Hey guys, it’s been awhile! Enough people have asked about my blog to give me the strength to write in it again. And by enough, I mean three. I’ve been busy going to back and forth from New York, up to NH for the holidays, and booking Grandma’s Basement (which is gathering an audience at a more rapid rate than I can explain). But now, here are my opinions on an event that ocurred!!
Eddie Brill, the now former booker of the stand up slots on Letterman, was fired for making it clear he thought about female comics slightly differently than he thought about male comics. There’s been a debate within the comedy community regarding women in comedy, and what role sexism plays in keeping women from being funny. From my biased man-beast perspective, I’d say men and women are equally capable of being funny, but there are definitely fewer funny women, then there are funny men (currently). A lot of this is a numbers game, in that way more men than women attempt comedy.
Some weird things came up when I discussed it with some of my more open-minded, male comic friends. “Nothing is keeping women from coming to open mics and working hard. It’s about wanting it,” was one idea brought up. I feel like there’s way more obstacles to a woman becoming funny than a man. Dave Chappelle and Bill Hicks started hanging out at comedy clubs when they were 14. By themselves. Could you imagine parents letting their 14 year-old girl hang out at a comedy club alone? Most open mics in New England are in dive-ish bars that are way more conducive to a young dude doing well than a lady. How many old Bostonians are gonna stop watching the game to here some girl’s jokes? Being funny is a skill, built upon an entire life of working on it whether you meant to or not. Little girls are encouraged to laugh at jokes, not make them.
Also, several of my male friends didn’t apply to the Women in Comedy Festival because they felt it was weird to be associated with it. It seemed like they’d feel emasculated, which sorta blew my mind. It’s a really cool festival about proving the status quo wrong. About taking the dumb stereotype that women aren’t funny and saying, “Fuck you.” That’s comedy’s ultimate purpose. How could you not want to be associated with that? Do you understand? I’m a great person who’s changing the world!! That and, for someone like myself who seems to be booked by mostly women in New York, it makes a lot of sense for the connections.
There are funny women out there, unfortunately some of the funniest aren’t viewed as marketable enough commodities to be put on television. So many of the women the public sees are attractive and good enough. They all worked their asses off to get to that position, but “attractive” keeps eyes around for the Coke commercials more than “funny.” And any TV show’s number one job is to keep viewers around for the thing that makes them money. That adds to the stereotype that women aren’t funny. The funniest women don’t get a ton of exposure, while the more attractive, less funny, produce two sitcoms simultaneously.
It’s changing though. From running a show in Boston, I can see it happening. There are jokes the female comics tell that I don’t really get, and the male audiences members don’t get, but the ladies in the audienc love. Women have more and more money, and eventually economics will take over and women will burst into the comedy spotlight. Probably in 5 to 10 years. There just needs to be a funny, relatable, marketable, kick-ass women to get on TV and break it open. Sarah Silverman opened the door for the hot female comic who’s crude. Some day soon, a female comic who crushes will appear under the banner, “Not the same boring man-comedy.” It has been prophesied (by a man).
My only point is, men are currently funnier than women. It’s changing slowly, but only from incredibly strong women pushing through. Some people say a funny woman is unnattractive, but for me, if a woman can joke, it’s a sign that she’s a risk taker who’s actually experienced some level of adversity in her life. You have to risk bombing to be funny, on a stage or in life. I looooove a funny women. And America’s slowly learning to as well.