Nanette star Hannah Gadsby confirms she is not quitting comedy after show’s success

Nanette star Hannah Gadsby has confirmed that she is not quitting comedy – after her Netflix special won international acclaim.

The out comic, who previously appeared on acclaimed Josh Thomas sitcom Please Like Me, landed a massive comedy hit with Netflix special Nanette, released in June 2018.

The show is based upon the construct that Gadsby is quitting comedy, using it as a basis to movingly explore her experiences of the world as a gay woman.

Hannah Gadsby

However, appearing on the Tonight Show this week, Gadsby confirmed to Jimmy Fallon that her plans to move back to Tasmania and leave comedy are now firmly on hold.

She said: “I wrote the show because I’d had enough.

“I thought, I’ll — I’ll write a bit of it and back out. It’s a quitting show. I’m quitting. I thought, ‘I’ll drop a bomb and leave’, and I really thought it would divide audiences and it just hasn’t.

When I wrote it, it wasn’t supposed to go, ‘Oh, I’ll get a Netflix special out of this and everyone will see it,’ it was like, ‘I’ll probably get, oh, probably 12 shows and be asked to leave,’ and the plan has backfired.”

She added: “I’ll do something [more].

“I said I was quitting, and then if I quit, I’m an idiot now.

“If the show had gone as badly as I planned, it would have worked.

“But now, like, I’m left with the choice. I’ll either be an idiot or a hypocrite, and I’d rather be a hypocrite than an idiot.”

Hannah Gadsby

Several parts of Nanette have struck a chord with the LGBT+ community.

In the show, Gadsby says: “I built a career on self deprecating humour, and I don’t want to do that any more.

“Do you know what self-deprecation means coming from somebody who exists on the margins? It’s not humility. It’s humiliation.

“I put myself down in order to speak. In order to seek permission to speak. And I simply will not do that anymore. Not to myself or anyone who identifies as me. And if that means that my comedy career is over, then so be it.”

There has been a flood of praise from other LGBT+ stars at the words—as well as critics.

The comedy special has received widespread praise, with the New Yorker saying the show “harnessed the broader fury of the #MeToo moment” and that Gadsby is finished “hiding her anger.”

While The Atlantic said: “The grist for her show, though, is her art. Here, it melds stand-up and storytelling in a way that makes Nanette one of the most extraordinary comedy specials in recent memory.”

The Guardian was also full of praise, in an opinion article Jane Howard wrote: “Standup is, at its core, about an understanding of the power of shared space. Nanette takes that shared space and bursts it open.”

Daniel Fienberg, a television critic for The Hollywood Reporter, tweeted about the show and said: “Netflix has a LOT of stand-up specials. Some quite good. Most are indistinct. We need the volume and variety so that when something like Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette comes along you can say, ‘Oh. THAT is special.'”