Asexual Comedy

Let's talk about Asexual comedy! Starting with the Asexual computer repair episode of Nathan for You and following up with several standup sets, we have a variety of examples. Some is good, some is bad, some is written by us and for us, while some is downright cruel to us.

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Courtney: Hello, everyone, and welcome back. My name is Courtney. I’m here with my spouse, Royce. And, together we are The Ace Couple. And today, we are going to talk about some Asexual representation in a variety of places, but the thing they will all have in common is that it is Asexual comedy. Some will be good, some will be bad, some will be by us and for us, others not so much. So we’re going to have a real mixed bag today.

Courtney: And I want to start off by thanking a very kind listener who emailed us recently to remind us of a show that we actually watched quite a while ago — and actually really, really loved — that had an Asexual episode, and that show is Nathan For You.

Royce: So, if you haven’t heard of Nathan For You, it was a show that ran on Comedy Central for four seasons several years ago. I believe it ended in 2017 or 2018, something like that. And neither of us caught it while it was airing. But I did have a couple of situations where I heard about sort of the impact of the show without realizing what it was. The format of the show was generally the host, Nathan Fielder, going around basically parodying, like, a marketing consultant to small businesses, or something like that — like, some sort of creative consultant to a person or to a small business owner.

Courtney: Mhm.

Royce: And his delivery is deadpan. His ideas are off-the-wall and unconventional. And a lot of it we found funny, but it does definitely get into cringe comedy. Some scenes get very uncomfortable. There were some episodes that I didn’t particularly care for.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: Some of the things land really, really well. And, in particular, the sort of mainstream news impact that I had heard before knowing what the show was was Dumb Starbucks.

Courtney: Oh, yeah! We were seeing, like, news articles about this, not knowing that it was related to this show.

Royce: Which, if you didn’t hear about this: Dumb Starbucks was really just a sort of — well, crafted for the show — publicity stunt for this coffee shop, where they tried to skirt around copyright laws by just putting the word “Dumb” in front of everything. So, the store was Dumb Starbucks. All of their products that they sold there were just prefixed with “Dumb” in front of what the common name is for it.

Courtney: Yeah. Wasn’t the logic more or less like, “Well, Starbucks is very successful, so let’s do exactly what they’re doing. But we have to worry about copyright. So here’s a terrible way to circumvent that.”

Royce: “Here’s the lowest bar attempt to get around fair use clauses.”

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: But anyway, the episode that we want to talk about today was one of the last episodes that aired. It was actually the second to last episode. Season 4, Episode 6, “Computer repair / Psychic.” And it is the “Computer repair” section of the episode that we want to talk about.

Courtney: Yeah. And the thing is, when we were watching this show, we didn’t know that there was going to be an Asexual episode. And as soon as the word Asexual came up, I was nervous, because, as you said, Royce, like, not every episode landed. Some of them I did not like. Some of them I was uncomfortable with. Some of them I was like, “Ooh, I don’t like the way you’re handling this.” But others were very good. So you kind of didn’t know what you were going to get into each episode, so.

Courtney: The premise of this one is: most people are sexual beings, and people might have risque photos on their laptops, their computers, so how can they trust their computer repair person not to go through all of their sexual images and their private things? And it was honestly hilarious. We were cackling as we were watching this. Because his solution to this theoretical problem is, “Well, let’s offer the very first Asexual computer repair shop, and we’re going to hire only Asexual people to handle the devices.” [laughs]

Royce: And so Nathan is working with the owner of a small computer repair shop. I believe the owner is the only employee we see there. But he’s pitching this idea to the owner and explaining how having Asexual repair techs could be basically a business service thing that you could promise to your customers, and then goes onto AVEN to post about jobs, interviews a few Ace people.

Courtney: Yeah, he actually shows the AVEN website as if he’s going to make a post recruiting people on there, which is really funny. Because even before they hire the Asexuals to do this, he tries to pitch this idea to the owner by saying, like, “You’re a sexual being, right? So how can people trust you not to succumb to your carnal urges?” And this poor guy. [laughs] He even breaks out the food metaphor. He’s like, “Well, if you’re starving, then you need to eat, but if you eat food, then you aren’t going to, you know, be craving food all the time. So, you know, if you pleasure yourself at home, then you won’t feel the need to do that at work.” And they have this just ungodly conversation where he’s like, “Oh so you pleasure yourself a lot at home, is what you’re saying?” [laughs]

Royce: And this is par for the course for the series.

Courtney: Yeah. And —

Royce: A lot of unsuspecting people get put in uncomfortable conversations on camera.

Courtney: Yes. And the reason why I think the Asexual episode works is, I assume, casting-wise, these business owners are signing on to the show. I don’t know how much they know about it. It definitely leans into, like, prank comedy. But they’re the ones who signed up to put their business on this show. And all of the jokes were at the sexual people — like, allosexual people’s expense. Like, the butt of the jokes were not the Asexuals. And I think that’s why it really, really works.

