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  1. #11
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    It's true that drop-dead gorgeous women aren't as compelled to be funny, or otherwise appealing, but there are a lot of women who fall short of that, without having fallen so short that they are outright "ugly". Reasonably attractive women, in other words. I'm not sure his theory adequately covers them, although it's true that they wouldn't have to work very hard to get laid by a random male stranger either..

    When I was in the base level class at Improv Olympics ( which is one source for recruiting at Saturday Night Live ) the woman co-founder ( Charna ) was pushing hard for minority candidates and comediennes. There were nowhere near as many women "trying out for the part", for some reason. As a white male, one was at a disadvantage, precisely because there were so many trying out. The competition in that particular sector was fierce. Eventually this may even out. Perhaps it mirrors other aspects of society.

    It's interesting that there may be a parallel or link in this to Ivy's great thread "In Commercials Men Are Dumb" that is in the archives at INTPc, I think. Does this relate to the "not so familiar with self-deprecation" theory being advanced ? It's not true that women can't make fun of themselves, in the private space. In the public space, maybe there's something to that, however, just as people are saying there's no jokes one can make about Obama right now. It's not Obama saying "don't make jokes about me" nor women saying "don't make jokes about us", though. Hmmm.

    I haven't seen that many comediennes, but of the ones I can recall, I think of them as being more likely to make fun of men in their act, than making fun of other women, however. Maybe those jokes just stuck with me more because I am a man, but I don't think so. * shrug *

    I think women have the inner capability to be just as funny, if not funnier, than men, however; and so why this isn't happening more often with stand-up is a mystery. Maybe it has something to do with women being generally discouraged ( by "society" ) from showing certain emotions, just as men are steered in certain directions as children, and on up.
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    Reichsfuhrer Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials.

  2. #12
    Senior Member ZiL's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Well I'll agree with comments above that a lot of men are threatened by women who like to and are good at making jokes. I know this from personal experience. I don't really know what to say about the evolutionary advantage side of that coin. Humor does help men get women. However, for me personally, I like to laugh, but I don't like to feel like an audience all the time. Being relegated to the audience role just because I'm female does not impress me. I like to be involved too. And I'm no "bulldyke" . Just seems like purposefully sensationalistic overgeneralization to me. I dunno.
    ALL AROUND THE WORLD PEOPLE EATIN' GUMBO

  3. #13

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    This is a pervasive belief in the entertainment industry, one which definitely affects hiring decisions and doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. But I've never seen any evidence that women are less funny than men in my personal experience. Maybe I just like to hang around funny people, so I don't see it.

    I can think of two reasons why it might be true, although they're just guesses. One would be the "peacock" theory some have offered, where women don't have to develop humor to attract the opposite sex since they usually play defense. The other would be that it's a remnant of more patriarchal times where women were supposed to be wives, mothers and housekeepers. Being funny would not only display a point of view, but possibly overshadow the husband.

    I still think it's kind of B.S. Neither of these would even indicate that women are inherently less funny, just that they didn't flaunt or develop it.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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  4. #14
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    I don't meet too many funny women, but I have high standards. I am an abnormally funny guy, and several of my friends are almost as funny. Part of it is the dearth of women who laugh at dumb, hilarious things. Also, I think society doesn't reward funniness in women nearly as much, so it's not instilled at a young age. There are a few funny female comedians, and some funny female comedic actresses, but FAR less than there are funny men. I really don't buy into the "men are threatened by funny women" line AT ALL. It would be great to be around a hilarious woman or hilarious women all the time, and most men I know would absolutely agree.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    Honest question here: Does this humor often involve empowering women or emasculating men? (I'm asking based on a couple of specific observations that may or may not prove anything.)

    Do you have any idea what it is about your humor that strikes a funny bone that men miss?



    Sadly true. Humor is linked to intelligence, which in turn is linked to power. If you're funnier, you have an element of power in the relationship the guy may not want to give up.
    Haven't read the thread in its entirety but it caught my eye the other day and here's a thought I had this morning about it.

    We have a long history in Western culture of the fumbling, but endearing, male figure. Ralph Kramden and Homer Simpson come to mind. The domestic male as fool. His wife is subject to put-downs and yet we secretly know she is the person holding the family and relationship together and covering for him when the chips are down. Loving him in spite of his faults. Why this is funny is probably a deep question with a complicated answer. Probably because there is an uncomfortable truth in it.

    But there are layers to this funny relationship. He's dominant. She's submissive.

    Go a layer deeper and he's dependent and she's the rock.

