Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Being Virginia Woolf’s assistant looks like the best-worst job ever

Screenshot: YouTube

Just in time for National Book Lover Day yesterday, comedian and writer Gaby Dunn released a new short on her YouTube channel called Virginia Woolf’s Personal Assistant—a title sure to hook any past or present English major right away. Indeed, the short is full of two of the best things in the world: highly specific jokes about literature and highly specific jokes about queer-lady culture. Dunn stars as Woolf’s exasperated personal assistant, who has to deal with the kind of shit D.H. Lawrence’s assistant certainly never encounters (the personal assistants all talk—there’s a message board), like breaking the laundromat machines because of rocks in Woolf’s pockets. Woolf is not the tidiest employer. “More like a broom of one’s own!” Dunn exclaims. There’s another thing literary folks love: puns that only they will understand. Also, Tilda Swinton, who starred in the 1992 film adaptation of Woolf’s Orlando, gets a shout-out, and who doesn’t love Tilda Swinton? (If the answer is you, please leave.)

The short was written by Ariana Lenarsky and directed and edited by Carly Usdin, who directed the short film Suicide Kale, which this year won the Best Of Fest award at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival and the Audience Award For First U.S. Feature at Outfest. The team behind Virginia Woolf’s Personal Assistant is certainly aware that the humor here is for a rather specific bunch. The video’s description says it all: “If you’re a gay English major, you’ll love it. If you’re not, I can’t help you.”


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