Royce: There’s even a point when the two Aces who are hired to be repair techs are coming in, and Nathan is going over the business plan and just confirming with them, “You aren’t going to look at anyone’s, like, personal, nude or risque photos or anything like that.” And they’re like, “Yeah, because privacy.”

Courtney: “That would be a breach of privacy! Of course we wouldn’t do that!” And he’s like, “But also… because…” [laughs] and, like, sort of makes them say, [laughing] “I’m Asexual? I have no desire?” And it shows a variety of Aces. Which, I don’t know if he genuinely put an ad out on AVEN or not — I didn’t think to look that up — or if they cast it through other means and they just used AVEN as a, you know, for the show, “This is what we did.” But it shows him, like, interviewing a lot of Aces, and so it does have Ace people saying themselves, like, “Oh, yeah, well, you know, Asexuality is a spectrum,” or someone saying, “I was born Asexual and I’m going to be Asexual until I die and this is just how I am.”

Courtney: But he asked at one point — he’s like, “Well, if you aren’t thinking about sex, then what are you thinking about?” And this guy’s like, “Well, for me, usually superheroes.” [laughs] And he’s like, “My favorite is Aquaman.” And he’s like, “Alright, so when everyone else is thinking about sex, you’re thinking about Aquaman?” [laughs] He’s like, “That’s a funny way to put it, but I suppose.” So it’s very funny.

Courtney: But you can tell they did at least a little bit of research ahead of time, because he says, like, “I didn’t know anything about the Asexual experience before setting out on this.” But he mentions, like, “The 1% of the US population who identify as Asexual,” which was always the number. That is a little out of date now. It’s probably more like 1.5 to 2%, but forever, it was like, “1% of people are Asexual. 1%.” So he had that. Had a silly little pie chart for that. He showed AVEN as a very famous Ace forum. But oh my gosh, the setup for this service, everything they went through, was so hilariously unnecessary.

Royce: As they go through this setup and they get their first clients in and are explaining the benefit of this new Asexual repair service, first of all, the customers have no idea what’s going on and just kind of nod their heads to the situation. But as it goes on, they start by basically pulling in some quick stand-up, like, walls or barriers to section off an area of their back room, of their repair room, so that only Asexuals can enter. And this includes putting, like, a keypad lock on the door and a sign that says “Asexuals only.” And because neither of the computer repair techs that they hired actually know that much about computer repair, they had to have, like, an observation window that was not a part of that room for the owner to sort of look through and advise them on.

Courtney: Yeah, because they ended up hiring Asexuals that don’t actually know how to fix computers. [laughs] And they called it, like, “The Desexualized Zone.” And it was just so ridiculous. But he had to pass the Desexualized Zone in order to get to the bathroom.

Royce: The owner did.

Courtney: The owner did.

Royce: And Nathan knew that this would happen at one point and had, like, an emergency containment button put into the workroom that had a blue siren light going off and… what was the phrase that was repeated over a speaker? Like, “sexual intruder alert”?

Courtney: Something like that, yeah. And the protocol was, like, they hit this button, they lock everything down, they put the computer they’re working on in a safe, and [laughing] the two Asexual employees just stand in front of the safe, guarding it while he walks through to go to the bathroom. It’s ridiculous. So the entire joke is on the owner, [laughing] because he’s the one being called the “sexual intruder,” the one who can’t be trusted with the computers.

Courtney: And there’s even one moment where a customer comes in and talks to the owner about, like, “Hey, can you fix my computer? Here’s what’s wrong.” And Nathan’s sitting there like, “Did you know we offer the only Asexual computer repair service?” And the guy’s like, “Alright, so what does that mean?” He’s like, “Well, this guy here, he’s a sexual being.” [laughs] And this customer is, like, so suspicious now. He’s like, “What does that mean? [laughs] What are you talking about?” [laughs]

Courtney: So, overall, I found it very funny. I think if you’re going to use Asexuals in a bit like that, it works the best if they are not the butt of the joke, but you can use them as a vessel to make fun of allos, because then that’s not punching down, right? I think that’s why that works for me.

Royce: Yeah, I think that’s why it works. Because the two people who are brought in as the computer repair techs are just ordinary people in this gag that are acting like themselves. And obviously, Nathan is intentionally acting extremely, like, outlandish —

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: — putting everyone in awkward situations. And the owner kind of gets swept into it to some degree, because he has had so many one-on-one conversations about this business plan that he starts using the same kind of lingo that Nathan had been using.

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: And that’s when the clients that come in get, like, that thousand-yard stare on their face —

Courtney: [laughing] Yeah!

Royce: — like, “I have no idea what I just walked into, but I would really like my computer fixed.”

