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The worst thing an incompetent man could do is pick up a microphone instead of a book. It’s equally dangerous as it is headless. Every bigoted remark against anyone who isn’t a cis straight man is a first-class ticket to hell.
And yet I can’t stop tuning into the “Hoes Not Human Podcast.”
It’s not an actual podcast yet a series of skits from the mind of comedian Mel Mitchell, who parodies the long list of podcasts hosted by men who push sexist, homophobic, transphobic, fatphobic and ableist language. Think “Fresh and Fit,” “The Joe Budden Podcast,” or anything featuring DJ Akademiks.
Mitchell, known for her “Black Hogwarts” sketches, crafted characters Quan’Deitrick, Bucket Hat and Mesha to mimic these podcasts. The Atlanta-based comedian plays each character using beard filters for the male characters. Quan’Deitrick, the parody podcast’s lead host with eight kids by multiple women, often refers to women as “females” and “whores” and believes in the “gay agenda.”
Bucket Hat, the secretly married cohost, is a yes man who doesn’t have much to add to conversations but hangs on Quan’Deitrick’s every word by aggressively nodding and letting him know he’s “spittin’ facts.” Mesha, the lone woman on the show who’s thirsty for Quan’Deitrick, is the definition of a pick me and an example of how even women can be anti-women. The portrayals are ridiculous yet spot on. Her videos have amassed hundreds of thousands of views collectively.
“It’s been a great way for me to channel all the negativity for men and all the misogynistic men I have to see and retain on the internet, whether I seek it out or not, into something positive that’s funny, that makes fun of it in a smart and funny way. But also sheds light on how dangerous and predatory misogynistic podcasts like this are,” Mitchell, a podcast host herself, said.
She added, “Sometimes you got to bully the right people. They’re bullying disabled people and queer people and just people just for existing. Let me make fun of them.”
Mitchell, 28, was experiencing a string of unfortunate events before she started comedy at the end of 2017. She had lost her job, and her partner broke up with her — overall, she was “down bad.” A child of ComicView and a natural jokester, her friend suggested she start writing jokes in her notebook based on her life. A friend encouraged her to bring her notebook to a show and try her hand at stand-up. She did. (“It was kind of terrible, but it was kind of good,” she said of the experience.) And Mitchell continued, producing sketches on “Euphoria,” “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” that all went viral.
“Hoes Not Human” started with her trying on multiple characters for a variety show hosted on Zoom during the pandemic. One that stuck was a hotep character whom she could use a filter for and shoot rather quickly since she didn’t have to do her makeup. That became a series about terrible dates with men, including the hotep and a frat dude past his prime.
Mitchell was on a comedy tour with KevOnStage when she added a Kevin Samuels follower to her list of characters.
“I showed Kev and the rest of the guys on the tour; they thought it was hilarious. And I just looked funny as a dude,” she said. “I said, ‘hoes, not humans.’ I’m like, that’s funny. And I didn’t think nothing of it.”
She shared her sketches on TikTok, and most found it funny, except “the incels in my comments trying to cuss me out.” Then, she resolved, “well, now I got to piss you off some more.”
And what better way to piss them off than by mocking their platforms? Mitchell decided to hop on the TikTok trend of making fun of men’s podcasts. Commenters accused Mitchell of being a misandrist and hating Black men, but Mitchell wants to clarify: “I’m not even saying that I hate y’all, I’m repeating what y’all said.”
She added that if she’s had to sit through Madea movies, Sheneneh and Wanda impersonations, and other portrayals of men cosplaying Black women to push harmful stereotypes, they can deal with Quan’Deitrick and Bucket Hat.
What started as an idea on a whim became a place of humor and refuge for the many folks tired of being bombarded with the gender wars clips and conversations circulating on social media 24/7. Tired of the overall lack of safety for women online and out in the world, it also became an outlet for Mitchell.
As far as “Hoes Not Human,” she hopes it shifts both podcast culture and Black men’s mindset around how they treat Black women. She also hopes that the younger generation of women and girls understand the red flags in men early, so they know when to bail out of potentially harmful situations.
“I really just want men to be better; I want the girlies to be safe,” she said.
Her goal in comedy is to continue to create more characters that people gravitate to and continue to progress in her comedy career. Her trajectory has been likened to Issa Rae and Quinta Brunson, which makes her proud. However, Mitchell is overall just happy she is creating her own content. She’s currently on the second leg of the tour with KevOnStage, and as far as what’s to come, she said all that’s missing is one thing.
“Y’all just wait til I get me a budget,” she said, “so I can really show out.”