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I noticed that the "humorist" link leads to the Comedian page. They are not one and the same. Somebody smarter than I should think about doing a Humorist page.

Hello from the future; this has been fixed. See Humorist. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:03, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

I put in a bit about famous comedy places, links between comics and illness and examples of when comedians have got it wrong. fell free to edit this. --Duey Finster (Too lazy to login, signed as 00:35, 18 December 2005 (UTC) )'

Will smith ain't a comedian, i removed him from the laundry list :) 01:35, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Comic vs ComedianEdit

I don't know why, but the article mentions that "comic" is a term used for "professional" comedians. As an amateur comedian, I can tell you that's bullsh!t. Comic is just another word for comedian, and it's the preferred label we identify ourselves with. It has nothing to do with what level of the game you're at. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

other meaningsEdit

I have heard the term "comedian" used in the sense of "humorous writer," as in "Aristophanes was an ancient Greek comedian." Fishal 18:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Geographic biasEdit

Is there a reason most of the examples are comics from the UK? Aside from the laundry list, there are no North American comics?

Laundry list? plus British comics are generally more funny than american comics. Matt lucas, Vic Reeves, Eric Idle, John cleese etc. I don't see many if any UK comics in the longer lists, I mean who finds Tim Allen funny lol?

More Americans speak english than british. It would make sense to assume that more Americans use this wiki. Therefore, British comedians who mean nothing to Americans that we do not even know or care about ought to be kept listed in lower numbers. Also, British Comedy appeals to the English. American comedy appears to America. I would say that british comedy sucks and is just a way for Americans to be pretentious when they really know it's just long drawn out sarcasm wrapped around a stupid story. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

I can smell the bias like it's a fungal infection, jesus. "British comics are generally more funny than American comics." First off, it's 'funnier,' not 'more funny.' Learn to speak your own damned language. Secondly, stand-up as a medium is an American art form. I'm not saying Brits can't do it and don't do it well, but to claim that stand up comedy is anything BUT a true American art form as American as Blues music is preposterous. You list a bunch of famous UK comics and then list ONE has-been American to demonstrate your point? Are you 5? Or just that stupid? Allen is actually funny. Is he hilarious? No, but he IS funny. You saw him once on TV in the 90s and assume you know who he is and what he does. Here's a short list of well-known, CURRENT American comics, each of which is 30x funnier than the funniest UK comic you mentioned: Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, Sarah Silverman, Iliza Schleschinger, Bill Burr, Joe Rogan, Doug Stanhope, Joey Diaz, Ian Edwards, Sarah Tiana, Tony Hinchcliffe, Ralphie May, Brian Regan, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifinakis, Dom Irerra. Shall I go on? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 11 June 2014 (UTC)


Come into the 21st century, Wikipedia. Try calling Whoopi Goldberg a comedienne and see how well she takes it. Comedian is fine for male or female. Comedienne we can do without. (talk)

Absolutely agreed. I freaking loathe that term. -- (talk) 18:40, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't see the issue. Do you speak French? German? Italian? Why do people embrace gendered terms in other languages yet oppose them in English? I'm a masseur and were I a woman, I'd be a masseuse. At school, we had a head mistress for a time and then a head master. I love the beauty of language and would rather that than replace it with some stale carbon-copy language devoid of beauty, colour and expression. Enzedbrit (talk) 11:48, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Accuracy supersedes political correctness. Comedienne is a proper term; stop removing it from the article just because you don't like it. -- (talk) 01:24, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

'Supersedes' means 'comes after' or 'replaces'. You may have meant 'takes precedence over' or 'is more important than'. Even so, I'm aware of female comedians who insist that they are 'comedians' and that 'comedienne' is an outmoded term in the business. There again, I know another who is equally insistent that 'comedienne' is just fine, thanks. 'Comedian' certainly functions adequately for both, and there is no real reason to have a special word to denote female if the basic word doesn't denote male. Prior to the 19th century, 'comedienne' wasn't used in English at all.
Still, putting aside the accusation of 'political correctness' (which is an emotive term often used to muddy the water), the problem with language is that, while everyone can have an opinion, the correctness of language is determined solely by usage. None of the commenters above are correct because there is no 'correct' in this case. A dictionary, as we know, doesn't decide the correct use of language - it merely describes how it's used. So it seems that we would need to look to usage to determine this one. How does Wikipedia take that measure? - Laterensis (talk) 11:34, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I notice the last few edits have been back and forth additions and removals by anonymous editors of the word 'comedienne'. Are we going to discuss this here, or just continue reverting? - Laterensis (talk) 10:27, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