Courtney: [laughs] Yes! Because, Nathan, obviously — he’s playing a ridiculous character, so sometimes the joke’s on him. Usually, a heavy percentage of the joke is on the actual business owner. And then you just have, like, the innocent bystanders, who are the Aces and the customers. But I think, since they also spend a little bit of time letting the Aces coming in for the interview, like, talk about what it means to them and what Asexuality is, I think that’s also good. And then they’re just essentially jumping through these ridiculous hoops to do this job that they got hired for.

Courtney: And I think… I would be really curious — I don’t know if we could actually find it, though — how they actually did recruit these Aces. Because if it was genuinely off of AVEN, what they showed him writing up in the post was like, “Love computers? Hate sex?” [laughs] And yet they hired two Aces who didn’t know anything about computers. I know many Aces who know things about computers, so he could have tried a little bit harder to do right by that business owner to actually find IT professionals who are, in fact, Ace. That wouldn’t be nearly as funny, now would it?

Courtney: So that’s maybe our best example of an allo person centering Asexuals as part of a joke and pulling it off well, without making the Aces the butt of the joke, but that doesn’t always happen. Next, we’ve got a horrible example of that.

Courtney: In a stand-up comedy routine by Ryan Long. The YouTube clip with this particular joke is entitled, “The Asexual Community is Ridiculous,” so you know it’s gonna be good. So, where to start with this one? Well, let’s start where he started. He opened the bit by saying, “So do you all support all the communities?” with, like, a shit-eating grin on his face. And he’s like, “There’s so many communities.” And he then goes on to say that, “Probably the most ridiculous community is Asexual, right? Fuck off.” That’s how he starts.

Courtney: And then he asked the crowd if anyone in the crowd is Asexual. Which, first of all, if you open the bit by saying, “This group of people, fuck off, they’re ridiculous,” that’s not exactly an invitation to, like, very loudly and proudly woo and be like, “Yes, that’s me. I feel safe and supported in this environment,” right? But there is one very timid “Woo” in the audience. And he glances over to her and just sees that she’s sitting next to a guy and extrapolates that to, “Oh, I love how you’re on a date right now.” And now this guy all of a sudden — and just makes, like, disgruntled noises or faces or comments, like, “Oh, it was a pretty expensive dinner I just bought you.” And as if now any guy on the face of the earth who finds out he’s on a date with a woman who’s Asexual now all of a sudden feels like this was a mistake. And it also just reinforces the, like, “I bought you dinner, now you owe me sex” brand of misogyny, right?

Courtney: But then she says, “Oh no no, he’s my son.” Ugh, and that opened an entirely new can of worms. Because now he’s making comments about, “Oh, this pussy is exit only,” or he’s saying… Well, then he does this weird, like, “It could be either of these two polar opposite things. Either you had one horrible dick and you were like, ‘That’s it, never again,’ or it was the golden dick, it was the best dick in the world, and 25 years later, you’re still good.”

Courtney: And, ugh, things quickly devolve from there. Because he follows this train of the golden, curative, magical dick — which, first of all, I’m just going to say right now, never let that concept touch a joke where the word Asexual is present. Just do not do it. Even if you aren’t like this guy who very clearly hates Asexuals, you probably don’t know how to pull that joke off well, in a way that isn’t going to be profoundly triggering to a lot of Ace people. Because in real life, in our day-to-day activities and conversations, we so often hear usually very misogynistic men, but not always, say, you know, like, “Oh, you’re Asexual. Well, I could fix that,” or “You just haven’t had the right dick,” or “You just haven’t had me.” And it’s very rape culture. It’s very Ace erasure. Let’s just keep the concept of the golden dick miles away from any Ace joke. Can we just set that as ground rules, please, comedians? It’s awful.

Courtney: And this guy’s also clearly, like, willfully ignorant about Asexuality. Because as soon as he’s like, “Oh well, this guy’s your son and he’s 25 years old now,” he’s, like, asking the son now. And he’s like, “She’s never had a guy since you were born?” And this poor son with his mom out at a comedy show is also really uncomfortable now. And he’s like, “I don’t know, dude! Like, I don’t know what’s up.” And he carries on with the golden dick. He’s like, “Man, if I was your dad, dude, I’d feel so proud.” It’s just awful.

Courtney: And then it gets, like, wildly ableist too. Because not only is he saying, like, “Oh, yeah, golden dick who can turn someone Asexual because they’re set for life after they had the perfect lay,” ugh. And then he says, “Well, people always brag about if a chick is walking funny after sex, but really, you should be proud of the opposite: if she was walking funny before sex, and then you fuck her, and now she’s walking normal. Like, some chick in a wheelchair. You fuck her so good that now all of a sudden she can walk again.” And then brings it back to this Asexual mom as if, like, “Oh, yeah, that’s you, you got that gold—” And it’s like, oh my god. Every aspect of this bit I hate. It is bigoted, it is ableist, it is misogynistic, it is acephobic.

