June 21, 2012

People are funny.

Adam Carolla has a book out. In an interview promoting that book, he said that women aren’t funny. Yes, it wasn’t a coincidence. He trolled us all, knowing that that his name alone isn’t going to sell his book.

Unfortunately, the notion that women aren’t funny is everywhere. Don’t like a particular female comedian? Just say that she shows that women aren’t funny. I hear/read this all the time.

When the show Whitney debuted, the most common comment I saw online wasn’t wondering if the scripts were generated from a computer compiling every bad sitcom of the 90s- it was why anyone would think that a female led show would succeed. Because women aren’t funny.

With the release of Adam Sandler’s latest bad movie, I know I won’t see anyone complain about the movie by saying that it’s a wonder why anyone bothers to cast men in the lead- since obviously his failure proves that men aren’t funny.

TheBoy mentioned that he’d heard a stand up comedian on the radio mentioning how hard women had it- that if a woman bombed in a set, it was because all women weren’t funny. If it was a guy, then he was the only one who wasn’t funny. There’s a definite double standard.

Back to Adam Sandler. Nobody would ever really claim that anyone other than Sandler was the problem (though maybe the studios that keep greenlighting these projects).

For some famous people reiterating that women are funny, here’s TV writer/director/producer Ken Levine’s comment on it. And Rob Delaney’s post is pretty on the nose, too.

This touches a personal nerve. I worked at the World Famous Jungle Cruise at Disneyland as a skipper. A job that I’m proud to talk about. I learned a lot working there. And especially for one of the years I was there, I was surrounded by some tremendous talent- both men and women (Kaz and Alison, if you read this- you always had me in stitches). It was a supportive environment. Not sure how to make a joke work? You could get some feedback without being mocked.

But there were a lot of obstacles. The first being the idea that women weren’t funny. You could deliver the same spiel in the same way with killer timing as one of the guys- and while he’d pull in with everyone cracking up and telling him it was the best trip they’d ever had, it wasn’t uncommon for the women to pull in with guests giving them dirty looks and complaining about how bitchy the skipper was. Or the real punch in the crotch comment- they’d say that they missed the days when there were just male skippers because women aren’t funny.

Or even if you had a boat that was actually laughing, in all likelihood, you wouldn’t get the comments saying you should go into standup. They’d just say that you were “cute” or want to thank the guy who came up with that spiel. I have mellowed since having kids. I am still amazed that back in my stabby youth, I did not punch anyone.

But personal experiences aside, there’s ample proof that women are funny. Jenny Lawson is hilarious, and I love her book more than anything else I’ve read this year. On the list of books that I’ve been told I have to read are Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey’s.

So there. Women are funny. Some men are sexist. Oh, and let’s remember what’s truly important- don’t buy Adam Carolla’s book. While this is a great discussion to have, don’t reward Carolla for trolling to get attention.

Who are your favorite funny ladies?

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