First time I've read this pages and I just reverted to a version with coverage on sight. I admit I didn't read these comments first but it doesn't change anything. The test is a simple one. Is the term in common use? If so we include it. If not we don't. The ultimate purpose of this project is to document reality, not pass judgement on it - that is inherently POV. With this in mind invalidates his own argument.
Similarly a single individual making a claim as to what he or she is does not make that binding on all members of that class. Indeed, Whoopi Goldberg does not have to power to alter whether she is a comedian or comedienne (at least, short of gender reassignment surgery). She can express a preference as to what she would prefer to be called but that does not change what she is.
However, this is a point that could perhaps do with being made explicitly. If we do this though, it must be neutral and in proportion to the rest of the article - that is, a sentence at most. It should not dominate the rest of the article. CrispMuncher (talk) 15:39, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Regarding usage versus correctness, I think it is worth noting that Associated Press guidelines prefer 'comedian' for both sexes. Is this not a solid indication of usage? I am not suggesting that the word 'comedienne' be stricken from the record as if it never existed, but it may be time to move it to an Etymology section and note that it is not preferred. Krychek (talk) 21:14, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
This is Wikipedia, not Associated Press. Those who prefer to use the Amazing Shrinking AP Vocabulary should go to work at AP. Eventually, their vocabulary will shrink to just a single word, Ingsoc, thus making the writing of articles very simple, indeed. — QuicksilverT @ 01:15, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
I said it was worth noting as an indication of modern usage. I did not even remotely imply that Wikipedia should adhere to AP guidelines. But your sarcastic condescension is duly noted. Krychek (talk) 19:15, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Request for Comment on Comedian/ComedienneEdit

There is consensus for option B, that the word 'comedienne' should not appear in the first sentence. The RfC doesn't ask whether comedienne should be included elsewhere in the article, but the opinions suggest that it will be accepted. Whether there is consensus for it to be in the lead is not evident. EdJohnston (talk) 18:00, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

As seen in the above section, there is an ongoing edit war since at least 2008 between multiple users regarding whether the first sentence should mention the word 'comedienne'. A 'comedienne' is a female comedian, however, many comedians (including female comedians) don't like or use the word (they use 'comedian'). These are the two possible sentences (you can also propose another sentence if you'd like):

  • A: A comedian, also known as a comedienne (female) or comic (a professional comedian), is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh.
  • B: A comedian, also known as a comic (a professional comedian), is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh.

Support means that you want comedienne to be included (A); Oppose means that you don't want comedienne to be included (B).

Thanks for your time, let's end this edit war once and for all! :) -Newyorkadam (talk) 22:21, 23 January 2014 (UTC)Newyorkadam (changed date 10 days forward to allow for more comments, there seems to be some great discussion and the right decision should be made)

  • Comment: West Coast US here, I've never heard the word comedienne before. Nor have I heard "comic" used to describe a person. Other regions may have, and I think if that's the case, MOS:ENGVAR applies, which means we would need to count up and weigh the sources to determine which words are mentioned and with what significance. Edit warring is really unnecessary. It's just math. PraetorianFury (talk) 00:39, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose (weakly). I don't think the term "comedienne" needs to appear in the first sentence, but if it is to appear it should be weakened to indicate that the term comedienne is *sometimes* used for females (since it isn't universal). I think it's perfectly OK to redirect "comedienne" to this article and have a section in the article about the term "comedienne" which explains that some people use it as a female form of the word "comedian" but that the use of the term is not universal (examples either way would be useful, e.g. in the name of awards), that some female comedians do not use the term to describe themselves (examples either way would be useful again here), and even that some people find the use of the term sexist/offensive (if a citation exists to support that). I don't think there has to be a decision taken whether "comedienne" is good/bad or right/wrong (since this is a Point of View either way); just tell the reader what the situation is and they can decide for themselves how they feel about the term. A link should be included to Gender marking in job titles which discusses the issue more generally (and actually mentions comedienne). I also note that the Manual of Style supports the use of gender-neutral language see Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Gender-neutral language. Kerry (talk) 00:44, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose in the same way as Kerry. I don't think "comedienne" needs to be mentioned in the opening sentence, but it should be mentioned somewhere in the lead section, and of course it should redirect here. I'm startled that PraetorianFury has never heard "comic" used to describe a person—not even in the phrase "stand-up comic"? Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:37, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
No, I think even in that situation it would be "stand-up comedian". *shrug* Anyway, my experiences are kind of moot, we're supposed to weigh the sources, which in this situation would probably mean comparing search engine results. PraetorianFury (talk) 00:25, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support (strongly). For those users whose browsers support tool-tip previews, it is useful to present as much information about the subject as possible in the first 200 characters of an article, so mentioning the feminine form of the word in the first or second sentence is important. Aside from that, the edit-wars attempting to eliminate the feminine form of the word amounts to a gross display of ignorance of the English language, or proper usage of any language, for that matter. In some cases the prejudice is the result of minds having been poisoned by "political correctness"; there is no room for such notions in Wikipedia. (Those who oppose gender-specific forms in language would do well to study George Orwell's novel, 1984 and the implications of "Ingsoc".) — QuicksilverT @ 07:52, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Excluding "comedienne" from the first sentence makes us literally hitler. PraetorianFury (talk) 17:18, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose (strongly). It is more than sufficient to redirect from "comedienne" and note this archaic form later in the article. My reasoning is the same as Kerry's. Furthermore, I don't feel the feminine form is actually important enough to put in the first 200 characters for tooltips -- this is, in fact, a good reason to move it farther down in the article. I will also point out that no one is trying to "eliminate the feminine form of the word"; we all want to mention it and the controversy that surrounds it so that the informed reader can decide for him- or herself whether to use it. Krychek (talk) 19:12, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
  • "Oppose", only use later in article.--Andrea edits (talk) 07:09, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per Krychek and Kerry (et al), it should definitely appear lower down in the article, and be elaborated upon, with sources, explaining the issue, and pointing to Gender marking in job titles for further details. (Note: possibly google's ngrams are useful, not as a final source, but for gauging overall usage in the English corpus). –Quiddity (talk) 00:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
This is precisely the kind of improper advancement of the cause I referred to lower down. Read the very article you link to - it is very guarded in its language - full of "proponents state" to make it clear this is a matter of opinion and not fact. Here you propose linking to it as if the position was an undeniable truth. No, that simply isn't appropriate here. You suggest giving what is inevitably a statement of opinion, and then presenting it as fact, in an article where the whole issue is at best tangentially relevant. (talk) 21:47, 19 January 2014 (UTC).
  • Weak oppose. I don't see anything particularly wrong with putting comedienne in the first sentence, but my preferred solution would be to put it in the second sentence instead. Maybe something like this:

