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Being a blonde woman and pretending to be funny: interview with Giada Biaggi

NB: ironic titling


The comedy industry has for years been churning out TV formats, socials and programmes on streaming platforms that really do cater to different tastes. But they all have one thing in common: the role of the man as central.

The figure of the female comedian in Italy today is still little explored, and if we think that this can also be good-looking, we find it hard to imagine her.

But, since I spotted Giada Biaggi on social media who meets all the above requirements, I decided to have a chat with her so as to delve deeper into this mythological figure (who you could probably start seeing more often than Nessy in Loch Ness).

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Un post condiviso da Giada Biaggi (@giadabgg)

When did you decide to be a comedian?

I have to tell you that I've always been very funny, even at school I was an entertainer. 

Then one day on Netflix I discovered Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room, a series that introduced me to the Canadian stand-up comedian. It was incredible because she also physically resembled me and broke out of the Italian comedian stereotype that “if you make people laugh you cannot be beautiful and if you are beautiful you cannot make people laugh”.

There is a problem of representation then...

Exactly, and then at the time, a good 6/7 years ago, comedy in Italy was represented exclusively by programmes like Zelig, so you can imagine I didn't recognise myself in the world of stand-up comedy.

How are you different from them?

Well, I am a fan of philosophy and I also like to bring it into my performances. Let's say I have an ironic and intellectual style at the same time. I like to talk about feminism and break down various taboos through my art.


Yes, I wanted to be an academic, imagine that! I studied analytical philosophy, but it was too closed and not very creative for me.

Comic philosopher or comic philosopher?

What can I say, there are not many models to help me give you a clear answer. I am a trailblazer in this area. Not having models is difficult but also stimulating.

OK, and then what happened?

Then I started doing some performances in Milan. At first, to try out, I proposed to a lot of those runaway circles.

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Un post condiviso da Giada Biaggi (@giadabgg)

Ahaha, you? So fancy performing in a community centre?

Well yes, one has to start somehow. But then I directed my shot better and started to build a repertoire. Then last year, with a friend, I organised a show at the Apollo in Milan that was very successful. From there I told myself: I can do it.

How does your work work?

I'm in a punk phase, I recently got an agent to help me. The one I am touring with now is my first official show and I built it by putting together my best of, giving it a more dramaturgical structure.

What is the most tiring aspect?

Living the phase I'm living now: pre-celebrity.

I know you have written a book.

I wrote a novel called The Bikini of Sylvia Plath, it's a humorous and philosophical piece of writing, of course. It tells of a sexting relationship between an art history graduate student and a Milanese curator who prides himself on only working with female artists. Pink washing? Yes.

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Un post condiviso da Giada Biaggi (@giadabgg)

And now you are writing another one.

It's still a novel. It's about a girl whose father dies, set in the 1910s. The main character also has a Tumbrl page. More I won't tell you.

Giada why is it that when we think of the figure of the comedian we immediately think of a man?

The woman is ancestrally perceived as an object and an object that speaks is an antithesis by definition. Usually when women rise to power and deobjectify themselves they assume “manly attitudes”, like dressing like a man

The man is perceived as more everything: more journalist, more doctor, more lawyer and even more comedian. 

What do you think of “Che Tempo che fa”?

That it is a left-wing narrative of the same old thing. The man leads, the beautiful woman stands still and sits and the funny woman is not really a representation of an appreciated aesthetic model.

Beauty and intelligence clash?

It's rubbish but that's how it is. Just think that in France there are sex symbol philosophers, and I have heard that they even sleep with former Première Dame Carla Bruni.

The themes of your shows?

I would say they are all autobiographical. Milan and single status are very recurring themes. I start from what I know and then muddy the waters.

I invent a character Pasolina, the intellectual from Rai 3, put on my glasses and go.

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Un post condiviso da Giada Biaggi (@giadabgg)

What everyday situations inspire you?

I chat to everyone and that helps me. Then I use Tinder to recruit awkward people to hang out with and get information about the social fabric. It's fun, you should try it.

Your favourite comedians?

Chloe Fineman from Saturday Night Live, Ali Wong, Samantha Irby. Men Ricky Gervais, I opened Twitter just for him.


I don't like their approach to comedy in general. But if I had to choose: Nanni Moretti.

Does comedy have other goals besides making people laugh?

Of course. For example I quote philosophers, you can also learn from my shows.

Image Olimpia Taliani de Marchio