Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Unfunny Gag-the silence of the female comedian

Why aren't women funny? Are you joking! I'm not even going to answer that question, women are frigging hilarious. Women have always had me in stitches and I'm even funny apparently, unintentional on my part , a bit funny rather than ha ha. The question we need to ask is why people assume they are not.

People think women are unfunny because there are so few female stand up comedians. This is the logic of a sexist society, the same logic that concludes women are not top chefs because they can't cook, 'if you can't stand the heat don't come into the kitchen ladies'

'if you can't enter the pissing contest, don't come anywhere near the comedy panel show'

Funny women on T.V are being gagged and it's not a joke. There is a fear that women may crack jokes about periods, body issues, and god forbid CHILDREN! What, like Michael McIntyre? People love it he's hilarious. Mothers and fathers weep into their wine together. Even if they do joke about 'women's,' topics, women do make up half the population, there is a market for crying out loud. Silencing people's humour gives the message that we only want to laugh AT them not with them, that we do not want to hear about their experiences. Laughing together is based on empathy and it bonds people.

No, women are not underrepresented on panel shows and prime time stand up comedy because they are unfunny, but because the most interesting, prestigious, and well paid jobs in this country still go to men. Directors of films, companies and countries. Kerching. Cue cynical canned laughter.

Enough of our absence. I want to celebrate the moments women have made me wet myself, spit out drinks, made me hoot and laugh in the street when I remembered their jokes/comments. Women who make me feel a little happier. Here are some of my top comedy moments entitled laughing my tits off:

1. Margot in ' The Good Life' trying to play pass the balloon between the legs

2. Alison Steadman as Beverley in 'Abigal's Party'. I could watch that on a loop I never tire of it. The voice, the shoulders. the observation.

3. Not a fan of Corrie but Deidre Barlow and her mother!!!! When she died, Deidre pronounced in her camp manner ' she should never have gone to Portugal, it was madness!'

4. Lisa Lynn -Daugher of Evesham -(not famous) One fine sunny day in Eastbourne sipping cold lager in the Wish Tower Cafe, Lisa looked over and pronounced 'I can't wait to be old, you can throw your fashion sense to the wind' I looked round to see a couple of elderly women in bum bags, brightly coloured ankle swingers and huge sunglasses. I laughed so hard beer came down my nose.

5. Sue Perkins-I would marry her if I was a lesbian, not already married and famous. Too complicated, but the sentiment is there. Sharp, funny, and inoffensive-you don't have to bully people to make other people laugh. And she's posh! Having a GSOH is a turn on for both sexes.

6. Jennifer White (Little sister when 6) Opened the door to my husband wearing bike leathers and a helmet. She slammed the door drolly stating 'we didn't order a pizza.'

7.Jo Brand and all the women she enabled to drop those expected, feminine manners. Women can now be crass, rude and gross. Dull women at school gates take note, let's rant and moan it's a riot and it breaks down barriers.

8. Louise Almeida (The other sister) All round ginger loon. The only person who can make me belly laugh even when the chips are down. From humming the theme tune to 'Hawaii Five O' as the priest came into the church, to her impersonations of Beverly 'you have very beautiful lips'. It's true that those who grow up together laugh best together.

9. Caitlin Moran- When 'How to be a Woman' came out, Lewes was awash with women laying in the sunshine snorting, shoulders shaking as they read her book. I have a horrible habit of trying to stifle a laugh when walking along the street, it comes out as an unattractive demented cough. I still find her funny even though she wont RT me on Twitter. I should unfollow that would show her. Ok. Ok. That was cringey.

10. Me!! You have to laugh at yourself in this life or you'd go mad. I Once walked into a cinema and when asked 'How many tickets would you like?' I responded '50 Please' The man looked bemused, I thought I was on the bus. (That was a while back, 50p from Preston Park to Hove!) There is a fair chance I had a hangover.

So yes, women are a laugh a minute, a hoot, great comedy actors, social commentators, wry, witty loons. We are all becoming bored with the macho bullying style of humour. There is nothing entertaining in seeing the way some panel shows treat the token woman guest. In my mind humour should not be a contact sport, it shouldn't be sparring but a way of connecting and making us feel better when our spirits are low. Women, your country needs you, male dominance in comedy, it's time to stand down (ummm, not sure that works.)

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. Women are very funny. Can I add Victoria Wood and Janey Godley to your list please?