'Daily Show' co-creator launches 'Feminist Buzzkills of Comedy' tour
© Courtesy of Mindy Tucker

The co-creator of “The Daily Show” is launching a 2020 comedy tour in the nation’s capital to raise awareness about what she calls the “relentless assaults on reproductive rights.”

Lizz Winstead — who helped bring “The Daily Show” to Comedy Central in 1996 — says the kick-off of the “Feminist Buzzkills of Comedy” tour at the Black Cat on Wednesday is timed to the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that upheld abortion rights, and as a “counter-narrative” to Friday’s March for Life, an annual anti-abortion event.

Each of the shows around the country produced by Winstead’s nonprofit, Abortion Access Force, will feature comedians and performers — including Maysoon Zayid, Joyelle Johnson and Jaye McBride, among others — hitting the stage with their jokes, followed by some serious talk about abortion.

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“We do a conversation with the [abortion] providers in that town and the local activists who are working with the providers to talk about the state of reproductive care in their community and in their state,” Winstead tells ITK. “They talk to the audience about what they would like in their community, and then folks are able to sign up to help right in the room.”

The 58-year-old comic says that comedy and activism go hand-in-hand “100 percent.”

With her experience helping to create Comedy Central’s signature news spoof, Winstead says, “I’ve always used humor to point out hypocrisy.”

If done smartly, she says, comedy can be used as a tool and “woven into a conversation that’s serious and thoughtful.”

Asked what she would tell critics who might want to get their laughs far away from the heated partisan battles and hot-button issues that constantly divide the country, Winstead notes that the comedy tour “isn’t necessarily just all politics.”

“But also, there is no escaping,” she adds. “At this point our lives are not about escaping politics and hoping for what’s going to be for the best.”

“We live in a world where the politics that are happening — state, local and federal level — are dictating the fact that you can’t just run away,” Winstead says.

“To think that you can avoid politics is absurd,” she says. “I would argue since you can’t avoid politics, maybe we should incorporate it in a way that has joy and fun and empowers you to help make the change you want to see.”