Janet Hyde’s Dude Talks to a Lady is an honest look at how men in comedy view conversations about relationships, sex, and feminism in general. Guests share a joke they’ve told on stage, and spend the rest of the episode dissecting what the larger implications of that joke are, why it may or may not be funny to some women. Hyde acts as the liaison between male and female comics who snark at each other’s jokes at open mics, but rarely have the opportunity to sit down and talk about why. All I can say is bless her for saying, so eloquently, all the things I’ve thought but never been able to formulate, and with such a level head.
I listened to a few episodes of Dude Talks to a Lady but found one in particular really interesting. On Episode 33, Hyde talks to comedian, Doug Brian. His views are a bit... abrasive, but she navigates the conversation with ease and strategy. She knows when it’s appropriate to cut into the conversation—such as when Brian suggested the world needs more masculinity—and further inquire about his statements. This often leaves her guests jumbling up their own ideas, the holes in their logic poking through. This isn’t so much Hyde “tricking” anyone, but rather showcasing the depth of her knowledge and experience with feminist topics. I recommend this episode if you want to hear how impressively she can keep her cool. Brian goes into detail about why more people need to handle their disagreements with others with a closed fist, arguing that masculine men don’t get bullied but instead are the bullies, and applauds that reality. It’s... an interesting perspective. I applaud her for inviting on a guest who very obviously held a drastically differing viewpoint than her own.
Hyde also has a way of guiding the conversation in a natural and casual fashion. I’m not sure of her relationships with her guests, but she treats them like friends, no topic off limits and no stone left unturned. She brings up the fact that Brian once told her he’d punch her in the nose at an open mic, and puts a lighthearted tone on the anecdote even though listeners were undoubtedly cringing. I was like wait…. are they friends or is this really not ok? (I still don’t know).
The conversations are also funny, on top of being educational. Her most recent episode with Zach Swan ended with Swan’s declaration that “If you have breasts, you’re oppressed,” a playful way to wrap up a conversation about topics that often leave people heated, such as labeling yourself a feminist as a man, if you’ve ever been called sexist, and the male gaze. Hyde’s guests are good sports for coming on the show, but if you ask me, she steals the spotlight with her quick wit, openness, and willingness to teach.
Overall, the conversations in Dude Talks to a Lady will definitely, at times, leave you frustrated. At points, I wanted to jump in and scream at her guests, my experiences with some male comics at the forefront of my memory. However, Janet Hyde is that buffer. She takes all the annoying and frustrated feelings you feel as a listener, and filters and boils them down to digestible conversational bits that are both enjoyable for the guest and also doesn’t alienate them. For this reason, I recommend Dude Talks to a Lady podcast to any female comic who’s ever felt disheartened by some of the jokes she’s heard at a show. I know there’s a LOT of you out there.