In need of a redesign since 2011.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A friend of mine had a bit of a squabble with Mock The Week's twitter. She doesn't think women are as funny as men. I disagree. Knowing you're a comedy junkie, I'm here to ask you what your thoughts on this generalisation are. (Is? Are? Dammit!) Thoughts?

Are. I do have thoughts on this subject! Big, uneducated, confusing thoughts!

I can see why the question gets asked. Ask anyone to name the three most famous / popular comedians, and I'd be surprised if a woman's name gets mentioned one time in a hundred. I think a lot of it's to do with the way it's televised. Look at any stand-up show, any quiz-comedy-panel-show, and you'll see one woman. Maybe two. Women are underrepresented in mainstream comedy, and that can lead to three possible conclusions: either 1) women aren't as funny as men, or 2) women are being excluded because society discourages female comedy.

2) might sound implausible, because we tend to think "that doesn't happen any more", but how many things has society assumed women don't want to / can't do? How many times has it been wrong?

I still haven't worked out why there are things that people find funny from men that they don't like hearing from women (though this is just my gut feeling; I haven't researched it), but hopefully we'll see the gender gap close in coming years.

I submit these videos as evidence that some women are, in fact, hilarious. (This one has Hugh Laurie in. I make no apology for this.) (This one's barely even funny but it's got Johnny Depp in it, and I think I've lost sight of why I'm doing this.)

Also, I want to thank you for giving me an excuse to watch lots and LOTS of Smack the Pony videos XD






Ask me things! (Questions preferred.)


  1. Excellent! I was tempted to say you should do a blog post on this.

    I don't think 2 is implausible, I think that's along the lines of how it is. Comedy is such a sausage-fest, there's such a stigma surrounding female comedians under the assumption women aren't as funny. Shame. I'd like to think people are much more open to the idea this isn't the case, but - like you said - Any TV comedy, panel show or stand-up comic bill will be male-centric.
    I can understand why this is still the case, it's harder for women to get into this line of work, and many of those that have made it get pegged as dykes or moaned about because they make jokes about nothing but menstruation (as a man, you realise I had to type that word with my eyes closed and crying).

    Ah I want to ramble more about this, but I need to go to bedland. Glastonbury tomorrow! YAY!

    But, also: SMACK THE PONY! This has just made me find a playlist of all the dating videos on yoochoob.

    Also #2: It's good to see you've been blogging more!

  2. I'm glad to be blogging again! Ahhh yes *strokes blog* I have missed you, my pretty.

    Have fun at Glastonbury, and thanks for the kind words! It's interesting how divergent the responses have been. Someone on my facebook seems to be implying that women's genetic differences make comedy a male profession. Odd, that.

  3. Must be honest, there are very few female stand-up comedians that make me laugh, and they are Victoria Wood and... well, that's about it. Dunno why... maybe female comics aim their material at women so I just don't get it.


  4. I actually think women are more hilarious. Chelsea Handler comes to mind as a favorite, not sure if anyone else here has heard of her or is a fan? I think justice will only be served once there is at least one female host of a late night show on a MAJOR network. I feel confident such a woman exists who can earn it. To me, the lack of women in late night is as unconscionable and unforgiveable as the lack of female US Presidents. I can hardly believe it is because we are hurting for talent.

  5. I'm a little sad none of those youtube links were to My Drunk Kitchen, ha.

  6. This annoys me too! All my male friends say women comedians aren't as good, but tbh I don't feel like they get the best ones for things like mock the week. I googled "top ten female comediennes" and got AWESOME results, I fell in love with Shappi Khorsandi, Margeret Cho, Lucy Porter and Sarah Millican. And it reminded me of ones I'd forgotten about but love like Sarah Silverman and Victoria Wood.

    Female comedians rock, and good for them for working in an industry that basically wants to ban women from its gates.

  7. According to 'QI' (and if Stephen Fry says it then it's TRUE!) if they have more women on the panel then the panel would laugh more but the audience would laugh less. I think what MTW have done is misinterpreted this. It doesn't mean that Female comediennes are any less funny it just means that audiences are broken.
    And @Kyra I'm reading Chelsea Handler's book 'Are you there Vodka? It's me, Chelsea.' It is the complete opposite of what I usually read but she is very funny.


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