Next week is GQ’s comedy issue, and in advance they’ve released the cover which features Kate McKinnon, Sarah Silverman, Issa Rae, and HANDS. SO. MANY. HANDS. It creeps me out. Which is the intent, based on the satirical write up accompanying the cover, calling the plethora of HANDS “egregious mistakes”. Which they are. Look at them. Hands are gross. We should never touch anything.
This is a nice balance of comedy people—an SNL star, a stateswoman of comedy, and a post-digital breakout. McKinnon and Silverman came up the traditional way, sketch and stand-up respectively, but Issae Rae cut her teeth on Youtube, alongside the likes of Bo Burnham, the Workaholics guys, and Adam Conover, who was part of the original College Humor crew. (Not to mention how Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island used digital shorts to revitalize SNL’s format for the viral age. Still one of the funniest sketches of the modern era.)
Issa Rae is, then, one of the faces of the new comedy era, where you don’t necessarily need clubs and improv groups to make it. Do other comedians resent that? No, of course not, comedians are a stable, supportive group of emotionally balanced and nutur—LOL I can’t even finish that joke, of course they do. But it matters less and less every year, because talent will out. Issa Rae doubters have long since been proven in the wrong, as Insecure is one of the best comedies on TV right now. Also, everyone was so quick to anoint Lena Dunham the voice of a generation, despite her generation’s strenuous and repeated objections, but Issa Rae, who doesn’t make you want to drown yourself, isn’t a candidate? Shenanigans!
There is one notable omission from this cover: Tiffany Haddish. She’s the comedy breakout of the last year and she’s not even name-checked. Maybe she’ll be featured inside, but if not, that’s a HUGE oversight. And it’s not like there isn’t room to include her—four people can fit on that cover. Oh my god. It’s the “Rose’s door” of magazine covers.