Royce: And we’ve talked before about how there aren’t really special, unique forms of bigotry. It’s all kind of the same thing underlying it. So, of course, someone who opens up with, you know, overt disdain for Asexuals is also misogynistic and is also ableist, because the underlying thought process is all, like, coming from the same standpoint.

Courtney: Mhm. Ableism and acephobia… As a disabled Ace myself who has spoken to hundreds of other disabled Aces, the source of that bigotry is so similar. It’s impossible for me to not see it as inherently the same thing. And I would even carry that so far as to say that even if you are a completely abled Ace — able of mind, able of body — but you are Asexual, you have probably felt at least certain elements of ableism, because that’s when you start hearing all the, like, “Oh, what’s wrong with you? Have you had your hormones checked?” Like, if you are not normative in society, there must be a medical issue that caused this, and that is a bad thing inherently that must be cured so that we can make you more normal. We see a lot of the same thing with transphobia. A lot of it is just the same underlying bigotry.

Courtney: And the most disappointing part of this is how much the audience laughed. Like, a lot of people found this set hilarious. And I don’t know how big of an audience this particular venue was. But what if that one woman who gave the very light, timid “Woo” wasn’t the only Ace in the audience, but the other Aces there just didn’t feel comfortable saying anything after the way he opened, and then had to sit and endure this set? It’s awful. And also, don’t read the comments on that video. Probably don’t watch it at all, but definitely don’t read the comments.

Courtney: So we can all agree that allos making fun of Aces is not a good look. I don’t think we’re even going to put that video in the description of the show notes. But all of our Ace comedians who are speaking from their own experience, we will put those links so that you can watch and support them.

Courtney: And one fellow we have here is Australian by the name of Luka Muller, who has a video on YouTube called “Lockdown Therapy and Being Asexual.” And his sort of brand of comedy is one that I really appreciate. I love when standup comics just sort of tell stories of their own life and try to do so in a comedic way, because then you aren’t making fun of someone else. And I’m not going to give the full set rundown for our Ace comics because I do want you to go watch them and support them on your own. But the setup for this story was talking about having a long-distance relationship during COVID and having a span of six months where they could not see each other at all. And very relatably, I think, to any other Ace, he points out how, when he shares that fact with other people, everyone seems to be like, “Oh, wow, six months without, mmm, suggestive eyebrows, suggestive eyebrows. It must be really hard for you.” And that’s sort of his segue into explaining that he is, in fact, Asexual and it is not all that hard for him.

Royce: Yeah. And one thing that I liked about this set is that Luka kept the material pretty quickly paced. And there were bits and pieces of Ace stuff in there before explicitly stating it. But I find that with some Ace comedians needing to broach the topic of Asexuality, sometimes there’s somewhat of a need to over-explain to an audience who may have no idea what it is, and sometimes it can slow down the pacing of the comedy.

Courtney: Yeah. And I understand that need to do that, though. Because even just take… like, for all of our fellow Aces listening, take all of your day-to-day conversations when you tell someone you’re Asexual for the first time. Like, there’s kind of a running joke in our community that you need to, like, break out the powerpoint slides. [laughs]

Royce: Yeah, but being able to do that in the middle of a set without losing the audience —

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: — by getting into a — like, having a serious conversation right in the middle of a set. I think that the way that Luka approaches it here keeps it running pretty smoothly without being ambiguous or without, like, misstating things, because they are talking about their own experience.

Courtney: Mhm. And he does go on to talk a little bit about being an Ace man in a comedic way by telling a personal anecdote — that personal anecdote being that he often needs to fake orgasms, which is something I have heard other Ace men talk about in in private Ace communities, but not very often super publicly. Because he’ll also say things like, “You know, I don’t really like sex, I don’t really care about it, but I’m a team player — like, if my girlfriend wanted to.” So it’s not as if he’s a completely celibate Ace or always has been. But he does have one very funny joke that’s like, “I think that might be one of the only things that’s genuinely harder for men to do than women. [laughs] Because men, we have it pretty good. We’ve had a good run. But faking orgasms — that takes skill.” [laughs] And part of me is like, yeah, how would that work? And I’m trying to do the mental math. But another part of me won’t actually think about it long enough to actually reach my answer, [laughing] because my brain just instantly tunes it out when it starts getting too graphic.

Royce: Well, yeah, the joke was having a setup ready in the bedside table of a water gun with shampoo in it —

Courtney: Ahhh! [laughs]

Royce: — which he clarifies, “Just so everyone knows, that is a joke. That isn’t actually what’s happening.”

Courtney: I think that’s hilarious. As vile of an image as that is, it’s very funny. [laughs] I like it.

