November 15, 2017

"One of comedy’s defining pathologies, alongside literal pathologies like narcissism and self-loathing, is its swaggering certainty that it is part of the political vanguard..."

"... while upholding one of the most rigidly patriarchal hierarchies of any art form. Straight male comedians, bookers and club owners have always been the gatekeepers of upward mobility in stand-up, an industry where 'women aren’t funny' was considered conventional wisdom until just a few years ago. The solution isn’t more solemn acknowledgments from powerful male comedians. We have those. The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white. This is not taking something away unfairly — it is restoring opportunities that have been historically withheld. And if we address the power imbalance in comedy, in this art that shapes how people think, what jokes they repeat to their families, who they believe deserves to hold a microphone and talk out loud, other imbalances might follow."

That's from a NYT op-ed by Lindy West, "Why Men Aren’t Funny," which makes me think: Why Nothing Will Ever Be Funny Anymore. West's solution is truly dispiriting, even if her analysis of the problem is pretty accurate. I think you have to break through the problem with better funniness, not funniness gatekeepers. The gate should be opened by laughter, but maybe no one will laugh anymore as the culture of That's Not Funny is enforced by putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white.

I mean, first of all, West has no ear or she wouldn't have gone with quadruple alliteration when she was trying to be dead serious: putting people in positions of power.

But more important: Who's doing the putting? I guess the comedy club owners are suddenly — to save their own skin? — supposed to embrace affirmative action and hand their power over to people who don't merely deplore the masculine "pathologies" that dominate American stand-up comedy, but deplore it because of the identity group they belong to.

150 comments:

Darrell said...

Post-funny humor.

Henry said...

It's like Amy Schumer doesn't exist.

Darrell said...

She's bigger than Harvey Weinstein, so there is that.

Gahrie said...

Mitzi Shore didn't exist?

Luke Lea said...

I seem to recall a quote by a comedian at SNL some years back: "Thank God for stereotypes!" (or something to that effect).

Saint Croix said...

The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white.

that's like 3 people

I mean, you got to be transexual and gay? And a brown woman?

Scott M said...

The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white. This is not taking something away unfairly — it is restoring opportunities that have been historically withheld.

Newsflash: the gatekeepers in traditional book publishing are, and have been for a long time, overwhelmingly white women. And yet, these exact same complaints are leveled at the traditional book publishing industry.

It's almost as if the complainers 1) don't know what they're talking about, and 2) will never be satisfied no matter what happens.

By the way...as a consumer of stand-up and a former morning show host myself, I LOVE funny women. The problem is that there are so few of them. Why? I don't know. It's not the audience, which is almost always pretty 50/50 in most venues. I firmly believe that being funny starts with thinking funny. If you're not thinking funny, most of what you try to be funny about will come across as forced.

William said...

Market forces should not determine the relative worth of comedians. We should nationalize comedy clubs.

Rob said...

It's affirmative action comedy: this may not be the funniest person we've seen, but she's funny enough. As practiced by SNL for years.

Jupiter said...

Is there anything feminism can't ruin?

rehajm said...

Straight male comedians, bookers and club owners have always been the gatekeepers of upward mobility in stand-up

Sure they are. Just ask Mitzi Shore and Caroline Hirsch.

Seinfeld was dissed by Caroline as I recall...

Scott M said...

It's like Amy Schumer doesn't exist.

Amy Schumer was an incredibly funny stand-up when she first hit nationally. A couple of albums, a couple of hack accusations, and her own woke-ness later, and, nope, her current act is nowhere near the material she used to do. She used to flaunt PC standards and go for the uncomfortable punch lines. That's what made her great. I think maybe too maybe Problematicians got to her after her star rose.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Absolute Garbage!

But par for the course from leftists. The only solution is tearing down the patriarchy and taking things back from the white male heterosexual cisgendered neanderthals....

What a frigging crock.

You want to break into any business, be good at it. No one is going to give you anything. But they will recognize a star and you will rise. Its simply good business.

And since when is comedy NOT full of LGBTQwerty types and all sorts of alt-styled folks? White, male, heterosexual, cisgendered blah blah blah

F off Bigot.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Its a shame there isn't some platform out there where people who think they are funny could upload videos of their comedy, and people who enjoy it can share it with their friends, such that the would-be comedienne could get name recognition, and develop demand for their work.

If the above mentioned platform could also support the distribution of cat videos, all the better.

Yancey Ward said...

Nothing will make sense from this point forward.

Fernandinande said...

"The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white."

Whoa, that's an original idea! Funny too! No wonder the NYT paid for it!

But she should change passive "putting people in positions of power" to what she really meant: "The solution is to put me in a position of power so I can be the gatekeeper of upward mobility in stand-up, where I can ensure that 'straight white men aren’t funny'."

rhhardin said...

A doorkeeper has another double letter. Still not up to subbookkeeper.

William said...

Whilst channel hopping, I chanced to come upon Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem discussing this very issue. So far as I know, both women are wealthy, influential, and independent. How much power and money do they need before they feel equal and/or empowered?.....I have a great deal of empathy for women who had to witness Harvey wanking off. I'm sure that experience is far worse than watching Fonda and Steinem discussing the challenges women face.

n.n said...

Diversitists seem genuinely incapable of appreciating, let alone comprehending individual dignity. Collectivists seem genuinely incapable of appreciating democratic processes, including capitalism, that moderates and reflect individual interests. The establishment of political congruences (e.g. "=") has only served to progress the status quo of corruption and dysfunction that was normalized by recharacterization of class diversity and human dignity under the Pro-Choice Church.

rhhardin said...