    A comedian, also known as a comic (a professional comedian), is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. Female comedians are also known as comediennes, although this term is not used by some comedians due to gender-neutrality issues.

    That's just a suggestion, so feel free to improve on it. Also, ideally that would be backed up in the body of the article with a citation - that's a bit too strong a claim for me to be comfortable with putting in uncited. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 03:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • This kind of pointless hand-wringing is what has really turned me off Wikipedia. Is the term "comedienne" in common use? Well, Google reports over a million hits so we'd have to say yes. That alone is enough for it to be included. I question the underlying motives of the omissionists. I want to be clear that I don't intend that as an attack on anyone but the I believe people's judgment is being clouded by a false sense of political correctness. That isn't appropriate here, indeed it is incompatible with NPOV. Similarly "I've never heard of it" etc are not acceptable arguments unless you are presenting yourself as a linguistic authority, and even then it wouldn't wash here. We have all kind of alternative terms for any number of subjects here, many of which I have never heard of: we tend to keep them based on our policies on regional and national varieties of English. A lot of alternative terms for subjects have far less traction than the one under consideration here. They don't receive any debate at all.
So why is this particular term attracting so much controversy? I refer back to my earlier point: I believe it can only be down to a sense of political correctness. Wikipedia is not a place to fight those battles or advance the cause of sex equality: it is losing sight of the project's core principles if we do. (talk) 21:37, 19 January 2014 (UTC).
Comment Well, let's hark back to the Judgment of Solomon which pre-dates political correctness. Do we need this article at all? Why don't we just delete it? Currently it's only assessed as start-class, it is very short, contains unhelpful statements like "William Shakespeare wrote a fair amount of comedies" (I wonder what an unfair amount would be), and clearly generates plenty of ill-feeling. Given that there are Wikitionary entries for both comedian and comedienne, it seems that most of this article is about styles of comedy, which probably belongs in Comedy in any case. Is there anything that needs to be said about those who practice comedy that would be out of scope for Comedy? If not, why not delete this article? In support of that argument, I note that "singer" redirects to "singing", "dancer" redirects to "dance", so we seem to have a precedent for not needing "comedian" as an article at all. Kerry (talk) 03:30, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment I object to the use of the term "omissionists." No one is trying to remove the word from the article or strike it from the language. What is being attempted is to place the word in a more appropriate position and provide more information about it, not less. In fact, I would go so far as to say the people who are trying to suppress the information on controversy are "omissionist."Krychek (talk) 16:08, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • For the record, almost all of the top results for "comedienne" in Google are dictionaries. This does not mean that the word is still in common use. This really smells like trying to make a WP:POINT and WP:ADVOCACY to me. This is really not our job here. I would exclude comedienne from the entirety of the lead and maybe include the word in a section on etymology. PS: we link to two female comedians, Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler. This borders on a WP:WAX argument, but...both of those articles say "comedian". PraetorianFury (talk) 17:14, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support the inclusion of "comedienne" in the lead, preferably in the first two or three sentences. Newyorkadam's option A is good, although it gives no context to how widely the term is used. Mr. Stradivarius' alternative wording is perhaps better as it gives added context. It would be wrong to omit the word entirely, as this would pander to individuals' sensibilities at the loss of accuracy and completeness of the content (see WP:NPOV). sroc 💬 08:58, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment I will reiterate -- yet again -- that no one in the original edit war ever advocated removing the word entirely. Most everyone here is fine with retaining the word later in the article. (Edited for accuracy.) Krychek (talk) 19:17, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support the inclusion of "comedienne". What difference should it make that some female comedians don't like or use the word? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 19:16, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose the use of "comedienne." Lightbreather (talk) 16:54, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per "A", just because some people dont like it doesnt mean it doesnt exist, it can be explained in the article body why the term is not always used or not liked if a reliable reference can be found. MilborneOne (talk) 17:47, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Support When looking at articles like actor, flight attendant, police officer, etc., it appears that the female-specific version is used after the gender-neutral term (which is often the male term). Perhaps some editors would like to footnote it as a compromise? Here is a source that briefly mentions the use of the word "comedienne," on page 192. Let me know what you all think. That footnote can also mention, if editors think it a good idea, that The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage advises its writers not to use the word "comedienne" (see page 74). --Precision123 (talk) 00:24, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Comedienne" should be mentioned further down in the article but not in the lead. Nobody even uses the term "comedienne." Meatsgains (talk) 00:37, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
According to The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, it is "still in flux." I am not sure if I would go so far as to say "nobody even uses" it, but I am no expert, I'm just submitting some sources for you all to make a wise decision. :) --Precision123 (talk) 00:55, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
@Precision123: Thank you very much for that source! I'll use it when the final decision is made regarding this request for comment :) -Newyorkadam (talk) 01:39, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Newyorkadam
  • Support per Option A use of "comedienne" in the lead. Precision123 and Newyorkadam make some good points above though they have different !votes regarding use in the lead. I have seen the word in print and deem it of value, as in Actor and Actress. Jusdafax 06:01, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Comment I think everyone has made good points. The conclusion that I am seeing is that unless the word has fallen so far out of use that it is archaic (as some examples in this source), it looks like most of our articles include the feminine-specific terms it in the lead as alternate terms for females. That said, it sounds like most of us are in agreement about including short but expanded treatment about the use of term, which seems to be part of a broader debate over feminine occupational forms. --Precision123 (talk) 01:49, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
I've only just come into this debate but I see some easily disputable arguments being used. If we consider e.g. PraetorianFury's argument it turns the whole concept of reliable sources on its head: dictionaries are generally regarded as highly reliable sources and if these sources give the feminine as -enne you need counter sources to discredit them. Google hit counts do not count, although how millions of hits can be discounted like that I'm not sure. Where are those reliable sources? That is how any debate here is supposed to be framed. The advancement women's lib is inappropriate here. What we'd like in a perfect world is an irrelevance. It documents reality in accordance with wider policies. Justin Urquhart Stewart (talk) 15:02, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
This makes no sense at all. There's no such thing as "counter sources" on Wikipedia. One supporting source does not negate another disputing source. If there is a debate, we cover it. And dictionaries are utilities and do not demonstrate actual usage. They have all kinds of words we don't necessarily use. Per WP:WEIGHT we cover topics according to their prominence among mainstream sources. Here are some sources for Sarah Silverman referring to herself as a "Comedian": Rolling Stone, IMDB, her own freaking FaceBook page. How about Amy Schumer? Here's her website (look at the title bar), IMDB again, Comedy Central, FaceBook again... The list goes on. Female Comedians are referring to themselves as Comedians. This reeks of advocacy. Do you have sources for female comedians or any mainstream sources referring to these women as Comediennes? Anything besides Dictionaries or meta data like tags? I have seen 0 provided. Just everyone throwing around their own experiences. PraetorianFury (talk) 21:36, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Please note that I changed the date of this RfC so that it would be extended for 10 more days. There has been some great discussion on this page and I want to make sure that the right decision is made. -Newyorkadam (talk) 01:01, 12 February 2014 (UTC)Newyorkadam

