Janine Brito

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Janine Brito
BornFlorida, United States
MediumStand-up comedy
Notable works and rolesTotally Biased with W. Kamau Bell Laughter Against The Machine

Janine Brito is an American stand-up comic. Prominent within the San Francisco stand-up comedy scene, she is recognized nationally as a writer and on-air correspondent for the television program Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, which premiered on FX in 2012 and was canceled early in its second season due to a drop in ratings after the series was moved to FX's spin-off network FXX.

Early life and career[edit]

Brito was born in Florida, though she went on to attend junior high school in Scotland and Hong Kong and high school in Kentucky. After high school, Brito moved to St. Louis to pursue a business degree at the Washington University in St. Louis.[1] Once she graduated from college, she remained in St. Louis and launched her comedy career. Though she was politically active in college with the student and labor rights movement, her comedy wasn't explicitly political at first.[2] Eventually, she moved to Oakland specifically for the city's comedy scene and reputation for fostering progressive comics. It was in Oakland that she honed her focus on identity politics and decided to take more risks in her act, such as adopting her signature androgynous style.[1]

Shortly after moving to the Bay Area around 2008, Brito met comic W. Kamau Bell. Bell quickly became a mentor to Brito, taking her under his wing as his “comedy daughter." [3] In 2010, she joined Bell and fellow comic Nato Green in Laughter Against the Machine, a political comedy tour that was subsequently made into a documentary set to premiere in 2014[4] in 2012, Bell invited Brito to join the writing staff of his new FX series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. In addition to writing on the series, Brito frequently appeared on air in pieces covering topics like Miss Fire Island, LGBTQ athletes, and the "war on women."

Comedy style[edit]

Her colleague and longtime friend W. Kamau Bell describes Brito as “a sarcastic, snarky smart bomb of comedy funk straight from the 80′s.”[5] Brito is often placed within the alternative comedy scene and tends to focus on issues of gender, race, and sexuality. She frequently derives humor from her half-Cuban background and her childhood fixation on worrying about being the Antichrist. She is also known for her sartorial choices and frequent donning of neckties. An article written by feminist website Feministing, says her comedy is "a punch in the face of convention and offers a refreshing departure from the straight, white, male narrative that usually relies on tired tropes and stereotypes."[2]


Brito won the SF Women’s Comedy Competition in 2009 and the Silver Nail Award from local SF bcasting network Rooftop Comedy. She was also praised by 7×7 magazine as “one of SF’s more daring voices” and as one of “the 7 funniest people in town.” She was named the 2011 “Best Comedian with a Message” by the East Bay Express.[1] At the start of the 2013 season, The A.V. Club wrote in one review of Totally Biased, "Also: more Janine Brito, please. Totally Biased needs so much more of her.” [6]


  1. ^ a b c Swan, Rachel (2 February 2011). "A New Look For Janine Brito". East Bay Express. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The Feministing Five: Hari Kondabolu and Janine Brito". Feministing. 7 July 2012.
  3. ^ Bendix, Trix (30 September 2013). "Janine Brito is Totally Biased". AfterEllen.com.
  4. ^ "Laughter Against The Machine Official Site".
  5. ^ "Janine Brito - ABOUT". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  6. ^ Viruet, Pilot (12 September 2013). "Late Night Roundup: Totally Biased With W Kamau Bell – Week of September 4-11, 2013". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 1 December 2013.

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