What humor needs is guardrails, not gatekeepers.

Men are always going off the road.

SDaly said...

There are no comedy gatekeepers in the age of the internet.

tcrosse said...

The other side of the problem is that un-woke audiences laugh at the wrong stuff.

n.n said...

Too many Labels. There is no "cisgender". There is only gender: masculine and feminine, normally distributed with respect to male and female sex, respectively, and transgender or deviation from masculine and feminine mental orientations (e.g. sexual) and physiology.

damikesc said...

What if your "trans" and then change your mind?

Did you lose your humor then?

Darrell said...

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get away from Lindy West.

rehajm said...

I found this! They're testing a prototype!

First!

n.n said...

Transgender or - significant - deviation (e.g. homosexual, bisexual, transvestite) from masculine and feminine mental orientations and physiology.

buwaya said...

"The other side of the problem is that un-woke audiences laugh at the wrong stuff."

Performers are just the smallest part of the performing arts. The big thing is the actual big thing, the audience.

What these people are demanding, really, is an audience that behaves as they want it to, which will require changing human nature.

damikesc said...

So...she wants laugh tracks and applause signs.

CJinPA said...

The politicizing of art was picking up speed before latest wave of harassment allegations. Casting quotas, politically correct storylines, Academy Awards given to black-led films some award-givers never saw...

Hollywood was hyper-feminist before the coming correction. Where can it go from here?

buwaya said...

"Hollywood was hyper-feminist before the coming correction. Where can it go from here?"

Somewhere else. China.

Todd said...

The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white. This is not taking something away unfairly — it is restoring opportunities that have been historically withheld.

I guess it is completely out of the question to have women gather together some funding, purchase a club or two (or three) and start booking quality female comedians, have success, grow their business, start attracting better/more talents, book bigger venues, and [you know] actually put in the work and effort to make it on their own without having to have some "other authority" "put" women into positions of power. What Opera won't put quality female comedians on her network? Do it for the "sisters"!

Basically the same answer for folks that want businesses to "pay a living wage". If you want that, why not start your own business and do that versus getting government to force others to do it on your behalf? Maybe because it is harder than it looks (or down right impossible)?

I think you have to break through the problem with better funniness, not funniness gatekeepers. The gate should be opened by laughter,

This is the internet age, the youtube age. There are no more gatekeepers. You don't think that if someone "in the business" came across or was recommended to a youtube video of a funny female comic, they would not be all over it? Or is it because she is a women, they would be all "Darn, if only she was a man, we would snap her up and book a tour!"

To tight back to other threads today, "I am woman, hear me roar! Now help me with this and don't dare touch me or look at me or else it is sexual assault but don't ignore me either or else it is harassment! Why can't I find a good man? Men are such children! Why don't they want to settle down? That guy I cussed out last night while I was drunk was CUTE, wonder if he will call me..."

Nonapod said...

I agree that the answer isn't comedy gatekeepers, judges who try to determine what's funny and what isn't. That seems inherently humorless and doomed to fail.

“I had thought – I had been told – that a ‘funny’ thing is a thing of a goodness. It isn’t. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing itself. I grok it is a bravery … and a sharing … against pain and sorrow and defeat.” - Valentine Michael Smith (Stranger in a Strange Land)

Humor is about searching and exposing what feels true and about what feels wrong in the world. It's futile to try to put guard rails on that search. It's self defeating to try to order people when to laugh and when not to. So yeah, the very concept of comedy gatekeepers is antithetical to comedy.

rhhardin said...

Men aren't funny to women because women don't have men's sexual knowledge.

Namely that sex is unbelievably and obsessively attractive and in a moment suddenly of no interest at all, leading men to always be aware that they're being saps when they're being saps.

Into that gap, where nothing is, comes male humor.

Women are all empathy wholeness.

Michael The Magnificent said...

The solution isn’t more solemn acknowledgments from powerful male comedians. We have those. The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white.

In what universe are black lesbians forbidden from forming an LLC, getting a loan, signing a lease, getting a liquor and cabaret license, hiring staff, opening a comedy club, and booking whatever circus freakshow they think might ring the till?

CJinPA said...

Somewhere else. China.

China's consumers generally don't give a damn about our PC obsessions and don't pay to see such films. It will be interesting to see how this plays with the global box office.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Left is humorless. In fact, through using political correctness, they seed the land with all sorts of mines and traps, so that if you say the wrong thing, they pounce, and you are fired.

I think both Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld gave up going to college campuses -- didn't want the headaches.

I saw John Cleese on campus 30 years ago. Very funny. He said that some folks have the mistaken belief that they have a right to not be offended. Sadly, he lost that battle!

How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Two. One to screw in the bulb, and one to give me a blow job.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

The Left seems determined to bankrupt it's institutions and silence it's own voice. Someday, all comedians and actors will be conservatives because their audience doesn't give a shit about being politically correct.

buwaya said...

"It will be interesting to see how this plays with the global box office."

It won't. Its all just symptoms of the end. They are obsolete, and will be pushed aside and replaced.

Sprezzatura said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLx1BSyQZE0

Roy Jacobsen said...

"How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

I always thought the punch line to that one was "THAT'S NOT FUNNY!"

tcrosse said...

The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white.

Want power ? Take it. Nobody gives it away.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Roy Jacobsen,

That's a good one too! There are standards of humor gradations, my friend............