    A layer further and he actually rules the roost because she lets him.

    And on and on.

    Somewhere in this lies the mystery of why a man in women's clothing is hilarious, but not so in reverse.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  6. #16
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Reading after the fact. Eff has a point. Perhaps we have been conditioned as to what's funny.

    And wow. Did you see Banana feeling for Mondo? That was funny.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  7. #17
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Haven't read the thread in its entirety but it caught my eye the other day and here's a thought I had this morning about it.

    We have a long history in Western culture of the fumbling, but endearing, male figure. Ralph Kramden and Homer Simpson come to mind. The domestic male as fool. His wife is subject to put-downs and yet we secretly know she is the person holding the family and relationship together and covering for him when the chips are down. Loving him in spite of his faults. Why this is funny is probably a deep question with a complicated answer. Probably because there is an uncomfortable truth in it.

    But there are layers to this funny relationship. He's dominant. She's submissive.

    Go a layer deeper and he's dependent and she's the rock.

    A layer further and he actually rules the roost because she lets him.

    And on and on.

    Somewhere in this lies the mystery of why a man in women's clothing is hilarious, but not so in reverse.

    Personally, I do not care for the sitcom meme that adult men are complete fucking idiots. Homer Simpson is one thing, but the majority of live-action sitcom have a patriarch who is totally brainless. It's almost never funny, either.
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  8. #18
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    This is a pervasive belief in the entertainment industry, one which definitely affects hiring decisions and doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. But I've never seen any evidence that women are less funny than men in my personal experience. Maybe I just like to hang around funny people, so I don't see it.

    I can think of two reasons why it might be true, although they're just guesses. One would be the "peacock" theory some have offered, where women don't have to develop humor to attract the opposite sex since they usually play defense. The other would be that it's a remnant of more patriarchal times where women were supposed to be wives, mothers and housekeepers. Being funny would not only display a point of view, but possibly overshadow the husband.

    I still think it's kind of B.S. Neither of these would even indicate that women are inherently less funny, just that they didn't flaunt or develop it.
    Word. I hang around hilarious women. Perhaps the author doesn't. But then again, I don't hang around men that don't find women funny, or who are threatened by women who are funny. That is part of the problem in this situation, in my opinion. Men who want the funny to be their domain tend to repel funny women, therefore making them less likely to know funny women. We're not wasting our A-game on douchebags.

    Historically, in the entertainment industry, women have had to make themselves less attractive to be seen as funny, though. They have to look or act a bit more clownish, plain, and/or masculine, even if they were attractive IRL. Kind of the Rhoda Morgenstern syndrome--if you're funny, you can't be thought of as the pretty one. That's changed somewhat over the years, though, thank goodness.

    Also, most of the people who say that women are not funny are NOT fellow standups/sketch comics, etc. Usually male comedians DO find their female counterparts funny (provided the female in question isn't just a bad comedian regardless).
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  9. #19
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Personally, I do not care for the sitcom meme that adult men are complete fucking idiots. Homer Simpson is one thing, but the majority of live-action sitcom have a patriarch who is totally brainless. It's almost never funny, either.
    Agreed.

    Tv adverts often portray men as bumbling imbeciles. Invariably the child of the familiy (usually a female toddler) is portrayed as smarter. Which is - IRL - sadly true...

    The joke is of course not on the man. The joke is on the woman, as her money, not affections, is being courted. Advertisers know their target audience.

    Humour has always been used for courting.

    Incidently, Peguy has never made me laugh even once. And Christopher Hitchens doesn't look like he could woo the knickers off a drunk bad lady with a fistfull of fivers and a bottle of GHB. Despite or perhaps because of his obtuse references to Baudrillard.

  10. #20
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Agreed.

    Tv adverts often portray men as bumbling imbeciles. Invariably the child of the familiy (usually a female toddler) is portrayed as smarter. Which is - IRL - sadly true...

    The joke is of course not on the man. The joke is on the woman, as her money, not affections, is being courted. Advertisers know their target audience.

    Humour has always been used for courting.

    Incidently, Peguy has never made me laugh even once. And Christopher Hitchens doesn't look like he could woo the knickers off a drunk bad lady with a fistfull of fivers and a bottle of GHB. Despite or perhaps because of his obtuse references to Baudrillard.

    The irony is that it is truly insulting to women the most. It suggests that American women settle for brainless, infantile slobs. And they don't feel like they settle, they feel lucky to have these goofs around, and often are trying desperately to get/keep their attention.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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