  • Keep comedienne in some form. Perhaps it doesn't have to be in the first sentence but it should be quite close as a notable term that has been widely used. i suggest including it with the caveat that it's use is deprecated, and why. Sportfan5000 (talk) 02:28, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Sportfan5000. That seems to be the most commonly agreed idea (i.e., including the "caveat" that you mention). As to whether it should be in the first sentence I think it probably should, at least when looking at other articles that also have feminine occupational forms. I don't think "comedienne" is used significantly more or less than "policewoman," for example. Perhaps we should discuss how to write that caveat? My suggestion:

A comedian, also known as a comedienne (alternatively for a female) or comic (a professional comedian), is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. (Suggested footnote: There is currently a debate over the use of many feminine occupational forms, including the use of "comedienne." Many female comedians and others discourage using it, but it currently remains in use.source)

Also notice that I added "alternatively for a female" in the lead's first sentence. That was because "comedian" can be used for a female and "comedienne" is an alternate term for one. Let me know your thoughts. --Precision123 (talk) 04:44, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Seems sensible to me, let's see what others have to say. Sportfan5000 (talk) 08:17, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
No objections so far. Any thoughts in whether the footnote should say "but it currently remains in use" or "but it currently remains in flux"? Thank you. --Precision123 (talk) 04:03, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps - Comedian, also comedienne (deprecated use for women comics). It's such a short article the point should be made quickly, and then move on. Sportfan5000 (talk) 08:26, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the point should be made quickly and move on. I am not particularly keen on "deprecated." I don't think the term is so widely criticized that it merits a description like that. You were referring to put this in the lead, right? Not the footnote? Best, --Precision123 (talk) 23:25, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, should go in the lead, whatever word choice is up to you. Sportfan5000 (talk) 00:19, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose reference to the word being placed in the opening sentence. This usage is clearly antiquated to say the least and appears in virtually no contemporary formal discussion of comedy -- and is very likely even more infrequent in common parlance. Certainly reference to "comedienne" should appear in the article and it's probably not altogether out-of-place in the lead, but placing it so prominently in the immediate opening statement does not reflect common usage of terminology for this role/profession and the emphasis lent to placing it so prominently would represent misinformation (however slight) concerning how these terms are presently applied in English in that this term does not have gender dichotomy for most contemporary speakers.Snow (talk) 13:37, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
    • Having a brief mention in the intro of the article makes sense. i think putting it into the second sentence would be fine, but how should it be phrased? Sportfan5000 (talk) 05:18, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose use of comedienne in the lead or in some way that does not suggest it's an antique usage. If it's in the lead it won't be put in any lengthy context regarding its usage, which means we won't sufficiently explain that it's a term that's not in favor, which means we'll be giving it undue weight. It's a word like "aviatrix" which people think is cute, but that most working women wouldn't use on any day of the week, and haven't used in a majority way for many many decades, (in aviatrix's case almost a century). It's rare in sources and usage and the article should reflect that reality. Also it's much more in line with the Manual of Style at WP:SHE. The guidance at Gender marking in job titlesis helpful too. I wouldn't correct it if it was the term used by a BLP overwhelmingly themselves, but the article is describing hundreds to thousands of working professionals. See Category:Women comedians. __ E L A Q U E A T E 03:36, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
    • I think we have to NPOV present it as a less-used term, but do you have any good sources that discuss the use of the term as going out of use? Sportfan5000 (talk) 05:18, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's gone out of use, but I think it's been eclipsed by the combined usage of comedian and comic.[1] Any description of it should make clear that most women don't use it as their primary description now. It's not due weight to say something incomplete like "it's the word for women comedians" or "for female comedians" or "comedian, and comedienne (female). It give the false sense that "if a woman, use this word" which is not how the world currently exists. It's clear it's only one of the words for women comedians, and currently the least popular of them. As an example of a more neutral approach, the article Poet doesn't push the idea that "Poetess" is on an equal footing as "Poet" by just making it a clearly noted redirect without pushing it in the lead as directly equivalent. If we put it prominently, we would have to note more prominently that comedian is the more usual word for a woman comedian in order to maintain true NPOV. In other words, this isn't a weight issue between "comedian (male) and comedienne (female)" it's a weight issue between "comedian (male and female) and comedienne (far less common and less preferred term for women comedians). If it stays in the lead it would actually have to read A comedian (male or female), also known as a comedienne (female) or comic... in order to give enough due weight to the idea that comedian means women too. I think it's cleaner to just move comedienne away from prominence, where it can be explained as the less popular term, although sometimes used. __ E L A Q U E A T E 16:38, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Then the answer is to still present it but just add further down the lead, with some explanation that it's use is diminished, or something NPOV. Sportfan5000 (talk) 16:40, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The very fact that we're having this discussion illustrates that the term is considered atypical at best, and sexist at worst. In my opinion, the cleanest way to deal with this issue is to address it explicitly (but briefly) in the lead section. However, this should be done no earlier than the 2nd sentence, to avoid giving the suggestion that "comedienne" is in common and accepted use. This seems to me to be the fairest representation of the spectrum of viewpoints that exists, giving the appropriate amount of prominence to all terms. --Rubseb (talk) 00:21, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Source ComparisonEdit

As a reminder, Wikipedia is not a democracy. We do not vote to determine the truth. We look at and weigh sources. Therefore, I am creating a section for editors on either side to present their sources supporting or disputing the usage of "Comedienne". PraetorianFury (talk) 21:48, 20 February 2014 (UTC)


  • I don't mean to pan Praetorian's efforts to clarify the issue here, as it is worthwhile to examine the usage of the word for proper contextualization, but I do want to add some caveats that need to be kept in mind in trying to apply what we find in these materials. In particular, we should remember that these are not actually sources at all for the question being raised; putting aside for the moment that most all of those sources supplied are likely to be primary sources and from online media that are not considered appropriate for Wikipedia citation, none of these are actually treating the subject of the word -- they are simply using it incidentally and not focusing on defining the term or making any claims about it -- and thus we would be treading well into original research territory here by claiming anything we derive from these materials is indicative of the actual usage or frequency of the relative terms. Depending upon the eagerness and industriousness of the editors involved, we might see 99% comedian/1% comedienne reflected or a 50/50 result, but that does not actually say anything meaningful to our uses here at Wikipedia. The only thing that could be used for actual citation would be actual research or other sourceable discussion on the use of the terms and their commonness, and I rather tend to doubt any such sources will be forthcoming. That being said, tools like google word analytics have become a useful and broadly-accepted approach amongst Wikipedians for trying to establish key term frequency and such might be useful here. Certainly it would provide us with data from a vastly broader class of sources over a much longer period of time, allowing us to establish both current usage of the terms and changing trends, and would certainly be more neutral and elucidating than each side amassing personally selected sources advocating for their side. If I can find the time, I will try to put together a summary for such analytic data. Snow (talk) 00:56, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
This is far from original research. These kinds of discussions happen all the time when different sources use different terms. Do you remember the Chelsea Manning incident? Multiple reliable sources were using different names for the same person, but the editors decided, based on policy, which name to use. So it is here. The relevant policy in this case is WP:WEIGHT. We determine, based on the weight of the sources, what coverage to give to this term. So far I have seen 0 sources provided to support the usage of comedienne at all. And female comedians are referring to themselves as "Comedians". Who could possibly be more reliable in this regard? Is The Rolling Stone unreliable? Is Comedy Central unreliable? There are countless others using this same word because it is overwhelmingly the word of choice in modern English. I am skeptical of any sort of Google analytics because it will sweep together all unreliable sources as well as these highly reliable sources that I've provided here, not to mention it may fail to distinguish meta data (tags) from actual content. This whole dispute smells like editors' WP:ADVOCACY, but Wikipedia is not a WP:SOAPBOX, and we are not here to choose what words people should be using. We look at the words people are using, and there is only one. PraetorianFury (talk) 17:21, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Sources using only Comedian

  1. Rolling Stone, referring to Sarah Silverman
  2. IMDB referring to Sarah Silverman
  3. Sarah Silverman referring to herself
  4. Amy Schumer's website
  5. IMDB referring to Amy Schumer
  6. Comedy Central referring to Amy Schumer
  7. Amy Schumer referring to herself

Sources using only Comedienne

Sources using both Comedian and Comedienne


Now that the RFC has expired and dialog seems to have ceased, it's about time we closed this debate. We have a number of policies applicable to this issue. Their relevant passages are...