AlbertAnonymous said...

"How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

I was going to say "all of them?"

But I like your punch line better....

How many Irishmen does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Ahh, fuck it we'll drink in the dark

Anonymous said...

The solution is having the Comedintern appoint Comedissars.

Bruce Gee said...

I dunno, Bay Area Guy.
"How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Two. One to screw in the bulb, and one to give me a blow job.”
That has got to be the most idiotic lightbulb joke I’ve ever read, and I’ve read way too many of them. Don’t, really, get it.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Come on Bruce, marinade in it for awhile. You'll figure it out.

Larry J said...

If you want more women to run comedy clubs, then perhaps more women should take the business risk of starting their own comedy clubs.

ALP said...

I wish I could find the damn article, but around here (Seattle/Puget Sound) somebody opened up a comedy club where performers were encouraged to NOT be crass, insulting, etc.... basically a "safe place" type of club where no feelings get hurt. Was several months ago. Can't find it but the difficulty I have finding it might be indicative of how successful the place was. I recall reading the article and rolling my eyes.

As a female fan of "Family Guy", "South Park" and the like - I can tell you its extremely difficult to find other women who find the humor in these shows as I do. Many women are too busy being offended to laugh at what I find hilarious.

J. Farmer said...

The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white.

So, in other words, the standard SJW playbook. Straight white, cisgendered men are the authors of everything evil and terrible in the world, and the sooner they're gone the better civilization will be. Strange how these women never seem to notice that the places that are most hospitable to women have largely been created by straight, white, cisgendered men.

Martin said...

There may be a real issue here, but she lost me at "patriarchal hierarchies."

Maybe when she grows up and learns how to think and express herself using real words that denote real things, she will be worth hearing.

Bill Peschel said...

When you listen to comedians talking on Marc Maron's podcast, you learn a few things:

* The podcast where the two black guys talked about opening a comedy club, and how they were harassed by police and sanitation inspectors, sicced on them by the white comedy club owners. The city? Chicago.

* A few female comics talking about the realities of life on the road, especially dealing with male fans, the loneliness of traveling by yourself, and having to deal with male comedians in the "comedy condos" (that's when the club owner owns or rents a multi-bedroom condo to put up the comedians for the weekend show). They also have to deal with club owners who feel they can't mix male and female comics on the bill, and relegate them (and minority comedians) to their own nights.

Unfortunately for them, it's the career path if they want to make it to SNL, Second City, or HBO stand-up shows. Small wonder many of them opt out for other jobs in the field, such as writing TV shows in LA. It's a lot easier on them.

Not saying there should be "comedy commissars" to do the hiring and firing, but I have to be sympathetic to their complaints. It's not a level field for them.

Lucien said...

Lindy West should go make me a sammich.

Clyde said...

"The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white." This sounds rather authoritarian to me, if not fascistic. If women, gays, transgenders and people of color don't like those in positions of power, then don't patronize them. Create your own alternate comedy hierarchy, if you like. But don't expect some authority to just hand over power to you because of your identity rather than your talent. Or we won't have anything to laugh at, except you.

pacwest said...

Fuck, piss, shit, cunt. Tell your friends I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip the waiter.

Henry said...

Is straight, cis-gender redundant?

LakeLevel said...

As usual, leftists are entirely clueless about economics and business. You want this? Set up your own clubs and compete. There is nothing magical about the comedy club circuit or any other marketplace. These people want to force themselves into positions of authority which would of course kill the market. Comedy clubs would end up being sad government subsidized affairs where leftys can congregate and mock deplorables while feeling suitably dour and self satisfied.

furious_a said...

considered conventional wisdom until just a few years ago.

Paula Poundstone, Ellen, Rosie, Amy Cho, Sarah Silverman, Roseann...sorry, what?

eric said...

I notice a pattern.

In order to fix the inequality within comedy, we most make everyone boring and unfunny. This isn't about bringing up and encouraging non white, straight, male comedians and helping them be funny. It's about dragging down white, straight, male comedians.

They have the same answer to income inequality. It's not about making everyone more wealthy. It's about making everyone equally poor.

FWBuff said...

Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller couldn't be reached for comment.

n.n said...

Strange how these women never seem to notice that the places that are most hospitable to women have largely been created by straight, white, cisgendered men.

Well, we are uncommonly functional, and where we are in the majority, the odds favor heterosexual white men of good, or perhaps tolerable, character. Still, is it sexual orientation or color or sex or character that is the defining trait?

I would like to think that principles matter, and that nature is either complementary or biased. To this end, I characterize people as a constellation of vectors overlaid with normal distributions. Sexual orientation is a vector. Color is a vector. And so on and so forth.

Scott M said...

Lindy West should go make me a sammich.

+10 for use of the correct spelling.

buwaya said...

"They have the same answer to income inequality. It's not about making everyone more wealthy. It's about making everyone equally poor."

That's not really the point. They don't think in this direction. There is no universal behavior involved.

Its more like the old Jesse Jackson shtick.
It's a power play through a not so subtle threat - pay attention to me, pay me, give me power, else we will ruin your reputation. Otherwise please go about your business.

n.n said...

Leftists don't like democracy, and where democratic processes (e.g. capitalism, suffrage) are intolerable, they will form monopolies, issue decrees, or gerrymander the vote.

Todd said...

Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon (October 25, 1912 – March 4, 1996), known professionally as her stage character Minnie Pearl, also could not be reached for comment...

furious_a said...

