Elizabeth Banks has recently announced the launch of a brand new website dedicated solely to female comedians. It’s called WhoHaha, a terribly ironic name that’s fitting for the purpose and the special announcement she made in her announcement video. If you’re wondering if the mention is supposed to be as racy as it sounds, the answer is yes.
“It’s meant to be funny and clever and a little bit racy and silly,” Elizabeth told AdAge. “WhoHaha is a double entendre that’s both a cheeky play on lady parts and a celebration of a more substantive idea. It’s about promoting female voices.”
To celebrate the launch, Banks created a video “public service announcement” to reveal the new website.
“Hello, my name is Elizabeth Banks, and I have an important message for this planet,” Banks began. “Since the dawn of time, men have shouldered the burden of comedy. After years of taking 90 percent of lead comedy roles and being forced to appear nightly on stand-up stages around the world, we are here to relieve you of your obligations.”
Banks has spent much of her time off the screen proving that she too has the makings of a funny lady with her YouTube show “Really Important Questions.” Now that her efforts have become more popular, she wants to move her show to a new platform that will give the same chance to other women to shine.
According to her video announcement, “Here at WhoHaha, our mottos is: if men can do it, they probably learned it from a woman.”
It sounds like women are seeking to take back a role in comedy they haven’t previously had much stock in.
Elizabeth also mentions such iconic female comedians in our history, including Lucille Ball, Joan Rivers, and Carol Burnett, stating, “How else would women have dealt with the mistakes that men have been making running this nation and the world for centuries now. I mean, the times they are a-changing.”
A greater description of the website’s purpose can be found on the site’s About page.
“WhoHaha will elevate and spotlight funny women from around the globe who are creating unique and entertaining content, from Amy Schumer and Mindy Kaling to your 15 your old neighbor who just started her own Youtube channel.
“WhoHaha is a space for female creators to distribute their content to a wider audience and a place for users to spend hours laughing until they pee. Elizabeth is scouring the internet for the funniest women the web has to offer and delivering them to you on all platforms.”
Furthermore, Banks points out that this is a chance for female comedians to shine in a role that’s often relegated to the opposite sex.
“This is an opportunity,” Elizabeth said. “There are people doing it really well for boys. I just felt like there was not a place that was doing it really, really well, and specifically, for girls and women. We’re not anti-male […] We love boys and men and their eyeballs. There will be lots of boys and men on our site, just not as content creators.”
Could that little statement possibly hint at a platform designed to make fun of boys and men? There have been thousands of slights toward women on the part of male comedians for years. It may be that this new platform will be an outlet for some of that pent-up frustration, or it could simply be a way for women to take the higher road.
Elizabeth stressed the fact that this website would be a highly competitive platform where only the best will pull through. With it being a man’s world and all, Banks feels it’s important that only the best be admitted on her show.
“Believe us when we tell you that it’s not equal and it’s hard and you will be held to higher standards and you have to work hard and you have to stay committed. I was told growing up, ‘The world is your oyster and you can be whatever you want.’ The fact of the matter is, that is empirically untrue for most women. We need those barriers to be broken down by young people, as well as us seasoned pros.”
It might seem a little harsh to put such high standards up, but those looking to make a career for themselves will see it as more of an opportunity than stifling. If it was easy to enter and become a part of the crowd, it would make it very difficult for any women to stand out and make a brand for themselves. When only a few women at a time will be able to showcase their talents, these women have a much easier time making a brand out of their own unique comedy.
The site itself is designed so that you’re constantly in the know about the newest comedy. It will show a stream of the latest comedy videos, tweets, late night performances, viral videos, SNL clips, and more from the world’s finest women comedians and those looking to further their brand.
Banks partnered with Digital Media Management for the launch. Under their direction, it was decided that the site will also be launching without ads, but there will no doubt be a deeper integration of products and advertisements later on.
This will be the first all-female platform of its kind.
Luigi Picarazzi, the CEO-president of Digital Media Management, told AdAge, “The only platform they had online was to do something with FunnyorDie, which starred females but was very much made for men. I thought it was sad women didn’t have a platform where they had the power. We’ve been talking to so many YouTubers, and they’ve been backing us up in terms of ‘We need this.'”
The launch of Elizabeth Banks’ new website couldn’t be more timely. Now is the ultimate time for girl power to rise and become more of an icon in both comedy and film. Banks’ site will nurture and inspire young female comedians to become something incredible.
[Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images]