  • WP:WEIGHT - "Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all"
  • Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Gender-neutral_language - "Use gender-neutral language where this can be done with clarity and precision."
  • Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Contested_vocabulary - "Avoid words and phrases that give the impression of straining for formality, that are unnecessarily regional, or that are not widely accepted."

No policies have been presented in support of the usage of "comedienne". No sources have been provided. Nothing but votes, which are in the minority. Therefore it is clear that the article as it stands right now is giving undue weight to the usage of comedienne. In the interest of consensus, I will replace that with a brief section following the lead describing its state as "in flux" as stated by this source. PraetorianFury (talk) 18:56, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Please don't. You presented a poor selection of sources, unsurprisingly supporting your stance, and now you're trying to close a discussion the way you prefer despite clear preference for some mention.

as I look for sources:

  • Fuller, Graham. "Breaking away-Iconic free spirit, dramatic powerhouse, and, of course, comedienne-Diane Keaton unbound." FILM COMMENT 43.2 (2007): 32-36. APA
  • Ravens, Agatha. The Infallible Comedienne, Kristen Wiig: Uncover Kristen Wiig's Humor and Drama in Life. Ebook. GD Publishing, 2011.
  • Herringshaw, DeAnn. Lucille Ball: Actress & Comedienne. ABDO, 2011.
  • Deveau, Danielle J. "Nikki Payne: Sexual Aggression, Speech Impediments, and the Ugly Comedienne." Feminist Media Studies 10: 478-481.
  • Karol, Michael. Lucy A to Z: An Encyclopedia of Facts and Opinions on the Life and Career of the World's Best-Loved Comedienne, Lucille Ball. Writer's Showcase Press, 2001.
  • Fräser, Casey, and Rob Marchesani. "Finding the True Self Onstage: Dialogue with a Comedienne." The Psychotherapy Patient 11.3-4 (2001): 187-196.

These are all recent. How about from the last month?

It's pretty much original research, without strong sourcing, to suggest that it's anything but a term used for women comics. Sportfan5000 (talk) 23:37, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

All of these sources are unreliable except for Dayton Daily News and Sorry but Googling for a few actresses with "comedienne" as a criteria doesn't really prove anything. Let's take a look at Lily Tomlin and Victoria Jackson. These sources were found by simply Googling for the actress's name and opening the top results.
Lily Tomlin is referred to as a "comedian" by...
  1. USA Today
  2. Huffington Post (hey, that was one of your sources wasn't it?)
  3. Washington Post
  4. Her official twitter account
  5. IMDB
  6. NNDB
  7. People Magazine
Victoria Jackson is called an "actress" by most sources, or some sort of writer/politician. Though The Salon does call her a comedian on page 2 of Google. Several other sources call her a "comedian" as well:
  1. Comedy Central
  2. Huffington Post
And I don't really see how you can accuse me of "original research" while what I said was exactly what was in the source I used. Perhaps you should take a few minutes from combing through narrow Google results to actually read it?
Additionally I never said that comedienne was never used. Only that it was so infrequently used that including it in the lead was undue weight. And besides that, even if it was contested, WP:SHE specifically says to use gender neutral language when possible. We have a source, specifically saying "comedian" has become gender inclusive. So what justification can you possibly have for so prominently displaying it on the page this way? PraetorianFury (talk) 00:48, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
PS: Actress is a similar situation, except their first source actually justifies the inclusion of "actress" in the lead: [2]. If we try to mimic this formula we find that no similar explanation is given at [3]. This highly reliable source chose to exclude comedienne entirely from its definition of comedian. So should we. PraetorianFury (talk) 00:55, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
The point, which you may have missed, was that it was easy to find current researchers, and publishers, which are certainly reliable sources, who are using the term you feel is going out of fashion. The sources i posted, it only took a few minutes but there are hundreds more, counter the equally unimpressive sources you insist prove the term should be pushed down in the lead. i think what would be more compelling is reliable sources that show the history of the term and how it's gone out of use. I'm not sure they exist but they might. This is also a huge amount of effort to suppress this term, on a relatively poor and short article. Sportfan5000 (talk) 01:04, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
WP:ONUS says, "The burden of identifying a reliable source lies with the editor who adds or restores material," so could you tell me how you determined that any of these sources can be considered reliable? WP:RS says, "Anyone can create a personal web page or publish their own book, and also claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable." If you can't establish the reliability of your sources, we should consider them unreliable, and therefore they do not justify any weight for the word. Further, even the cherry picked actresses or comedians you've mentioned are referred to by more highly reliable sources as "comedians".
You want a reliable source stating how comedienne has fallen out of use? Ok, I will link it to you again: Do you have a reliable source stating that comedienne is still in use? You're shifting the burden of evidence, it is not my responsibility to prove a negative. The problem, as it stands now, is the lead implies a false equality between comedian and comedienne. A handful of academics flaunting their vocabulary by using a near archaic word does not mean it is included in the mainstream vernacular.
And I can turn your last snide remark right around on you, like so, "This is also a huge amount of effort to include this term, on a relatively poor and short article."
  • Comment. This should be closed by an uninvolved party, i'll ask for one now. Sportfan5000 (talk) 01:04, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
We just had an RFC. The majority opinion was exclude from the lead. PraetorianFury (talk) 17:36, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What does Ellen Degeneres have to do with the Etymology of Comedienne?Edit

