Humourists: 5 women shaping the current stand-up scene
Updated: Apr 29
Since a few years, a new generation of women has taken France's stand-up scene by storm. Dark humour, satire, political incorrectness, all is permitted!
Blanche Gardin began her working life as a specialised educator before making her debut at the Jamel Comedy Club in 2006. The budding actress performed on stage at the club for three years before moving on to be chosen to host the weekly sketch show Ligne Blanche. She then became known to the general public thanks to her role in the television series WorkinGirls on Canal+ playing Hélène Grilloux, a naive office worker with a big heart, and in 2015 she eventually decided to pursue stand-up and as such started writing and performing her own one-women shows to great success. She won two years in a row a Molière for humour for her shows Je parle toute seule and Bonne nuit Blanche in 2018 and 2019. Her dry wit and dark existential humour touches upon themes such as homelessness, love, illness and growing older. A big fan of Louis. C.K, she has been inspired by his way of using real life-anecdotes and shame to depict her own difficulties. She now also writes scripts for films and she recently appeared in the latest movie of the French filmmakers duo Kervern-Delépine, Effacer l’historique.
Marina Rollman studied architecture in Switzerland before moving to Paris to study classic literature. Yet after seeing Jerry Seinfeld’s show I’m telling you for the last time and being impressed by it, she decided to pursue stand-up as a career of her own. She first jumped between jobs (baby-sitting, advertising) and eventually found her audience. In 2014 she performed at the Montreux Comedy Club, later at the Jamel Comedy Club and also started doing the first parts of Gad Elmaleh’s shows. Since 2017, she hosts a weekly column La drôle d'humeur de Marina Rollman in the program La Bande Originale presented by Nagui, on France Inter. In 2021, she released Gina, one of the 6 short films in the 6X Confiné.e.s mini-series on Canal+. In June 2021, she will be performing her solo show Un spectacle drôle all over France. In her early thirties, she likes to deconstruct millennial's little habits, hypocrisies and absurdities (start-up culture, obsession with fitness, vegans, etc.).
Shirley Souagnon began her career in 2008 and became well-known for performing on the show On n'demande qu'à en rire, a French comedy television programme. She joined the Jamel Comedy Club in 2010, the most popular stand-up show in France.
Shirley Souagnon is openly lesbian and often talks about gender and sexuality during her routines. She also deals with subjects such as discrimination, immigration and technology, based on her own experience. Her humour is simple and direct, just like herself.
In 2018, she participated in Noire n'est pas mon métier, a statement about sexism and racism in the French film industry.
Since 2019, she has launched her own comedy club in Paris, the first one opened by a female comedian.
Doully began during the Premières fois evenings hosted by French humourist Yacine Belhousse, where stand-up comedians test jokes for the first time in front of an audience. Since then, she has made her mark in the stand-up comedy with her unmistakable rugged voice and her unfiltered humour. From barmaid to porn dubber, Doully talks about her multiple past lives with sincerity and self-mockery. She also looks back upon her junky past and tackles the theme of addictions (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food) without ever falling into pathos.
Her last show Admettons was co-written with her friend Blanche Gardin.
Morgane Cadignan studied marketing before joining the Conservatoire d’art dramatique in Versailles. She started stand-up in 2018. After the success of her first show, she regularly appeared in the entertainment program Clique presented by Mouloud Achour, on Canal+. Since 2020, she hosts a daily column in the program La Bande Originale presented by Nagui, on France Inter.
Mirroring the anxieties of a 30-year-old woman with humour, Morgane Cadignan addresses issues and contradictions of her generation.