A Conversation about Women in Comedy, Sunday, March 14

Friday, Mar 5, 2021

Women in Comedy PosterOn Sunday, March 14 at 7:30PM EST,  the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, Quipfire!, the USG Social Committee, the Class of 2014 present a conversation with Amy Solomon ’14, President Emerita of Princeton University Shirley Tilghman, Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong, Aparna Nancherla, and Naomi Ekperigin, about the role of women in comedy. The event precedes the debut of Amy’s book on the subject, Notes from the Bathroom Line, to be released on March 16th. This event is free and open to all, and will be streamed on Princeton University Facebook and YouTube channel.

More than four decades ago, the groundbreaking book Titters: The First Collection of Humor by Women showcased the work of some of the leading female comedians of the 1970s like Gilda Radner, Candice Bergen, and Phyllis Diller. The book became an essential time capsule of an era, the first of its kind, that opened doors for many more funny women to smash the comedy glass-ceiling.

Today, brilliant women continue to push the boundaries of just how funny—and edgy—they can be in a field that has long been dominated by men. In Notes from the Bathroom Line, Amy Solomon brings together all-new material from some of the funniest women in show business today—award-winning writers, stand-up comedians, actresses, cartoonists, and more. Actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani writes “"This book is so good. Relatable, hilarious, genuinely eye-opening. Every piece is completely different yet part of a cohesive statement." Notes from the Bathroom Line proves there are no limits to how funny, bad-ass, and revolutionary women can — and continue — to be.

This year, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students has created initiatives to profile the writing of Princeton faculty and alumni. As such, we are pleased to provide a free copy of "Notes from the Bathroom Line" to interested undergraduate students. To receive a copy of this book, undergraduates should fill out this form.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to odus@princeton.edu with any questions. We hope that you can join. 

About the Panelists

Cecily Strong HeadshotIn her 9th season on Saturday Night Live, Cecily Strong has entertained viewers with her standout Weekend Update character Cathy Anne, Michael Che’s wacky chain-smoking neighbor who offers her opinions on current events. Her recurring character Gemma, a British "singer" with various boyfriends, also quickly became a fan favorite. She has earned rave reviews for her notable impressions of Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Melania Trump. Strong has co-hosted Weekend Update alongside both Seth Meyers and Colin Jost. In 2020, she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on "Saturday Night Live." 

In Chicago, Strong improvised regularly at iO and served as an understudy for the Second City Main Stage and E.T.C. shows. She performed as a member of the Second City national touring company and has also appeared at the Chicago SketchFest, Chicago Just for Laughs, the New York Sketch Fest and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

Strong has appeared in "The Female Brain" and Paul Feig’s reboot of "Ghostbusters," as well as "The Bronze," "The Meddler" and Melissa McCarthy’s "The Boss." Additionally, Strong headlined the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. 

Raised in Oak Park, Illinois, Strong has a BFA in theater from the California Institute of the Arts. She visited Princeton in 2017 for a conversation with Dean Alexis Andres. You can see more of her work on Instagram at @cecilystrong.


Aparna Nancherla HeadshotAparna Nancherla is a comedian and general silly billy. Her sense of humor is dry, existential, and absurd, with notes of uncalled-for whimsy. Think a wine you didn’t order.

You can watch Nancherla as Grace the belabored HR rep on the Comedy Central show, Corporate, or hear her as the voice of Hollyhock on Bojack Horseman. She also has a half-hour special on the second season of The Standups on Netflix, as well as appearances on Late Night with Stephen Colbert on CBS and Two Dope Queens on HBO. Other acting credits include A Simple Favor, Crashing, High Maintenance, Master of None, and Inside Amy Schumer. Nancherla was also named one of “The 50 Funniest People Right Now” by Rolling Stone. She also co-hosted the 2018 Women’s March Rally in NYC. In 2019, she was in a Super Bowl commercial with Michael Bublé for sparkling water neé seltzer. 

In 2016, she released her debut album, Just Putting It Out There, on Tig Notaro’s label, Bentzen Ball Records, and recorded a half hour special for Comedy Central. On Monday nights, she co-hosts Butterboy at Littlefield in Park Slope, Brooklyn with genius treasures Jo Firestone and Maeve Higgins. Watch the absurdist web series Womanhood Nancherla made with aforementioned bright light Jo Firestone for Refinery29.

Nacherla is also an experienced improviser, having studied at Washington Improv Theater, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in both NY and LA, and the Groundlings, as well as Lesly Kahn’s school of acting. For a complete listing of her performances and related content, please visit her website.


Naomi Ekperigin HeadshotNaomi Ekperigin is an actor, stand-up comedian and writer who has appeared on TruTV, VH1, MTV, FX, and HBO. Her Comedy Central Half Hour special premiered October 2016 and you can watch it now on cc.com. Ekperigin has written for Comedy Central's "Broad City", Hulu's "Difficult People" and NBC's "Great News".  In 2017, she was listed as one of "10 Comedians You Need to Know" by Rolling Stone. A regular on the hit podcast 2 Dope Queens, you can watch her on episode four of the 2 Dope Queens HBO special on HBOGO and HBONow.

Ekperigin was born and raised in Harlem, New York. She attended the Dalton School, and graduated from Wesleyan University. In college, Ekperigin began performing comedy and doing improv. After graduating from college, Ekperigin spent a year touring with the National Theatre for the Deaf, and she returned to New York in 2007 where she got a start doing stand-up while working a day job at an art magazine. You can follow Ekperigin on twitter at @Blacktress.




President Tilghman Headshot

Shirley M. Tilghman is president emerita and professor of molecular biology at Princeton University. Professor Tilghman served as Princeton’s 19th president from 2001 to 2013. During her tenure, President Tilghman expanded the size of the student body, instituted the four-year residential college system, and sponsored many important student initiatives such as the Standing Committee on Undergraduate Women’s Leadership. She oversaw the creation of major new academic programs, including the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Returning to the faculty following her presidency, Tilghman has assumed a number of leadership positions beyond Princeton. She currently serves as trustee at Amherst College, on the Leadership Council of the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA), and as a Fellow to Harvard Corporation. President Tilghman chairs the Higher Education Presidents Council for the Campus Democracy Challenge, and is leading efforts to improve voting on college campuses across the nation.


Amy Solomon HeadshotAmy Solomon is a film and TV producer, most recently on HBO's Barry and Silicon Valley. She runs Alec Berg's production company where she develops movies and TV that you'll hopefully see someday. She's originally from Chicago but now lives in Los Angeles with her dogs, Nan and Goose, who are perfect. She's a graduate of Princeton University, where she performed with Quipfire! improv group and was the producer of Princeton’s All-Nighter show. Solomon wrote her senior thesis on the intersections of comedy and mental health and wellness. She loves baseball and her friends' kids.