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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

“After Midnight”: Taylor Tomlinson breaking up the boys club of late night shows

Taylor Tomlinson

Taylor Tomlinson has officially been announced as the host of a revamped late-night show, “After Midnight,” which is scheduled to take place after “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”. Tomlinson’s new employment is breaking ground in comedy, particularly for women.


Tomlinson, age 28, began her comedy journey at 16 when her father signed the two of them up for stand-up classes. She quickly found a knack for the profession and started performing sets locally in churches, coffee shops and the like.


Years later, in 2015, Tomlinson gained national attention as she finaled in the top 10 on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” This brought significant traction to her career, as she went on to get her first special on Netflix, titled “Quarter-Life Crisis.” 


The special was released with agreeable timing, debuting in March 2020, just as the world was shutting down and televisions were turning on. Since then, Tomlinson has blown up, even gaining a coveted position on Forbes 30 Under 30. 


She now has two Netflix specials, with a third coming out in February, has sold out hundreds of shows in The Have it All Tour and, most notably, has inherited a permanent job as the host of “After Midnight” — in a coveted spot, a position previously held by only male comedians. 


Along with this success, Tomlinson is the youngest late-night host in the current regime. 


With a staggering statistic of only 11% of comedians being female, men have dominated stand-up comedy since its origin. Female comedians being included in the “greats” are few and far between. 


“I think there is a lack of femininity in female comedians,” said Helen Garcia, a theatre major. “They lean into more masculine tropes as a way to be funny, and it doesn’t work quite as well. There tends to be more social respect for women in the light of dignity. It’s the predisposition of society that is more ready to listen to a man than a woman. Same thing with comedy.”


The quippy phrase that women are not funny is often thrown around as a joke — most of the time, and Tomlinson is working to disprove this stereotype. 


Though some spectators may roll their eyes at the attention Tomlinson is getting, it means something different to many, particularly young female performers watching a trail being blazed before them. 


“This, though a very simple step, allows comfortable wiggle room for future programs to become more conditioned to a female lead,” said Tanner Harris, a junior theatre major. 


Though the success of “After Midnight” still remains to be seen, the small step of Tomlinson’s placement in it has brought tremendous pride to many women.


As she turns this new leaf in comedy, hopes are high that the nation will finally see a female comedian who shows up as herself and does not sacrifice her femininity in the name of conforming to a male construct of humor. 


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