The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white...

Good luck selling tickets to that.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

There are no male, straight, cisgendered white comedians working in mainstream comedy today, at least none who are unapologetically so.

Go to any standup comedy show and there will doubtless be female, gay, and POC comedians who will joke about and ridicule straight white men, and plenty of straight white men who will do the same. Sometimes they're funny, but I've heard comedians, POC in particularly, but not only, spew the most ignorant cliches and stereotypes about Whitey, much of it not even clever, and the mostly white audience yuks it up like it's the most brilliant wit imaginable. Imagine a straight white man telling a joke that puts POC or any other protected group in a less-than-favorable light -- he would be shunned by the woke.

The only white comedians I can think of who fall outside this category are people like Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan who, although hilarious, mostly skip the issue of race and these other fashionable intersectionalities, although Gaffigan does get a lot of mileage out of being pale.

True, there are the "Blue Collar" comedians, a mostly self-ghettoized, so to speak, enclave of rural and Southern white guys, and there's a loose group of East Coast, mostly "ethnic" types centered around Colin Quinn and Howard Stern, including Jim Norton, Nick DiPaolo and that Too Fat To Fish guy, but despite eschewing PC sensibilities and, paradoxically, traditional comedic self-deprecation, they seem to conform to the worst stereotypes of boorishness, and come off as clownish losers.

Before you bring it up, no, Jews don't count.

Bill R said...

The solution is simple. Lindy West should open a comedy club with talent straight out of the gender studies department. Sample joke:

Q: "Why did The Goddess make men smell?
A: "So the blind can hate them too!"

She might make a fortune or she might lose everything she owns. Solves the problem either way.

chuck said...

> Why Nothing Will Ever Be Funny Anymore

"Will"? Try "Is".

Sebastian said...

"Why Nothing Will Ever Be Funny Anymore." To women.

"the culture of That's Not Funny is enforced by putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white." Who'll do the putting? Depends on whether the beta males are gonna let it happen.

J said...

So Let me get this right.Person complaining about illegitimate gatekeeping wants to be the gatekeeper.Yep sounds about right.Pot meet Kettle.Does she own a mirror?

Ralph L said...

So, in other words, the standard SJW playbook.
All the other SJWs also ignore Althouse's solution of upping their games. They'd rather pull down everyone else, like the rest of the levellers.

Is straight, cis-gender redundant?
That is never revealed. Is the Jenner attracted to women (so now "lesbian"), or is it really attracted to men? I've long thought trannies really wanted and needed sex with straight men, but what straight-straight man wants to have sex with a tranny?

Peter said...

She would be on much stronger ground if her argument was that modern club and TV comedy has descended into celebrating the vulgar, gross and puerile, and that it thus fuels the cynical, creepy harassment culture. Masturbation jokes, vomiting act-outs and woman-as-casual-sex-object scenarios (a.k.a. millenialist humor) seem to be de rigeur in the industry. But no, we have to listen to yet another harangue on identity politics. I know feminist theory is that all sins stem from the patriarchy, but surely everyone can agree the patriarchy was much more ensconced and in control fifty or even thirty years ago. I guess Dick Van Dyke was a closet transsexual, Mary Tyler Moore was gay and Seinfeld was a person of color in denial. Going back even further, Lucille Ball may have been all three.

Laurel said...

"'women aren’t funny' was considered conventional wisdom until just a few years ago."

Stupid ought to hurt.


May I remind the Lindy dunce of Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy), 1951 premiere.

The problem with much of the Left's angst is because they think history started 5 minutes ago.

Todd said...

Ralph L said...

I've long thought trannies really wanted and needed sex with straight men, but what straight-straight man wants to have sex with a tranny?

11/15/17, 1:57 PM


I don't believe you are allowed to ask any longer. Additionally, if you happen to be "on the green" and find out that there are one too many putters and no "cups", well you are expected to just "handle" it like a gentleman so as to not cause undo discomfort to your "partner". At least that is what all the "woke" women are saying.

Scott M said...

The only white comedians I can think of who fall outside this category are people like Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan who, although hilarious, mostly skip the issue of race and these other fashionable intersectionalities, although Gaffigan does get a lot of mileage out of being pale.

Not true. Daniel Tosh is just the first one that comes to mind. Chris Titus is another. A casual listen to any of the uncensored stand-up channels on XM will give you more, most of which you've likely not heard of before, but aren't "blue collar" by any means.

It is true, however, that non-white comedians make fun of whites far more often or as their act's main "crutch", but that's just more of that anti-privilege punching up I've heard so much about. Or something.

Stoutcat said...

Fanny Brice, Lucille Ball, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and a whole host of other funny women could not be reached for comment.

furious_a said...

considered conventional wisdom until just a few years ago.

SCTV: Joan Rivers(yes), Andrea Martin, Betty Thomas Mary Gross, Katherine O'Hara
SNL: Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Leslie Jones...

Lindy West needs to pull her head out of her...conventional wisdom.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Paula Poundstone is funny.

rehajm said...

I saw John Cleese on campus 30 years ago. Very funny. He said that some folks have the mistaken belief that they have a right to not be offended. Sadly, he lost that battle!

I just saw him on his Holy Grail tour. Still funny. Still that shtick. Divorced wife stuff. The NPR moderator lady took it well. I bet she took a beating from her peers for not setting him straight and still seethes about that.

Wince said...

