolitan's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. Previously, Jen was a senior editor at Marie Claire. Before that, she worked at GQ.
Mango Has the Most Luxe-Looking Coats and Jackets—And They're All Under $200
From wool coats and trendy bomber jackets to warm puffers and leather picks.
By Brooke Knappenberger
Joshua Jackson and Lupita Nyong’o Confirmed They're Dating With a PDA-Filled Grocery Run in Joshua Tree
The couple that grocery shops together, stays together.
By Fleurine Tideman
Emma Stone Wanted Her Red Carpet Hair to Have an 'Element of Simplicity'
By Sophia Vilensky
Sarah Hyland and Adam Devine Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Modern Family' stars reunited for the 'Pitch Perfect' spinoff series.
By Brooke Knappenberger
The 78 Best Celebrity Couple Halloween Costumes of All Time
Honestly, we're impressed.
By Charlotte Chilton
Super Rare Photos of Queen Elizabeth as a Young Woman
From childhood snapshots to portraits as a young princess, beautiful and rare photos of the late Queen Elizabeth as a young woman.
By Mehera Bonner
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Relationship: A Timeline
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has ascended to the throne as king.
By The Editors
Who Is Next in Line for the British Throne, Explained
And yes—Harry and Archie are still in the line of succession.
By Andrea Park
Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Fiancé Riley Roberts?
AOC's husband-to-be is an "easygoing redhead" who lives with her in D.C.
By Katherine J. Igoe
68 Times the Kardashians Posed Fully Nude and Owned It
And we mean fully nude—as in, not a shred of clothing.
By Bianca Rodriguez
Who Is Jonathan Owens, Simone Biles's Fiancé and NFL Player?
"The easiest yes!" Simone wrote about the couple's engagement.
By The Editors