I really don't understand the addition to the Etymology section. What's does Ellen Degeneres have to do with etymology? Maybe etymology was the wrong word, I was trying to mimic Actor#Terminology. PraetorianFury (talk) 20:38, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

The entire article is very short, this is part of why i wondered why the obsession over moving comedienne out of the lead section where it obviously belongs. Any additions are likely to face similar problems because the structure is a bit odd given how little content there is. i chose the only area that seemed appropriate. Sportfan5000 (talk) 22:23, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
So nothing. It had nothing to do with etymology, "the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time." I have moved it to the section on modern comedy, that is the most appropriate place if any. PraetorianFury (talk) 22:30, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Personality TraitsEdit

The last sentence of this paragraph ("However, labeling comedians [sic] personality traits as solely "psychotic" does not necessarily mean that individual is a psychopath.") is misleading. "Psychotic" covers a range of mental health problems and is not at all the same as psychopathy (which I don't believe even comes under the umbrella of psychotic disorders). I realise a) this is taken from the source articles and b) the assertion is that these results do not mean the subjects are psychopaths, but it's still incorrect to imply that psychotic personality traits may put someone on the road to being a psychopath when these two conditions have no link. (talk) 09:42, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

I will edit that in. We can say that in psychology psychosis is not identical to being a psychopath. Dudanotak (talk) 10:23, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

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Comedienne (March 2018)Edit

The inclusion of this term on the lede is supported by numerous sources showing the current use of this term. I'm sure that some people don't like this term due to gender issues, but merely disliking something is not grounds for removing that content - please see WP:TRIGGERED The main complaints is that this term is outdated, which is shown not to be the case, because as stated above there are many sources with current use. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 08:16, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

See consensus above. That, and multiple reverts by multiple editors mean we do not include comedienne. If you can gain consensus for a change instead of persisting to edit war, fine. But right now, a few stray sources where comedienne is used do not supersede the consensus reached above. ----Dr.Margi 09:07, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, but consensus is not a vote. And by "a few stray sources" are you talking about the 3,970,000 results search results returned by Google? Spacecowboy420 (talk) 09:31, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't matter. Consensus above is the determining factor and how decisions are made here; you can't simply blow it off no matter how many sources you have. You have to gain new consensus to make the change you want to make. That's Wikipedia policy. Period. ----Dr.Margi 09:42, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Make that 362 Google hits (you do know you can't trust the number of hits displayed on the first page of search results, right?). Anyway, I will play the professional linguist card which I don't tend to do, but my claims can be very easily verified. The British National Corpus includes 100 million words from the 1980s. It has 36 instances of "comedienne". The Corpus of Contemporary American English is considerably larger (450 million words) and also more current: 435 hits, many of which come from one and the same source (an episode of a TV programme). Looking at the TIME Magazine corpus is very illuminating - the term shows a rapid decline there after the 1950s, and all but disappeared between the 1970s and 1980s. Don't trust my word on this, consult the corpora yourself at . There's no question but that the term "comedienne" is archaic. That a few isolated publications may still use it doesn't mean that it is "also known as". --bonadea contributions talk 09:44, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
"There's no question but that the term "comedienne" is archaic." as shown by the use of the term in numerous current media sources? Spacecowboy420 (talk) 09:52, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
No, as shown by the usage, systematically investigated in a controlled body of texts, like I said above. To be perfectly honest, I think it is a splendid word - it's just old-fashioned (to quote the Oxford English Dictionary, and the Oxford American Dictionary). Can you find a reliable source that specifically discusses the use of the word? Not specific individual sources that use it - we can all find those, but we can also all find sources that claim that [insert any leader of any country] is an evil dictator, and that doesn't mean we can add "sometimes claimed to be an evil dictator" to Wikipedia's article about that leader. It's synthesis to take such isolated sources and use them in that fashion in the article, which is why we need to have a reliable source claiming current usage (at least when it is not an obvious case.) --bonadea contributions talk 11:08, 12 March 2018 (UTC)


I'm afraid that the above points don't really add anything to the discussion apart from "it's archaic" - which I have shown to be untrue with up to date sources and "it's only in stray publications" - no, they are reliable sources. So, I think I will wait for some more constructive points from people who are not already involved in reverting this article. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 08:36, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