This is the comedic equivalent of graduating from university with a worthless degree in hyphen-studies and no marketable skills.

The answer: hire more comedy administrators!

Lem said...

I don’t see a person of color or a woman getting laughs and not advancing. This article is full of bullshit. I can’t believe Althouse is falling for it.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

"Not true. Daniel Tosh is just the first one that comes to mind."

Actually, it is true, because he didn't come to my mind. But you're right, he is in that category, and he is funny. I used to watch and listen to a LOT of comedy, especially standup, but I've cut that out almost completely in the past couple of years.

Making fun of Whitey is the standard POC comedian crutch. I've heard POC comedians call whites cold, bigoted, clueless, stupid... on and on, and the white folks in the audience loved them for it. I can't imagine Blacks, for instance, reacting the same way to the reverse. It's hack and it's the easy way to be "edgy". I can take a joke; I'm not easily offended, but what does offend me is not a joke that is unflattering to me, or people like me, or even if t's not funny, but when it's unimaginative and cliched. It's not about punching up, down, sideways, left, or alt-right, it's just that I don't like stupid, or worse, lazy humor.

Otto said...

Why Nothing Will Ever Be Funny Anymore - Deconstruction which you are quite well versed in.

Todd said...

And let us not forget the great Carol Burnett!

Lord have mercy, she was funny!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Affirmative action in action, baby. Diversity is our strength--if being diverse means "we" must "let" a bunch of unfunny people be comedians well then it's a small price to pay.

So great that the SJWs finally got around to enforcing their demands on their fellow Leftists. The Leftist way is to infiltrate an institution, gut it, wear its skin, and whine about people no longer treating that institution as non-political nor worthy of respect.

With "comedy" they didn't have to infiltrate--they were welcomed in. Have fun with that you Media fucks. "How dare we have to suffer the same kind of bullshit we happily inflict on others" doesn't exactly inspire sympathy. In me, at least.

David-2 said...

I imagine it is one of those cultural things that starts in school. Grade school. There is always one or two guys who are the class clowns, the jokers, constantly and continually making the other boys and girls laugh. And there is never a girl who does that. Ever.

Well, I'm generalizing from my experience. But I never met a girl in grade school who was a clown, a joker.

This society is sick. To make it well we need STEMC programs to encourage young girls and women to realize their dreams in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Comedy.

JAORE said...

"How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Two. One to screw in the bulb, and one to give me a blow job."

I like it, but it's a bit crude. So I'll change it to make me a sammich.

As in:
How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Two. One to make me a sammich, and one to give me a blow job.

Mo better.

Wince said...

Season 1 of ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ Favors Fiction Over History
BY HARRY WAKSBERG AUGUST 14, 2017

Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, which ended its first season last night, is the newest unfunny drama about the world of comedy. Based in part on the book by the same name by William Knoedelseder, it’s a fairly unambitious show. This actually makes it work better than the late, sarcastically lamented Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but it too ultimately disappoints. I’m Dying Up Here emphasizes the way comedians develop routines from jokes that don’t work into ones that crack an audience up, too often at the expense of fascinating history. In doing so, the show ultimately fails to transcend its period-wardrobe kitsch and squanders some of the most interesting material in its source book....

Like many of the comedians at the Cellar, Cassie has a deeply dysfunctional relationship with Goldie, the club owner. Goldie marginalizes Cassie not just because of Cassie’s offbeat material, but also because Goldie gives the best spots to male comedians. Goldie and Cassie both exist along a spectrum on I’m Dying Up Here as victim and perpetrator of anti-woman discrimination, but the show’s treatment of women characters other than those two demonstrates that the writers’ room may not be as progressive as it believes. It’s a premium cable drama, so there’s plenty of nudity, mostly by women in only one episode — or one scene — about the sexual exploits of male characters.

Infinite Monkeys said...

Has anyone mentioned one of my favorite comedians, Gracie Allen?

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

People are reaching back pretty far to mention funny females. Has anyone mentioned Mae West yet?

Scott M said...

There are no male, straight, cisgendered white comedians working in mainstream comedy today, at least none who are unapologetically so.

This is the part I was referring to as not true. What goes on inside your head, I can't comment on :)

AlbertAnonymous said...

JAORE

Nice. ISWYDT...

Scott M said...

I imagine it is one of those cultural things that starts in school. Grade school. There is always one or two guys who are the class clowns, the jokers, constantly and continually making the other boys and girls laugh. And there is never a girl who does that. Ever.

I've only my own experience to go on, but it wasn't until well into high school that I ran into the first girl that could make me sincerely laugh. She's wasn't a "clown", though, not by high school standards. The class clowns of grade school had way to much of a head start on her for that to be true. She was more in the laid-back, sardonic vein and hysterical for it.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Tosh was forced to grovel for making an off-the-cuff, unapologetic quip as a straight, cisgendered white guy. I stand correct.

Bay Area Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

She lost me at rigidly patriarchal hierarchies.

YoungHegelian said...

"How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

You guys have been so wrong about this, I just don't know where to begin.

The real answer is:

100.

One to screw in the the light bulb & 99 to write about how the bulb is exploiting the socket.

Rabel said...

I pity the fool.

FullMoon said...

Namely that sex is unbelievably and obsessively attractive and in a moment suddenly of no interest at all,

After:
She, "I love this man, we can be married, have children a house and garden, dinner parties walks on the beach, travel the world..."

He 'Is that a spider on the ceiling?"

furious_a said...

saw John Cleese on campus 30 years ago. Very funny.

