Hey Redditors! I’ve been doing standup comedy for about 30 years. Previously I wrote and performed for early Comedy Central shows including Women Aloud, produced the The Jon Stewart Show, and later co-created The Daily Show. In 2011, I started my “Planned Parenthood, I’m Here for You” comedy tour with all proceeds going to benefit local Planned Parenthood affiliates. Last year I released my first book, LizzFree or Die, which dives into how I found my comedic voice. Looking forward to answering any questions you may have about standup comedy, The Daily Show – ask me anything!

Here is proof

EDIT: Here's my Video Proof

EDIT: I'm answering some of these questions in videos which I'll post in the thread and below:

Lizz Winstead Responds to Warlizard

How to Handle Hecklers

Bring the Haters: On Joe Rogan and "Censorship"

Comments: 129 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

ClaudioRules24 karma

Lizz thank you so much for doing this AMA.

What was the mood like when you and Adam Carolla were arguing "Men are(n't) funnier than women" on his show?

lizzwinstead9 karma

Adam and I were kind of fake laugh fighting about it. The audience was not having anything to do with me. I'm not sure I sold thousands of copies of Lizz Free or Die that night.

Warlizard20 karma

Well, this is "Ask Me Anything"....

  1. Did you leave the Daily Show voluntarily or were you fired?

  2. Did you watch Craig Kilborn's plummeting career with a sense of schadenfreude?

  3. The Daily Show is obviously a different beast than it was when you were the head writer -- do you think it's better now with Stewart?

  4. Lastly, I loved watching your standup -- how do you respond to those who say that women aren't funny?

I'm guessing you'll be completely uninterested in answering these questions, but hey, I've been curious for a long time.

lizzwinstead28 karma

These are great questions. I'm going to post a video response very soon! EDIT: here's my video response

defcon_515 karma

Tina Fey or Amy Poehler?

lizzwinstead65 karma

Women aren't funny.

dm21914 karma

Is there a video of Stephen Colbert's "Skunkape" story from TDS?

EDIT: another question for you. The Daily Show changed a lot after Stewart took over. Is it now more or less like what you originally envisioned it be?

lizzwinstead17 karma

I originally envisioned the Daily Show to take on the conventions of the Media and the Media makers. The Media when I started is different than the Media is now. The show has followed these different iterations of the Media as it has changed. So technically, yes, it is exactly as I envisioned it to be.

ediddy3312 karma

what's the most ridiculous note you've gotten from an exec or someone you work for?

lizzwinstead10 karma

Brian Unger and I had to convince a network executive that it was racist to have 3 white women put a chain on an African American man during spring break in Texas and walk him down the beach. I quit that project. You can read all about it in Lizz Free or Die

otherlands11 karma

Who's your favorite correspondent on TDS, past or present?

lizzwinstead17 karma

Brian Unger, without a doubt. He's awesome. EDIT: one one my favorite projects after The Daily show was called O2Be -- a show on the oxygen network. We loved it. The media loved it. Everyone loved it but the network hated it so they cancelled it.

defcon_511 karma

Outside of NPR, progressive radio didn't seem to capture a mainstream audience. There was so much enthusiasm for Air America at launch. What happened?

lizzwinstead17 karma

A. Read my book, Lizz Free or Die . It explains a lot. B. It was a financial shit show. Remember, Marc Maron is a huge star. Rachel Maddow is a huge star. Al Franken is a Senator. I'd say thats a lot of good coming out of Air America.

SwagSnail10 karma

What's it like seeing how popular The Daily Show has become?

lizzwinstead23 karma

It's obviously thrilling. The downside is it's pretty depressing to see how derelict the media has become to make a satire on the media so popular.

defcon_510 karma

Other than you, Merrill Markoe and Tina Fey, what female head writers should we know about that we don't right now?

lizzwinstead6 karma

Jhoni Marchenko, Allison Silverman who was at the Colbert Report for many years. Molly McNearny, Jimmy Kimmel's head writer. But women aren't funny.

GodlessMoFo8 karma

Can you describe the whole writing process the Daily Show goes through? Like how long did you spend on each bit? Did you guys just watch CNN, Fox, and MSNBC and wait for them to fuck up when there wasn't a major bill being passed or something?

lizzwinstead13 karma

the process when I was there is probably different than it is now. I'm more comfortable speaking about how it came to be, because The Daily Show really isn't my wheelhouse anymore. One thing to remember, which is pretty awesome - when we launched the show, there was no Google, there was no MSNBC, there was no Fox, there was no YouTube. We had about 50 newspapers delivered a day and we scoured the papers. The Internet was fairly new and we took a lot of chances by sending people out into the field with stories we hoped would be ok.

WonkYouOut8 karma

Loved the CityPages profile and want to thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of reproductive rights. What made you decide to create A is For?

lizzwinstead9 karma

Thanks! I can't take credit for creating A is For. It's brain child is Martha Plimpton. She gathered some of her most passionate pro-rights friends to create an advocacy group that works on taking the shame out of fighting for reproductive rights for women. The A symbolizes the Scarlet A, taking back the shame and replacing it with empowerment.

To learn more go to aisfor and get yourself a red A!

Here's the link for the City Pages piece if you want to see

medicalalphabetical8 karma


lizzwinstead8 karma

I didn't. Video response coming.

Video Here

Frajer7 karma

Where did the so and so seems nice thing you do on twitter come from?

lizzwinstead10 karma

I think...sometimes when people are so assholey rather than trying to fight them, it's better to expose who they are by Re-tweeting them with the phrase, "You seem nice". I also enjoy, "You seem smart." And also, "You're hired!"

