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Netflix's new documentary is giving our fave queer comedians their flowers

Netflix's new documentary is giving our fave queer comedians their flowers

Judy Gold; Joel Kim Booster; Sandra Bernhard in Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution
Netflix

Out got the chance to speak to several of the subjects of Netflix's new documentary, Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution.

Netflix threw a massive premiere event for its new documentary Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution, and let's just say that the who's who of queer comedy was in attendance! From legends like Judy Gold to fan-favorites (and current Out cover star) like Joel Kim Booster. There was no shortage of talent and laughter in the room.

Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution takes you on a journey through the history of queer comedy, walking us through the last 50 years where LGBTQ+ comedians like Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, Lily Tomlin, and Margaret Cho have been cracking jokes that shake up society. They're not just making us laugh — they're changing the world, one punchline at a time.

Out was not only present at the special event for Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution, but also got to speak to a few stars on the red carpet.

Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution

Netflix

Given that the documentary focuses on educating audiences about LGBTQ+ comedians over the years, Out asked what the comedy world should continue to do in support of these queer artists.

Comedian Judy Gold responded:

"Such a good question. I think that this film shows the trajectory of queer comedy, how it began with Robin Tyler, and where we are today. And when I think about when I came out in 1996, I came out in the straight clubs, because that's where I had been working, and it was a big struggle."

Gold added, "But I go into a club today, [like] I go into the Comedy cellar, and these comics get on stage [saying,] 'I'm gay, I'm trans, I'm whatever.' No one cares. And I mean, it makes me want to cry, but it also makes me want to say that it wasn't always like this. You need to know your history. That's why I feel that this film is just so important in so many ways, because we see what happens when people forget their history."

Another perspective came from comedian Joel Kim Booster, who said:

"I think one thing that they can do is stop categorizing our material as just 'gay jokes.' I think what's really frustrating is: I want to talk about my partner, I want to talk about dating, I want to talk about sex. It's a universal experience. It just so happens that I use my butt to do it. And so I think straight comics are able to talk about their lives, their sex lives, their dating lives, their relationships, and no one says anything about it."

Boosted continued, "I think there needs to be a little bit more of a broadening of and a stepping into someone else's experience. Queer people are used to having to do that. We're used to having to watch someone else's story and say, 'What's me in there? How do I relate to this?' And straight, cis, white people, they're just not asked to do it as often. And I think it's like, do some of that work. Watch my sh*t and try and figure out how you can relate to me, not me trying to fit myself into a box for you."

Joel Kim Booster in Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution

Netflix

Comedian, actor, singer, and legendary activist Sandra Bernhard also had something to add to the conversation.

"Well, I think anytime there's smart original voices in comedy, it's going to keep moving the needle forward, and that seems to be happening. So that's a great thing."

Out also asked these superstars what advice they'd give to the younger generation of queer comedians.

Gold said, "Be authentic. You've got to be true to yourself. You've got to tell the truth. You have to take risks and just know comedy. Yes, it is something that makes people feel better. It's a coping mechanism, but it's also a weapon. It's a weapon you can use to change people's minds, to make statements, and trick people into understanding things they don't realize they're understanding. Use it wisely and change the world."

Bernhard added, "Just follow your real, true, authentic self. Be who you are, tell your story, and don't try to tell stories about external things that don't really matter to you."

Judy Gold, Marsha Warfield, Sandra Bernhard, Lily Tomlin in Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution

Netflix

A roast is a long-standing tradition in comedy, which prompted our next question: which queer comedian would you choose to roast you?

"Oh, I guess it would have to be a double bill of Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang," Joel Kim Booster replied. "I think if anybody knows me well enough to do that, and also probably would be vicious in a way that we could recover from. I think that those are the two."

A roast of Joel Kim Booster from the Las Culturistas cohosts would not only be hysterical, it would also break the internet!

Gold answered, "Oh my God, that's such a good question. Queer comedians to host a comedy roast… well, I would say my kids, but they're straight. My girlfriend would be perfect, but she's not a comedian. I mean, I think Sandy [Sandra Bernhard], because we're close friends and I know she loves me."

She added, "For my 60th birthday, my son and my partner had a surprise roast for me. And I never felt, I mean, it was the funniest thing for a comedian to take the time to write a joke about you. It's like, I don't understand people who can't laugh at themselves. You know what I mean? It was the greatest gift in the world. One of the comics, not gay, John Fish, said, 'Judy is so Jewish, she has a deviated vagina.' And I couldn't stop laughing. Deviated vagina. But yeah, Sandy's my woman."

A Judy Gold roast hosted by Sandra Bernhard? WE ARE SAT.

Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution

Netflix

The room was filled with laughter, joy, and even some tears. Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution is not only funny and star-packed but also incredibly important. From the 60s to now, this documentary will take you on the queer comedy journey of your dreams!

Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution is now streaming on Netflix.

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Gabriella Angelina

Gabriella Angelina is an entertainment journalist with a unique perspective on the world of TV and film. With a motto of "Don't watch me, watch TV," she has become known for her insightful and often humorous critiques of the latest in entertainment.

Follow her on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Gabriella Angelina is an entertainment journalist with a unique perspective on the world of TV and film. With a motto of "Don't watch me, watch TV," she has become known for her insightful and often humorous critiques of the latest in entertainment.

Follow her on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.