Monty Python couldn't find any funny ladies so they played themselves.

Surprised that they haven't been denounced yet for "cultural appropriation".

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

"cisgender" is not a word. It means nothing.

n.n said...

the bulb is exploiting the socket

Equal and complementary.

So many gendered things. What is a sex diversitist with a female chauvinist pathology to do.

FullMoon said...

Ellen is funny.

Saw her on tv decades ago before she was famous


"Driving through the country one day, a beautiful doe with her fawn beside the road, in the trees. Just as pretty as a Disney movie
Such a missed opportunity

Awww, the things you see when you don't have a gun.

n.n said...

Mike Smyth:

That's right. There are two genders: masculine and feminine, corresponding to the male and female sex, respectively, which are normally distributed with a low standard deviation. Each gender is constructed from a constellation of mental and physiological traits, so there is, for example, a "tomboy". We also have homosexual males and females, who are predominantly masculine or feminine, except for their sexual orientation which is not merely deviant but transgendered or transposed.

Ann Althouse said...

I see that “I Live Lucy” has been mentioned. Let’s remember that the horrible straight cisgender Ricky was always playing the gatekeeper, keeping Lucy out of show business.

And he was also white.... white Hispanic.

Bay Area Guy said...

I did love Lucy. She was great.

Carol Burnett was sweet and funny.

Roseanne Barr -- many decades ago - was funny.

Gildna Radner was totally funny.

You know who was really hot and funny? Madeline Kahn - in several Mel Brooks movies.

I've having trouble thinking of any more funny females.

Oh, boy, I might take heat from this, but Barbara Streisand was very funny in, What's up Doc?

n.n said...

Each gender is constructed from a constellation of mental and physiological traits

I should expand that, to include nurture-affected traits, including attire. So, mental, physiological, and cultural traits.

n.n said...

Bay Area Guy:

Maybe the dingo ate your baby. Classic.

Darrell said...

Rita Rudner. Elayne Boosler.

Rick said...

Straight male comedians, bookers and club owners have always been the gatekeepers of upward mobility in stand-up, an industry where 'women aren’t funny' was considered conventional wisdom until just a few years ago.

Another unsupported assertion treated as fact because it supports the left's victim narrative. It's hardly surprising these people can't function since they live their own fantasy world.

George said...

I am sure this will be regarded by many as a sexist comment but, at least in Australia where I come from, many female comedians just aren’t funny. They get a lot of exposure on national TV, where the sisterhood controls the airwaves, but they seem to think that a women delivering obscenities is as humourous as a person cracking a few good jokes.

In my opinion, any comic frequently using the f and c words can’t differentiate between humouring the audience and offending it. Sadly this is the domain of so many female comics in this country. Although it does have the benefit of making the really funny ones shine.

n.n said...

left's victim narrative. It's hardly surprising these people can't function since they live their own fantasy world.

A place halfway between here and nowhere, where storks deliver babies at the feminists' pleasure: The Twilight Fringe.

But, seriously, their problem is rooted in rabid diversity, including: color, sex, which denies individual dignity as a religious prescription.

J. Farmer said...

@Bay Area Guy:

You know who was really hot and funny? Madeline Kahn - in several Mel Brooks movies.

And one Jonathan Lynn movie...Clue. Flames on the side of my face!

D 2 said...

As it is said (by some): Hell is other people.
Not Hell is white people. Hell is brown people. Hell is men. Hell is Buddhists. Etc.
Some people focus their hatred in a misguided, narrow sense. Give them time. Their bitterness will expand to all but themselves, as the abyss grows to cover the horizon.

tcrosse said...

LaWanda Page, Wanda Sykes, Moms Mabley.

Sebastian said...

"How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

Screw? Screw? In this day and age?

Worse than not funny. Sad.

Anonymous said...

"The problem is that there are so few of them."

You can argue the reasons why all you want, but at this moment in time, men have been demonstrated (in numerous studies) to be better at - and, perhaps more importantly, far far more likely to indulge in - risk-taking than women are.

(Have we added Erma Bombeck to the funny lady list yet?)

Michael said...

It could be the mission statement of today's feminists and modern Progressives in general:

"That's not funny."

Anonymous said...

You want to "replace the gatekeepers"? Awesome! The bar is low: open your own comedy club and bring in whoever you like!

If you bring in funny people, you'll succeed. If you don't you'll lose your own money.

Win win!

Anonymous said...

"Let’s remember that the horrible straight cisgender Ricky was always playing the gatekeeper, keeping Lucy out of show business."

I am absolutely fascinated by how "I Love Lucy" appears to be the most successful adaptation of the Terence/Plautus device of the "tricky slave".

Almost certainly not deliberate but brilliant either way.

reader said...

Don't forget Lily Tomlin. Also, Aisha Tyler hosts Whose Line Is It Anyway. My husband, son, and I enjoyed watching that together.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Female Stand-Up Comedian in Tacoma...

"Good evening, everyone! As you may have noticed, I'm a female comic, so I think I'll start this off with talking about tampons. Because that's what we women do: we talk about bleeding from our vaginas, and we talk about the products we use when we ARE bleeding from our vaginas...

Yeah, yeah: I see the men here are already starting to squirm. You go to a supermarket, it's amazing: men avoid the 'feminine hygiene' aisle like it's a fucking Indian Graveyard. If you were to put the beer there they'd never ever find it...