Courtney: Alright. So we’re going to intersperse some of the bad with the good here. And, unfortunately — and this is why I really want all of you to go out and support our actual Ace comedians, because a lot of them are much newer to comedy. They are younger, up-and-coming comics. The comedians who are making fun of us and saying bigoted things have vastly bigger audiences, much more views on YouTube, much larger audiences, much more people listening to them. And our next example of that is a clip that I found from comedian Jeff Horste called “Being Asexual is a Superpower.”

Courtney: Now, unlike “The Asexual Community is Ridiculous,” this one’s like — this one might actually be positive. It was not. It’s literally just a two-minute clip where — the reason why this one isn’t funny is because he has no clue what he’s talking about. Same thing with the first bigoted comedian we talked about. But also, this guy — like, his jokes are relying on the fact that his audience is as ill-informed as he is, and that is never a good way to do comedy.

Courtney: For example, he starts the set being like, “Does everyone know what the A stands for in the LGBTQIA community? Alright, just four of you.” And I still don’t know yet, is this going to be good or is this going to be bad? It could go either way. Because the concept of being Asexual is a superpower is something that you sometimes do hear in our own community, because we’ll make jokes about all the buzzy headlines you used to see about, like, “Men think about sex every seven seconds,” or whatever it is, and then we’ll be like, “Wow, look at all our free time and mental energy and space that we have.” Like, we have said this about ourselves before, so there is a correct way to use that concept.

Courtney: But he takes it in the direction of, “Are you kidding me? You get an entire letter just for not fucking?” And then he says, “No, it’s actually a superpower, because I’m thinking about sex all the time. Me, right now, thinking about sex: I am more oppressed than any Asexual person.” Okay, cis white guy. Okay. Ooh, I’m gonna get in trouble again. I got in trouble last time I called a cis white guy a cis white guy, didn’t I?

Courtney: But then he just carries on that thought about how… The joke is “Asexuals are not oppressed, and yet they have a letter in the community.” And he’ll say silly things like, “What, I’m supposed to feel bad for you just because you don’t fuck?” Which not only ignores every nuanced reality about the spectrum of Asexuality, but also, a fundamental misunderstanding about, like, socially speaking, what it is like to exist as an Asexual person in our very allonormative society. Because he straight up says, “Never once has a young girl come out to her dad as being Asexual and he was angry about it.” Which infuriates me because I quite literally know an AFAB Asexual person who came out to their parents as Asexual and were violently assaulted by their father and kicked out of the house. Like, it got physical. So to just go up on stage — presumably, this guy does not know any Aces, is not a member of the Ace community, and he just assumes that this has never happened, so this is going to be the joke — is actually very, very hurtful.

Courtney: And then he mentions evangelical Christians. He’s like, “Evangelical Christians aren’t out here telling you that you need to fuck somebody.” And it’s like, my guy! We have an entire four-part series on religious/political discrimination against Asexuality. We literally have evangelical Christians telling us that… We have had evangelical Christians call us — literally the two of us, The Ace Couple — “insults to humanity and nature” for just being an Asexual married couple. So, the audience is, again, like, going along with him. They’re laughing with him. But the joke relies on everyone — the comedian and the audience — being woefully misinformed and altogether unempathetic. It’s trash. We’re not going to link it in the show notes.

Courtney: Alright. Now back to our positive Asexual comedians. We have Olivia Cathcart, who has a very short, only about a minute long video called “Asexual Bar.” And she does — and I think this is an important note — she does, in this bit, start with the word Asexual, identifying as Asexual, saying that, “In a previous comedy show I mentioned being Asexual.” And later on, the punchline, she changes the word Asexual to “An activity of not fucking.” I think this is perfectly fine for an Ace comic to do. I know there are some people out there who are going to nitpick that and do the whole, like, “Some Aces have sex!” thing. But again, if to this comedian, not fucking is inherent to your Asexuality and that is what you’re talking about here, I think it is perfectly fine. I think, in fact, only Asexual comedians can use “not fucking” as more or less interchangeable with Asexual. If you’re an allo comedian, you don’t get to do that, but we can. I think we should be able to. I really, really do.

Courtney: But apparently, when talking about Asexuality on stage, an audience member, like, raised his hand [laughing] and was like, “Are there any Asexual bars, like gay bars?” And so that’s sort of a setup for the joke, is being asked if there are any Asexual bars. And there aren’t, to my knowledge, any, like, permanently standing businesses that are dedicated Asexual bars. But there have been pop-up Asexual bars — like, specific events. In fact, I remember one instance where Yasmin Benoit was partnering with and helping to promote an Ace of Clubs Ace Bar during Pride in London. That was actually sponsored by Budweiser. So it’s not actually as silly of a question as this comedy set leads you to believe it is, but I still think it’s a funny bit.

