Feminist Spidey Sense

Would Tina Fey ever blow herself up freebasing? : Women Aren’t Funny

06.22.09 by Natasha | 2 Comments | Digg This

Women can be funny. But a self-destructive woman with a foul mouth and a reliance on pills doesn’t play well in comedy clubs or TV. Maybe because it provokes primitive notions of the fairer sex. Women “on the verge” appear as victims rather than hardened, street-wise misfits.  Sure, Sarah, Tina, Amy, whoevs, are all funny character actors. Clever writers too!  But that coke crazed energy, that self-loathing and swagger, the Bill Hicks sense of loneliness appears in no popular comedienne. And it’s not that women are incapable of being funny (trust me) but that particular brand, that penchant for destruction in the way the joke, isn’t fostered. Where is the female Lenny Bruce with a rag in her crotch and monkey on her back? 

 Sure, you have Lisa Lampenelli. She’s raunchy but vulgarity is her whole act. It’s exhibitionist rather than insightful. So you can take her right off the table. And I’ve always found the adoration of Fey/Phoeler style troublesome. It’s smart but it’s intellectually wholesome — they’re moms for christssake! 

Sam thinks it’s because “an audience doesn’t want to worry about it’s hero.” I think is absolutely true. 

There’s also a protective impulse with comediennes (but, you know, not in that “protetcting them from double standards about other shit” way) that makes people cringe when they hear “I’m drinking myself to death because everything is meaningless.”  It’s like “Wait, shouldn’t you have children first?”  


CONCLUSION: The best comedy is delivered when you can feel the void clutching at the comics ankles.  You show me the female George Carlin and I’ll cancel my abortion appointment so baby Carlos can grow up in a just world.


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