You know: I have a funny story about having a guy try to eat my pussy when I was on my period. So, the story is: this guy tried to eat my pussy when I was on my period. Yeah, my bad: he didn't KNOW I was on my period. In my defense we had just met, I figured that menstruation was too intimate to discuss...

So he peeks up his head and says "Uh... you didn't tell me you were on your period," and I say: "Yeah, and the last guy I slept with didn't warn me he was going to stick his dick up my ass..."

Of course, he gets upset: he points out that it wasn't HIM who surprised me in the butt. And he's right: it wasn't him. So I explained to him: It Doesn't Matter. All you men are the same...

And now he's angry -- go figure. He's telling me how all men are NOT the same. And -- again -- he's right: I can admit when I'm wrong, really. So I explain that there ARE men who are different, and that Society usually refers to them as Gay...

Uh oh: I can see I'm losing the men in the audience here. A lot of arms crossed, I see. So I'll tell a story they might like better. It's about the time I shared a bed with a lesbian. And a HOT lesbian, with a nipple ring. Okay, I see the men are starting to listen to me now...

Now, I'm not a lesbian, but I WAS a little drunk. And she WAS hot. So we ended up at her place, and I was thinking, maybe this could be a really good experience for me. Life in the Big City, right? So we strip off our clothes and get under the sheets. And she starts to eat my pussy. But -- dammit -- I'm on my period again. So she peeks up her head and says "Uh... you didn't tell me you were on your period..."

And I say: "I'm sorry, I didn't know. Is this something lesbians talk about? Because I'm not really a lesbian, and I'm not sure of the etiquette." She begins to reply, but then she just topples over, black-out drunk. And you want to know how I know I'm not a guy? Because a hot woman passed black-out drunk in bed and I STILL didn't have sex with her...

Thank you, thank you: you've been great...

I am Laslo.

tpceltus said...

Bay Area Guy, add in Jane Curtin. Funny on SNL & on later sitcoms...really one of the only SNL regulars to have a steadiily, successful post-SNL career (I no longer count Chevy Chase or John Belushi in this, but others might.)

By the way, there is in this thread between women comics and women comic actresses. Lucille Ball, Jane Curtin, Jane Krakowski, Judy Holiday, Marjorie Main, Thelma Ray, Mary Tyler Moore, et al., are great comic actresses. They are not "comediennes" like Joan Rivers or Phyllis Diller who generated their own material. Both require great skill, but there is a different content origination. Roseann Barr and Tina Fey bridge the two categories of comedy.

Unknown said...

In music, some of the top money makers have been women for decades, and not necessarily white or straight either. But no one "put" them there. This is a delusion, that there are people in charge who do all the putting, the gatekeepers, who are all white and operate a consortium (a conspiracy). If that were true, Beyonce wouldn't be so big and Michael Jackson wouldn't have been one of the biggest of all time. The world is too big for a Motown label to control musicians. Same in comedy. A truly funny comedian can't be kept down or out--they will make their own audience.
As far as comedians go, the women simply aren't funny. I have seen male comedians do a whole routine on their high school prom or how to deal with people with ugly babies or burritos or flying. Male comedians often have entire sets that are completely different from any other comedian. Women comedians seem to stick to dating, how fat they are, and sex, and thus they all sound alike.

tpceltus said...

Sorry, "in this thread" should be followed by "a difference ".

Howard said...

Kate McKinnon doing Jeff Sessions is classic. No one else on that show comes close to her talent. I can't think of a female standup that I like, but then again, out of all the men throughout history, I really only ever liked Pryor and Carlin and occasionally Robin Williams. Louis CK was good for a while, but fell off the last couple years. I saw Bill Burr in San Jose last March, he was very good, but that is about as low as I go talent-wise. Being funny is hard because no room for error in timing or the least smidge of phony.

Unknown said...

As an example of funny creating its own opportunities, years ago I saw standup by Eddie Murphy. He was maybe 23 25 years old. He was hilarious. It immediately opened doors for him and he decided acting was what he wanted and he did great. No one "put" him there.

tpceltus said...

Let's not forget Mae West as both a comic actress and comediene. "Is that a pistol in your pocket or ...?"

Qwinn said...

I can think of only two recent Tv shows with a genuinely funny female cast: Modern Family and Parks and Recreation. All the women in both shows can be very funny.

Oh, the women of Firefly were funny as hell as well. Ivanova on Babylon 5 had her moments.

That's about it, and I'm poring over the last 30 years.

Note that the praise is limited to their being able to deliver funny lines written for them with well done timing and acting.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Lots of good shout outs so far. For standups/non-actress performers add Kristen Schaal, Lauren Lapkis, Maria Bamford, the Garfunkel & Oates gals, Jessica St. Clair & Lennon Parham, Jen Kirkman...there are a lot.

For funny actresses Julia Louis Dreyfus, Mary Holland, Judy Greer, Alison Brie...I mean, there are a lot.

Qwinn said...

Oh, the youngest daughter of Last Man Standing was the only female cast member that could make me laugh. I liked the show but the rest of the female cast was sadly very mediocre.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Female Stand-Up Comedian in Tacoma...

I once dated a black man in college. And we had sex. A lot of sex. Like I said, that was in college: I was young, I didn't know then that I was culturally appropriating his cock...

It's funny when I tell a white guy I'm dating that I had sex with a black man: at that moment I now hold the white guy's utter self-confidence in my hands. He wants so badly to be reassured -- to hear that his perfectly average pink penis is just as good as the black man's huge cock, that he has nothing to worry about. In other words, he is soooo hoping that I lie to him...

