Today while on a streetcar – I heard “I don’t think women are funny” actually spoken aloud by someone. Before you start looking for a news article detailing a 20-something’s-descent into a Wolverine-style craze, take a deep breath – I was fine. I felt like I was seeing a mythical creature.
The unicorn went on to describe how he just “didn’t get” the humor of women to his friend, who was nodding absently along.
When (recently departed) Christopher Hitchens wrote the reactive Vanity Fair article, “Why Women Aren’t Funny” – I’m sure women everywhere rolled their eyes. It led to the follow-up article (also from Vanity Fair) – “Who Says Women Aren’t Funny?” which stated…well, the notion that 50% of the population is inherently unfunny is…laughable.
So why do we keep talking about it? Why does it keep coming up?
Because of articles like this, discussing Eddie Brill – the gatekeeper of comedy at the Letterman show that reveals that only one female comic was booked in 2011. The same man who says, “There are a lot less female comics who are authentic; I see a lot of female comics who to please an audience will act like men.”
It is exhausting explaining that men and women are funny in a lot of different ways.
The follow-up both reassures & frustrates me. Eddie Brill has, as a result of this fiasco, lost his job as Letterman’s comedy booker. But will most likely continue to warm-up the audience pre-show.