If comedian DJ Lubel was hoping to get Hollywood's attention, he's succeeded with his latest song parody, "Women of L.A." The video -- a dweeb's lament at how hard it is to get the shallow women living in Los Angeles to sleep with him -- has racked up nearly 500,000 hits in the 24 hours since it went up on YouTube.
Some of it is positive attention -- most notably from Ashton Kutcher, who tweeted a link to it with a simple, "Lolz." Jon Hurwitz, who wrote Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, liked it, too, telling Lubel, "Excellent work as usual, my friend. You preach the truth."
Elsewhere, however -- particularly among the members of the alt-comedy subculture of which Los Angeles is an epicenter -- "Women of L.A." is getting harsh reviews. Outraged professional comics and pop culture critics say Lubel's attempts at parodying well-worn stereotypes coming off as misogynist, hackneyed, and, most of all, painfully unfunny.
Christine Nangle, a former writer on Saturday Night Live, suggests on Twitter that people "ignore it so completely." Ed Lee, a comedy writer for Are You There, Chelsea?, writes, "Someone just played that Women of LA video near me but it's okay, they're dead and in hell now." Tim Neenan, an L.A. comic and actor who has appeared on Newsreaders, was similarly undiplomatic in his assessment, tweeting, "That 'Women of LA' video drops a lot of truth bombs, like that it's hard to f---women if you're a potato-shaped misogynist.
Erin Gibson, an L.A.-based improv comedian and actor, went further than the 140-character confines of Twitter, penning a frame-by-frame analysis of the video for a blog post that's being circulated rapidly among comedians like Patton Oswalt.
She takes issue with the song's attitudes towards sexual orientation (the women who reject him send him to have sex at a gay bar), race (Persian women are depicted with flowing armpit hair), body types (women in the Valley are overweight), as well as its casual references to how the women of L.A. somehow manage to both do lots of drugs ("We breathe coke, you're a joke," goes one lyric) and refuse to drink enough alcohol to submit to sex -- what Gibson considers a rape joke.
"I'm sure DJ Lubel didn't set out to make something misogynistic," she writes. "This is what makes it so horrifying. He doesn’t even know what he’s doing. It’s the attitude of 'I’m a guy, how dare these women reject me!?,' implying that women are here to serve men, despite how women feel."
Lubel, for his part, defends the song by saying he gets skewered as hard as any of his female targets.
"This is a a song about sexual frustration in Los Angeles when you look like Jon Lovitz got butt-f---ed by Andy Dick," he told What's Trending yesterday.
Lubel isn't quite the West Coast newbie his song would make him out to be. He's lived in Los Angeles for several years, and had viral hits before, including 2009's "Wrong Hole," a song about anal sex. The video, which features Scott Baio, has close to 7 million hits on YouTube -- enough to suggest there will always be an audience for the brand of comedy Lubel specializes in, regardless of how it's received by his peers.