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Lizz Winstead to perform at Cat’s Cradle

Lizz Winstead, co-founder of The Daily Show, will be coming to the Chapel Hill area to perform in a show at Cat’s Cradle on Nov. 20. (Courtesy of Michael Young)

Lizz Winstead, co-founder of The Daily Show, will be coming to the Chapel Hill area to perform in a show at Cat’s Cradle on Nov. 20. (Courtesy of Michael Young)

Comedian Lizz Winstead is a self-described “satirical instigator.”

She co-created “The Daily Show” and has worked with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher, among others.

Winstead said her energetic comedy began as a way to make her voice heard in a strict, large Catholic family.

“Growing up as the youngest kid in the family, no one ever asks what you think,” she said.

In her book, “Lizz Free or Die,” she explains how her childhood and early experiences in standup informed her standup now. All around her there were people placing limits, and standup was the ultimate rebellion.

“It’s a radical act for a woman to stand up on a stage and say that I have something to say, and you are going to listen to it,” she said.

Sophomore and former staff writer for The Daily Tar Heel, Crystal Yuille, said there’s a problem in the media.dir JS

“There is an idea that women are supposed to be politically correct,” Yuille said.

Winstead’s current comedy tour has raised $2 million dollars for pro-choice causes. Her website, “Lady Parts Justice,” exposes misinformation about reproductive rights.

“There’s nothing worse than finding out you are pregnant and then not understanding that the Planned Parenthood you would go to is closed or you have to wait 72 hours before you can terminate a pregnancy,” she said.

While most comics stick to exposing hypocrisy, Winstead turns her comedy into activism. Her biggest inspirations weren’t Stewart or Colbert but those who dedicate their lives to important causes.

“The people who wake up and make me do this everyday — one is an abortion doctor named Willie Parker in Alabama and Mississippi,” she said. “There’s also a woman named Amy Miller who has a group called Shift, trying to change the conversation about abortion.”

Above all, she tries to hold the media accountable.

“First of all, I started doing comedy when the first Gulf War happened in 1991. There was only CNN, and I saw there was graphics and a theme song and all these hot people, and I wondered whether they were reporting on a war or selling me a war,” she said.

Junior Daniel Jones said he, too, questioned how media reports on important events.

“When I watch the news, I look at the outlet. Everyone has an agenda,” he said.

Winstead said part of the bias of the entertainment industry was that people do not look at the female experience as comedic material.

“If you have a funny experience and you can make it into a funny thing, I think you should be able to share it, and other people should be able to enjoy it. Not because it’s from a woman’s perspective but just because it is funny.”

arts@dailytarheel.com

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