Film and TV

Comedian Joel Kim Booster has a troubling theory why there’s no ‘gay male Ellen DeGeneres’

Patrick Kelleher June 1, 2021
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Joel Kim Booster

Joel Kim Booster. (Amy Sussman/Getty)

Joel Kim Booster thinks gay male comedians don’t break through in the same way Ellen DeGeneres did because people don’t like thinking about sex between men.

The comedian and actor addressed the challenges facing gay men in comedy during an appearance on The Last Laugh podcast.

“The question is always asked, why hasn’t there been a gay male Ellen or something like that,” Joel Kim Booster said.

He said that it’s “definitely true” that gay male comedians haven’t broken through on the comedy scene in the same way that the likes of DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes and Tig Notaro have.

“I think part of it is a general discomfort with the way that gay men have sex. I think that it’s really hard to look at a gay man and not think about anal.”

Joel Kim Booster knows a ‘successful’ gay male comedian who’s still in the closet

However, Joel Kim Booster thinks America could see a gay male comedian break through in the future.

“I could see it happening,” he said. “And actually I do know at least one uber-successful stand-up comedian that’s closeted right now.

“And he doesn’t come off as gay and he doesn’t talk about his life in the same way that I do.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Booster explained why he doesn’t have much interest in becoming a major breakthrough comedian – and he reflected on how the comedy scene is changing.

“Because of the internet, and because it’s so easy to find your niche audience, it’s made it more difficult for somebody to break through with broad appeal.

“And I don’t necessarily want to have broad appeal. I don’t necessarily need or want to be for every single person. I’m not looking to be as relatable as John Mulaney is to millions and millions of people because it’s just not me.

“I’m never going to be the comedian that everyone in middle America is flocking to see. And I’m OK with that. I’ve made my peace with that. Because I’ve found a pretty great, dope audience that likes my s**t.”

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