What am I supposed to say: that my vagina can't tell the difference between the end of a baseball bat and a roll of LifeSavers...?

Men, it's okay: there are other men with penises bigger than you, and other men with penises smaller than you. But there IS about a fifty-percent chance that you're below average. Sorry. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong: math to a woman is like a vagina is to a gay man -- it just really doesn't have any use for you...

Thank you, thank you: you've been great...

I am Laslo.

IgnatzEsq said...

Some people are really trying to make Trump comparatively fun... Well, maybe they aren't actually trying, but they *are* succeeding.

todd galle said...

My wife and I love Carol B., we grew up watching her variety show. Still classic in my opinion. Last comedy show we saw was Gilbert Gottfried in Harrisburg. Very funny, as were the warm up comedians. No women though. One was hispanic, though, so there's that.

Lucien said...

I agree that in terms of female stand-up comics (as opposed to comic actresses who deliver lines other people have written for them), it is hard to come up with many names. In stand up I remember the likes of Richard Pryor (Live was great, Live on the Sunset Strip was awful), Eddie Murphy (Raw was great, Delirious was awful), George Carlin (everything I've seen was great). Paul Reiser's stand-up act was very funny - his bit on the letters to Penthouse magazine may have been the time I laughed the hardest at a comic.

I can't remember a female stand-up comic who impacted me the same way. Female comic actresses on the other hand - Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Kirstey Alley, Shelly Long, Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Biyalik come to mind. But even in sitcoms most of the funny people are really the men, with the women playing the "straight man" role or otherwise setting up the joke rather than delivering it. I think a lot of sitcoms' best humor is self-mocking or otherwise self-derogatory, and other than Lucille Ball I don't remember too many women who could/would play that role, while male comic actors embrace it whole-heartedly.

On Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco is willing to play the stupid, alcoholic blonde surrounded by genius men & women and do self-mocking humor, but she's the only female I can recall taking that kind of role on in recent memory.

Todd said...

Laslo, you left out the part [of her joke] where she goes on about how little the guy's dick is (not that anyone has ever said that to me)...

Todd said...

Sorry, posted before I saw "act 2"...

Temujin said...

It's as if the Soviets were back in bidness. And Lord knows, they were hilarious.

Temujin said...

By the way, when one uses the word 'cisgender' they immediately remove themselves from being taken seriously by most adults outside of a campus. I understand that I could end up in a gulag for saying that, but I'll take my chances.

Keith_Indy said...

Not satisfied with ruining the rest of the culture, the SJW's want to destroy comedy clubs next.

Looks like they've tidied up wikipedia to their will... (and talk about a lot of whoha

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_comedy#In_stand-up

Stand up comedy, in particular, is described as a masculine art form.[19] The words that are used to describe success are often violent, such as killed or annihilated.[19] The performer must take charge of the stage, claiming it as their own via the phallic symbol of the microphone.[19] The structure of the joke is often centered on an attack on another party. The aggression that such an art form necessitates is encouraged in males but discouraged in females.[20]

Anonymous said...

"I've heard POC comedians call whites cold, bigoted, clueless, stupid... on and on, and the white folks in the audience loved them for it. I can't imagine Blacks, for instance, reacting the same way to the reverse."

Speaks well of Whites and poorly of Blacks.

Anonymous said...

"The problem with much of the Left's angst is because they think history started 5 minutes ago".

The great American stand-up comedienne Gracie Allen, of the act Burns and Allen, had a career that started some ninety years ago, in the thirties, in Vaudeville, and that lasted almost forty years, into the sixties. She was successful on stage, radio, and television. Burns—George Burns—was straight man. Allen was an international star.

Unknown said...

That woman certainly isn't funny.

Unknown said...

Nobody, and I mean nobody, beats Rodney Dangerfield.

Look up the videos of him on the Tonight Show absolutely killing it, putting Johnny, who had heard it all, under his desk with genuine laughter.

"I asked my dentist, what do I do about these yellow teeth?
He said. wear a brown tie."

Bandit said...

Feminist joke:

'That's not funny'

Eddy Wobegon said...

When will people who claim we need demographic differences explain what those differences actually are?

What are the differences between whites and non-whites? Men and women? Straights and alphabets?

autothreads said...

Comedy requires risk. Men are bigger risk takers. Comedy requires observing one's own foibles. Women blame others for their own mistakes. Comedy requires mocking the group. Females are vigorous enforcers of social conformity.

How many girls are willing to be the class clown?

Sure, there are funny women. Belle Barth was at least as "blue" as Lenny Bruce, but she never got arrested. I can think of plenty of very funny female comedians: Gilda Radner, Joan Rivers, Minnie Pearl, Phyllis Diller, Gracie Allen, Anne Meara, Lucille Ball, Lily Tomlin, and Betty Walker all had great comedic chops. Ed Sullivan regularly had female comedians on his show, during an era when comedic gatekeepers, the feminists tell us, kept women out of their guild because "women aren't funny".

Still, there are plenty of reasons, none of which have to do with discrimination, why there are more male comedians than female.

autothreads said...

How many flies does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Two, just like everywhere else.

Californio_6th_ gen said...

People in comedy clubs think they are there to drink and laugh. What they REALLY NEED is to sit through a sermon. The Left morphed into the Moral Majority....wait...RUSSIA! The John Birch Society as well. Hm - who knew?