Royce: What I felt like what happened there was, a person in the audience asked a genuine question just going along that line of thought, because there are spaces for so many other queer identities that have been established and around for a long time, and the comedian had to pause and go, “I don’t actually know the answer to that!”

Courtney: “Are there?” Yeah. Part of the joke is she’s saying, like, “So I went home and googled it!” [laughs] But where the “not fucking” comes in: she’s like, “But, I mean, we could all go to a bar and just not fuck anybody there. We all have that option available to us.” [laughs] So that one, again: stamp of approval. We love comedy by and for Aces. That one will be in the show notes, too.

Courtney: There’s also this little short that’s been shown to me a lot, because YouTube’s trying to be TikTok now, for some reason, and I hate it very much. But I’ve seen this little short by Finlay Christie Comedy, which is pretty funny. It’s also something I’ve heard before, so that takes away some of the shock value. But it rides the line on being okay and not being okay, and I want to talk just — because I think it works, and I want to talk about why I think it works.

Courtney: The entire bit is just someone in school came out as Asexual, and most people were very proud and supportive. But one kid who wasn’t very progressive said, like, “Yeah, A sexual predator.” And I have watched BoJack Horseman so many times. [laughs] We talked about Todd as Ace rep in BoJack Horseman, and that is, like, exactly how BoJack responded when Todd came out to him. Or, I guess, “Deviant.” it wasn’t “Predator.” But, like, “Deviant,” or “Harassment lawsuit.” So I can’t exactly give points for originality.

Courtney: Now, I don’t think I would like this bit that much if it just ended there. But he lingers on it for a bit and lets the audience, you know, collect themselves before he goes, “Looking back, I shouldn’t have said that.” [laughs] And so it does this subversion — like, talking about someone who said something horrible, and he’s like, “Oh, it was me. [laughs] And it was wrong.”

Royce: And it sets it up to be wrong from the beginning.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: Because this is a situation where someone came out in a supportive room, and so the one person making that comment was already let in to be in the wrong.

Courtney: Mhm.

Royce: And then the punchline comes at the expense of the one delivering it.

Courtney: Yes. And that’s why I think that works.

Courtney: Alright. Next up, I want to talk about Ace comedian Eliott Simpson. He’s been at this for a while. I have known of Eliott Simpson, the Asexual comedian, for many, many years. And to me, it is just, like, quintessentially Ace humor. So much of it is so brilliant. But it’s also very… it seems very tuned into the actual Ace community culture. ‘Cause you’ll have the sort of easy jokes — like, the references to the cake. You’ll have a lot of puns. The Ace community — we really like our puns.

Courtney: But on Eliott’s YouTube channel, what I really like is that you can not only watch some actual standup sets, but he also has some sketches, some bits that are pre-scripted and putting on a character, and those are also really funny. There’s one relatively short one, for instance, that’s like, “Bad jobs for Asexuals,” and it’s just pun after pun of things that would be bad for an Ace to do because we don’t insert thing. And it opens with one that is a very old joke in the Ace community with a very characteristic spin on it, which is: Asexual pirates aren’t interested in booty.

Royce: Was that intentional? Asexuals don’t insert thing.

Courtney: No. But actually, that’s good, so I’m gonna say yes. [laughs] Listen, we’ve been rewatching a lot of Asexual humor [laughs] to prepare for this episode. But, yeah, like, “Asexual pirates don’t want your booty.” Like, that is such an old-fashioned Ace community joke. That is, like, 10-plus years ago, I recall seeing that joke all over the place. So I love seeing newer spins on it and bringing, like, a full character to it in the concept of a bigger bit. So that’s the kind of Ace culture that you’re getting when you watch Eliott’s work.

Courtney: And they also… their actual stand up style is so quirky, and I love it. Because there’s a lot of physicality to it. There’s a lot of, like, doing a silly little jig, a little dance or, you know, hunching over and putting on a voice. And so there’s a lot of theatricality to it.

Royce: It’s a very high-energy set.

Courtney: Yes. And I’d say that every joke is a banger, but we don’t bang — which I’m pretty sure was also a joke on the “Bad jobs for Asexuals” — was like, “Drummer!” [laughs]

Courtney: Eliott is also Autistic, so sometimes we get some Autistic Ace humor, which I very much like. One in particular was… oh, what was it? It was like, “Oh, I’m Asexual and I’m Autistic. So I guess you could say I do not like big butts, and I definitely cannot lie.” [laughs]

Courtney: And I’ve heard Eliott say in a couple of different sets — because the one thing, too, which you’ll see if you go to our show notes as we are highly encouraging you to do to check out these sets yourself — a lot of comedians will post several sets where the same jokes get reused over and over again. So that’s something you kind of have to know if you’re watching these on YouTube, as opposed to going to an actual show, is that sometimes, you will have these things repeated. And one I’ve heard him open with is saying, “Oh, I’m panromantic Asexual, which means I’ll snog anyone, but… I’m into people, but I’m just not in people.” [laughs] So you get quite a bit of clever wordplay, I think, with his sets, that I really, really appreciate.