GooseSlayer6 karma

During your time at the Daily Show, do you remember a time when your spoof and parody brought light to a serious national issue to the forefront of mainstream media? How did the comedic focus shape the national discussion?

lizzwinstead6 karma

I would say that during my time at The Daily Show, more than a specific story that brought a national issue to a forefront, I think during my time there we brought the conversation about how redonkulous the actual media is... by showing up next to them at big events and having people not tell the difference between the comedy show and the news outlet.

defcon_56 karma

What's the Barack Obama joke that everyone is saying behind closed doors that no one dares say out loud?

lizzwinstead9 karma

Every Obama Joke I say out loud.

dd25206 karma

I actually interviewed you not too long ago about political comedy, which was great, but didn't get to really get into the weeds about TDS. I'm curious to know your thoughts about the 2010 Jezebel piece about sexism at the Daily Show. Also, your comedy is overt political/media commentary, but originally, if I remember correctly, TDS was a bit more similar to a Weekend Updatey fake-news format than the more earnest commentary of the modern Daily Show. Were there tensions between those two poles in the writers room and how did the douchehumor sensibilities of Killborn affect them?

lizzwinstead7 karma

The jezebel piece speaks to a time when I wasn't there so I can't speak to that. But, you don't remember correctly that TDS was like Weekend Update. It wasn't. We had tons of field pieces and the commentary was definitely taking on the media at the time. The media at the time was non-news, fear based magazine shows, Ted Baxter-y, perky newscasters and celebrity scandals and disappearing blondes. That was the news at the time and we satirized what we were given.

Krysanth6 karma

How do you handle hecklers and how do you really feel about them in general.

lizzwinstead8 karma

Gravy-Leg__5 karma

What was your favorite Daily Show piece?

lizzwinstead5 karma

That's like saying what's your favorite album... there are so many. I can't pick.

IdiosyncraticOwl5 karma

Joe Rogan accused you of censorship, here, is it true? Regardless, I dig your stuff!

lizzwinstead1 karma

thanks and here's my response

defcon_55 karma

Are you disappointed Romney lost the election?

lizzwinstead11 karma

You mean because no other dipshit emerged in his place to make fun of?

ElderCunningham5 karma

Who were your inspirations to get into comedy?

Any advice for a junior in college interested in the field of comedy?

lizzwinstead8 karma

I would say, the Pope, any incarnation of the Catholic Church. My mom. Really it was less inspiration and more me on this journey to find this place to be heard, and it ended up being on stage at a comedy club.

shatonamime4 karma

How do you feel about John Oliver guest hosting the Daily Show?

lizzwinstead7 karma

I think it's awesome. I think he'll be amazing.

gogojack4 karma

Hi Lizz. Regarding Air America, is it possible that it was too ambitious? Right wing talk radio grew organically over years, but AA was launched nationwide all at once. Mistake?

lizzwinstead7 karma

Mistake only in the sense that the original owners lied about how much money they had. Had there been money, the audience was there. That's not the fault of the content or anything else.

yabadass4 karma

In any format or medium, did you ever encounter topics that were off limits for either being too far left/right or too sympathetic to the left/right?

lizzwinstead4 karma

No, not really. They might say, "It's too political" and often they would say, "It's too topical and doesn't have a shelf life." Mostly, they don't get it.

yabadass2 karma

Nice to hear that, do you think the lack of censorship in new digital media has forced networks and stations to reevaluate practices in any significant way?

lizzwinstead3 karma

The FCC guides them. Cable outlets have more freedom and they do amazing work. I'm glad to see people taking the initiative and realizing they have this big box out there to make whatever they want and have the freedom to do so.

cirrocco4 karma

How many dogs do you have?

lizzwinstead9 karma

I have 2! Here they are: http://imgur.com/YRdnyqW

defcon_53 karma

When did you know you wanted to make comedy a career?

lizzwinstead7 karma

I still don't know if I want to have a comedy career. Still unclear.

EpicMuppet3 karma

Whats your favorite colour?

lizzwinstead3 karma

burnt sienna

FlippantOne3 karma

Did you ever listen to Barbara Carlson's radio show back in Minneapolis? Do you ever miss the fun, crazy Republicans like her versus the batshit crazy Bachmann types we have now from MN?

lizzwinstead3 karma

Batshit crazy Bachmanns pay my bills.

vitaminW3 karma

  1. Are you planning to ever cook up another comedy show that actually uses all the women who "arent funny". (Who else would have the producing chops to get that done). Loved,loved your book and the uses for it advertised in the trailer. Coaster, window-propper. 2. Did MN make you funny, like canada makes people funny?

lizzwinstead6 karma

yes there is a comedy show and documentary in the works that uses all kinds of funny women who aren't funny. To answer your second question - yes, people underestimate long winters and storytelling as a breeding ground for humor. There are a lot of funny, cold people.

CarmenTS3 karma

DO YOU MISS MEEEEEEEE?!?!?!?! Lol... well, anyway Intelligent Well-Socialized Black (IWSB) for hire! xoxo! Miss you!

lizzwinstead2 karma


n8in8r3 karma

What's your favorite album and artist?

[EDIT] What is ONE of the many albums you enjoy?

lizzwinstead3 karma

I took a stab at this question earlier - there is a list of 15 I did on my Facebook, and it still stands up. You can see it here