You realize that an RfC has a specific set of procedures you must follow, right? It isn't an inconvenience you can brush aside if it doesn't align with your wishes, just as you continue to brush aside multiple editors' opinions that the term is, in fact, archaic. Your "sources", such as they are, do anything but establish the term is archaic, no matter how much you pound your chest and claim the opposite.
The outcome of this RfC will be binding, just as the two previous were, with which this one concurs. You can huff and puff and declare your sources to be anything you wish, but you've got to gain consensus for your position, and so far, you're doing anything but. ----Dr.Margi 09:35, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
" no matter how much you pound your chest and claim the opposite" "You can huff and puff" kindly modify your tone when talking to me and other editors, this isn't some personal argument, it should be a polite and constructive discussion, thanks.
" It isn't an inconvenience you can brush aside if it doesn't align with your wishes, just as you continue to brush aside multiple editors" - I'm looking for outside opinions as per - WP:RFC "Requests for comment (RfC) is a process for requesting outside input concerning disputes, policies, guidelines or article content", so I'm sorry if you're upset that I'm more interested in the opinions of uninvolved editors, my intention is to be constructive not provocative. Have a nice day! Spacecowboy420 (talk) 08:11, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Uncalled for digression --NeilN talk to me 05:30, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh and...again I don't wish to offend but it has become very clear that DrMargi, Gareth Griffith-Jones and MarnetteD are meat-puppets who generally turn up on the same article to assist each other in avoiding edit warring sanctions and in this case to claim false consensus. (although in MarnetteD's and DrMargi's case the success in avoiding those sanctions has been limited, according to their extensive block logs) Spacecowboy420 (talk) 12:44, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
So now you have devolved to WP:ASPERSIONS. Don't expect this violation of WP:NPA to carry any weight with the closing admin. MarnetteD|Talk 13:27, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
You protest too much, methinks. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 13:36, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

RFC for use of the term comedienneEdit

Closing this RFC as per a request at Wikipedia:Requests for closure. The consensus is the word comedienne should not be included in the lead of the article. This does not preclude a mention in the body of the article; that matter is outside the scope of this RFC. My opinion only and nothing to do with the close: if there were an etymology section it could potentially fit in there. Fish+Karate 08:27, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should the article include the word comedienne in the lead? Spacecowboy420 (talk) 09:48, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

The removal of this term seems to stem from personal bias and a dislike of gender-specific terms, rather than neutrality and basing content on relevance and sources. I know that some people avoid use of gender-specific terms and others consider the term comedienne to be outdated, but judging from the large number of current sources using the term, this seems to be very much a case of people just not liking it, rather than having legitimate grounds for removing it. Articles such as actor, Flight attendant and Police officer show that gender specific terms can be used in a relevant and valuable way in Wikipedia articles. Spacecowboy420 (talk) 09:48, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose: The term is archaic, standing consensus (see above and Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 146#Gender-neutral language - use of .22comedienne.22) documents the fading of the term's use, and the discussion above (which was abandoned far too soon) make its clear that the term is infrequently used at best in major English-speaking countries. The only source for inclusion the editor attempting to add the term offers is some stray media publications that still use it; how their particular editorial decisions affect what we do, I do not know, but they are far from definitive. Speaking of which... it's interesting that the editor wishing to make the addition is convinced various so-called "PC" reasons for keeping it out must be the only reason editors don't want the term included while ignoring previous consensus pointed out to him multiple times. Yet there is only one editor determined to force the term in, and it's not the editors he accuses of being governed by personal preferences. ----Dr.Margi 09:57, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: For all the reasons outlined above by Drmargi ‑ ‑ Gareth Griffith‑Jones The Welsh Buzzard ‑ ‑ 10:09, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the reasons discussed in the previous section, in earlier discussions, and by Drmargi above. --bonadea contributions talk 12:53, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the comments here and the previous RFC Talk:Comedian#Request for Comment on Comedian/Comedienne above. There are legitimate grounds for keeping it out including the Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Gender-neutral language - "Use gender-neutral language where this can be done with clarity and precision." that is certainly the case here. MarnetteD|Talk 15:09, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep in body, not in lead I think the lead should be concise and there is no need to mention multiple terms. However, I think it should be mentioned in the body. Some additional information about its use could also be mentioned (for example, is it archaic/current, widely used or not , the geographical spread of the usage).--DreamLinker (talk) 02:35, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Remove I can't believe that word is actually a legit word. L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 14:30, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Both or Neither - include at second line or later was the prior conclusion, and excluding it to solely have the male form "Comedian" does not seem proper use of Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Gender-neutral language. By, both forms are in the same bottom-third grouping of commonality with "comic" at bottom half so WP:COMMONTERM seems unclear but the current article title could reasonably stay -- just put in the word and get over it already. I'd also suggest the term and general lack of females in this article (e.g. not showing Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett,) would serve only if there was a separate article for Comedienne. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 04:01, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
  • I would have preferred keeping some mention of "comedienne" in the body, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere suitable for a mention. feminist (talk) 05:23, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Recentism; trace of regional bias?; missing infoEdit

Forgive me if this seems a bit stream of consciousness...some things are bothering me about this...not right...please bear with me.

First, under Radio: "Radio has been a proving-ground for many comedians." ??? Then we see British / BBC examples. I think this may be a vestigial trace of the British regional bias identified in this article a while back. Maybe US comedy evolved differently than British, but here radio humor is more than just a kindergarten for comics whose destined medium is TV. In 1961, Newton N. Minow famously called TV a "vast wasteland". Radio has long been recognized as the thinking person's medium, because it actually takes some mental effort to listen and visualize in the "mind's eye" what is being heard. The same thing applies to the medium of audio recording. Comics who have flourished in this medium (e.g. The Firesign Theatre) are thus unjustly ignored here. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:36, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Comedian" page.