Courtney: And I don’t know, I’m inclined — because I want to share, like, ooh, some of my favorite jokes that I remember after watching some of these, but at the same time, I’d also just rather you go watch them so you can experience them properly, too. Like, there was a really good joke about hummus that had me cracking up, but I don’t want to tell it to you because I’m not going to be as funny as the person who wrote that joke. Especially with all the physicality that Eliott incorporates into their sets, too, there is a bit of a visual element, also, that complements the actual jokes being told.

Courtney: And then the last Ace comedian we’re going to talk about today is, I think, much newer to the comedy game than Eliott is, or at least newer to the internet posting stuff online. But his name is Cody Webb, and I was recommended a video of his called, “I’m Asexual Because of In N’ Out Burger,” and my interest was piqued. And this set is very, very good because it is so relatable. I find a lot of stuff in Eliott’s set really relatable, too, but Eliott’s got, like, the jokes and the bits and the physicality, whereas Cody’s coming a bit more like an earlier comedian we mentioned, where I’m sharing stories about my life in a comedic way.

Courtney: [laughing] And the story about In-N-Out Burger… The gist of the joke — and it’s, like, an eight-minute set, and he’s got other great videos. He doesn’t just talk about Asexuality. There’s also discussions of polyamory. Cody talks about his partner, talking about gender identity, things of that nature. But the Asexual In-N-Out Burger is… Well, you’ll just have to listen to the whole thing yourself. But the gist is, “I don’t hate In-N-Out Burger, but I feel the same way about In-N-Out Burger as I do about sex, wherein lots of people massively overhyped In-N-Out Burger to me before I ever had a chance to have it.” And, oh my gosh, growing up in South Dakota, the people who either moved there from other places or had visited — like, on vacation — somewhere and had an In-N-Out burger, this was like the mythical place to have a burger. Everyone’s like, “You have not lived until you’ve had an In-N-Out burger!” [laughs] And of course, I stopped eating meat before I ever went anywhere with an In-N-Out Burger. So I never had the experience of eating an In-N-Out burger and being disappointed or being like, “This is it?” But I have had enough burgers in my life, both real and veggie, to know that, like, a burger’s kind of a burger. [laughs] Like, most burgers are going to be good. Rarely is a burger, like, so exceptional, it’s astonishing, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever had. Because it’s all kind of the same formula, right?

Courtney: And it’s also just the really good old-fashioned comparing sex and food or, you know, libido and hunger cravings — this parallel that we have been doing since time immemorial in the Ace community. And just the addition of it being an In-N-Out Burger is so funny to me, because I also grew up like that, where, like, if you had an in and out burger, you were, like, the envy of all. [laughs] I remember people going on vacations and coming back and being like, “Yeah, I ate at In-N-Out Burger.” It’s like, that can’t have been the most exciting thing you did on your vacation. [laughs] Royce, have you ever had an In-N-Out burger?

Royce: Maybe? I mean, I’ve been to California a couple times for work stuff, and I was in Arizona for a few years. I think so? But I — honestly, if I did, it was so unmemorable —

[Courtney laughs]

Royce: — that I couldn’t tell you, honestly. Again, it’s a chain burger place. And I’ve never understood people’s fascinations with — like, how a new coffee shop chain or a donut chain or something pops up in an area and people are just all over it.

Courtney: Oh, yeah. I also don’t understand it, but that definitely happens. I mean, there were things like —

Royce: See, I grew up in a place that was small enough that we just didn’t get new anything. Like, maybe the city over would have some stuff, but, like, I never had disposable income that I would spend on things like food.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: Because as soon as I had a job, I was saving for college, and my parents didn’t really care about that stuff either.

Courtney: Yeah. Well, in Sioux Falls, like, we had the McDonald’s and the Burger King. We had the Taco Bell. We had a lot of Taco John’s, which is a little more niche and regional than I thought it was. Because now, moving to Kansas City, like, we live 20 minutes away from the next Taco John’s, and I was like, “What the heck? We have several of these in Sioux Falls and have for ages. Why…?” And so, like, those were the main fast food joints. And we didn’t tend to get a brand new franchise. Like, we’d have, like, your Subway. But there might be like, “Oh, we’re opening a new McDonald’s over here,” but it wasn’t like, “We’re getting a brand new chain.” But I have seen stories, since moving to Kansas City, that Sioux Falls is now starting to get new franchises. And every time, the news stories are like, “They had to bring out cops to direct traffic, there were so many people.” There was a line out onto the street for, like, I don’t know, I want to say maybe a Chick-fil-A, or, like, a new chicken place, or maybe a Popeye’s? I’m not sure. The only chicken place I think we had when I was growing up was KFC. [laughs] But people will — they will absolutely go nuts about a new fast food place. And it’s like, I don’t know. I feel like every given town is going to have a better local restaurant than any new franchise chain place that could come in. But I don’t know, that’s just me.

