Being funny is typically considered a masculine quality. The funny guy tends to be the life of the party. The funny girl tends to be traditionally “unfeminine.” The funny girl is the overweight girl, the ugly girl, the you fill in the blank girl. The funny girl is associated with something other than the norm. While there has definitely been a lot of progress for women in comedy, as I was exploring different sources for my sources, I kept pondering this idea: why don’t people associate funny with “sexy” or “femininity”? Yes, we can turn to all the traditional bullshit of “women aren’t funny” or “women weren’t thought of as funny for so long, so you have to break the stigma,” but there has to be some other modern-day reasons for it.
Is it just too intimidating for a women to “have it all?” Is it too threatening for a woman to be able to pull a man down with her words, the way that he can pull a woman down? I feel like now that it is 2013, we have definitely gotten over the SHOCK FACTOR that women can be funny, but still female comedians face a certain level of judgement that is definitely not universal.
Recently we have definitely seen examples of just how sexy funny can be. Think: Sara Silverman, Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler. And yes, Sarah Silverman may be a little too raunchy for your taste, but think about what she does and what she is saying, putting personal taste aside. While this is not entirely what my final project is about, I think this is a large component. Physical appearance is something that has both positively and negatively effected women of all types. Sometimes it helps a woman to be pretty, sometimes it hurts her. Sometimes it helps her to not be attractive to get ahead, sometimes it pulls her back.
I have uploaded two readings to Ctools, which I will send out an email for and I have one source reading below (well, it is a YouTube video, sorry Ray!) that I think will help you get a good idea of what my project is all about. One of the readings is an excerpt from the book “We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy.” The other reading is a case study about Sarah Silverman and how big of an impact that she had on female stand up comedians of the 2000s. Again, these will be posted on Ctools since I don’t want to get in trouble for copyright issues. It’s always a good idea to stay out of legal trouble.
This video clip is of Janeane Garofalo and if you don’t know who she is…it’s about time you learned! Janeane basically led the alternative comedy movement of the 90s, a movement that focused more on storytelling and the “everyday-ness” of life than on structure jokes. While she did not make the movement happen completely by herself, Janeane is largely responsible for this movement taking off and for the comedians of the 90s taking over different venues, such as coffee shops and theaters, as the comedy club craze of the 80s began to wind down.
- This clip is from RISK! Live Show NYC – March 29, 2012
- It is 20 minutes long. You don’t have to watch the whole thing…unless you want to…but you should!