Are Gen Y Women Poised To Take Over Comedy?

Kaling and DeschanelThis Sunday, Rebel Wilson hosted the 21st MTV Movie Awards, becoming the first female host since 2007 when Jessica Alba took on the task.  During the course of the night, she also won “Best Breakthrough Performance” and “Best Musical Moment” awards for her role as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. With a slew of movie roles in the last three years, and rumors of a television show being built around her in her future, Wilson could very well serve as a symbol of a larger shift happening in comedy: the takeover of the Millennial female. 

Looking at the past generation, male Xer comedians like Adam Sandler and Will Farrell, who often were born out of the SNL family, would carry huge franchises and movies with huge fan followings. It seems that Gen Y is not following that pattern. Vulture is wondering where our next male comic superstars are, but they might just be looking at the wrong gender. Instead of male comic headliners, we have a rush of Millennial female helmed comedies like New Girl, Girls, 2 Broke Girls, and The Mindy Project taking over the airwaves. Many of the Gen Y female stars in these shows are also writers or producers of their content, setting the stage for Gen Y female comedians to become the major Hollywood power players of their generation.

A quick rundown of recent TV comedies provides evidence that Gen Y female comedy stars are currently building their empires in Hollywood. Polarizing comedian Whitney Cummings had three different shows on the air in 2012, co-creating and executive producing 2 Broke Girls on CBS, creating, exec-producing and starring in Whitney on NBC, and also starring in her own talk show on E!. 2 Broke Girls, of course, stars two more Gen Y female comic actresses. Meanwhile, Zooey Deschanel doesn’t just star in (hugely Millennial popular) show New Girl

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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