Courtney: But I feel like it’s got to be relatable to so many Aces who have had sex and just thought, like, “That’s it? [laughs] That’s what everyone’s been hyping up? What am I missing?” Which is a pretty common Ace experience. So, I really love the premise of it. I hope Cody keeps at it, because I’m really excited to see what material he can come up with in the future. I will be following all of these Ace comedians, and I implore all of our listeners to as well.

Courtney: And plus, I think we just need more Ace comedians. Like, if anyone out there is like, “Man, I’ve always thought of doing standup comedy,” maybe, maybe take this as your sign to do it, because I want more. I want more. I’m not talking to myself right now, Royce. I see that look on your face. I’m not talking to me. I may or may not be curious about trying standup comedy. I just like storytelling. I like storytelling, and I think comedy is one means of storytelling that’s never come naturally to me, and so I’m curious about learning more about what things work, why they work, how to actually write a standup set in an effective way. Because I’ve got weird stories for days, but I’m very much a person who’s like, “Let’s sit down over coffee and I will tell you this story for an hour, because I want you to know every weird detail of it.” And I struggle with the editing and the paring it down, so. And that’s something you need to do in comedy, because so much is the speed and the pacing and the delivery, so. We’ll see. I make no promises, but.

Courtney: I also… [sighs] It’s hard to find good comedy these days. I feel like every now and then, you and I will be like, “Oh, it would be nice to watch a standup set. Let’s see what specials are out that we haven’t seen before.” And we end up clicking away from so many, like, Netflix specials. Because we’re like, “Oh, let’s check this one out.” And then, a few minutes in, we’re like, “This is not our cup of tea.” But when a good comedy set hits and they aren’t making fun of marginalized communities, they can be really nice, so.

Courtney: And so many of our favorite comedians are themselves queer, and I’d love to see an Ace comedian, like, rise to that level someday. I think that would be amazing. I think — one of the first comedians that you and I watched together, in the early days of our relationship, was Tig Notaro, and I still think Tig is probably one of my all-time favorites. We recently watched Hannah Gadsby’s Gender Agenda on Netflix, which was very good. I really, really liked those sets. And that was multiple queer comedians doing short sets. And it was, unfortunately, a response to the transphobic comedy special that Netflix produced, so I hate that that had to be a reactionary, like, “Let’s put out more queer creators to try to circumvent the transphobia.” I hate that. I wish it was just more, “Here is a celebration of these fabulous queer comedians.” But I think it would be so amazing if, in my lifetime, we had a very well-known, prominent Asexual comedian who gets, like, their own Netflix special or something like that. How cool would that be? I’d love it. I look forward to it. Let’s all put it out there to the universe, and maybe we can see it someday.

Courtney: And that, my lovely listeners, will bring us to our featured MarketplACE vendor. This week, we are featuring DillonDev. DillonDev has sci-fi and coffee designs by an AroAce trans man. And I know some of these are Star Wars-related, and I am woefully uninformed on Star Wars, so I personally can’t talk too much about that. But if you’re a Star Wars fan, you definitely should check out DillonDev. But there is more that he has out there that is not, like, a fandom- or franchise-specific. In fact, one of my favorite designs, one that we ordered, is called “Fuel to Reach the Stars.” And it’s gorgeous. It’s this, like, aerial view of a mug of coffee, and you have the black coffee in there and you have the bubbles, but then there’s just, like, a pop of, like, a ringed planet and a starship whizzing by, and it’s very elegant. I love it a lot. So it’s very good for all of our space Aces out there and our coffee-loving Aces, especially our coffee-loving space Aces. This is on Redbubble, so you can order these designs on any number of products. At the time I became familiar with this store, I needed a new notebook, so I ordered a notebook with this fabulous “Fuel to Reach the Stars” design on it. And I love that little notebook. I’ve used it multiple times already. I still have some pages, so I still have the notebook that I actively use. But on Redbubble, you can get, like, stickers and T-shirts, all kinds of different things. Super-duper recommend it. Links, as always, are in the show notes.

Courtney: And that’s all we have for today! So, please check out DillonDev as well as all of our fabulous Ace comedians we discussed today. Let us know if there are any other Ace comedians or Ace comedy sets, good, bad or ugly — preferably good. [laughs] I’d love more good Ace comedy. But if there’s anybody we missed, we’d love to check them out in the future. Leave us a comment if you’re listening on YouTube. Do all the things. And we will talk to you all next time.