Well, I Think I’m Funny

Though I long to write long loving posts to The Devil’s Rejects, I will spare you and instead focus on Morgan and Jerry Lewis.

Morgan says:

Look, I’m not trying to be a chauvinist or anything, but there just aren’t very many hilarious girls out there. Face it, comedy might not be your niche. Try being thoughtful instead. There’s a real fine line, though, because the girls that are “too cool” never say anything funny. So, I guess, make a few funnies, but just don’t push it.

Jerry Lewis says:

A woman doing comedy doesn’t offend me, but sets me back a bit. I, as a viewer, have trouble with it. I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world.

Now, frankly, I think Morgan is taking the bigger comedic risk here, because he’s trying to insult women at the same time that he, himself, is trying to be funny. He runs a great risk, if his humor falls flat, of being seen as a fool.

Jerry, on the other hand, is taking little risk for himself at all. He’s got nothing to lose by revealing himself to be a jackass. Those of us who love Dean Martin have long suspected it. It is unfortunate, though, because he also speaks for the MDA and his comments could have hurt them.

But none of this analysis brings us any closer to understanding whether or not women are actually funny. I think I’m funny and many people who know me in real life spend a great deal of time laughing around me (or maybe at me, hard to say).

Can one’s sense of humor, her comedic timing, her ability to move audiences be linked to her gender? Or might one’s ability to perceive different funny things be linked to one’s gender? I’m almost certain it’s the latter, not the former, as my observations suggest that only men with very small penises don’t find me delightfully humerous.

17 thoughts on “Well, I Think I’m Funny

  1. My husband finds me so funny at times he spits whatever he is drinking all over the place.

    I’m not sure that is a good thing, though.

  2. I think the degree of humor one exhibits is related proportionally to how fucked up and depressed they are.

    It’s a barrier, armor, innoculation. Self-depricating humor, especially.

    But interestingly enough, my male friends–yes I do have them–make me laugh more than my female friends.
    My girlfriends tend to be more neurotic, which is funny to me because my humor is predatory. If I so much as smell crazy on a person, I will make them the object of ridicule in an essay or blog entry.

  3. Aunt B, I find you hilarious. Infer what you will from that regarding penis size.

    But, obviously, any silly idea of linking gender to ability to be humorous is all in the mind of the laugher, not the laugh producer. If we are conditioned to believe women can’t be as funny as men – because as the title of a book I read recently put it, “Comedy is a Man In Trouble” – that’s because we don’t like to think of women in trouble.

    Men, who have power in the patriarchal culture in which we live, can pretend to lose a little of it and make people laugh. Women, on the other hand, start from a lack of power, and thus the implied loss of it only makes people sad.

    So, the average patriarchal beneficiary who doesn’t like to be reminded he’s getting so much out of this system on the backs of others, simply decides it’s best if women don’t make him laugh.

  4. Yeah, you are way funny. It may very well be that the laugh therapy I’ve received here have kept the razor in it’s case.

  5. Y’all this is why I love you and wish someda to invite you to a large picnic. Here I am making a small post and you guys come on and get at subtle thought-provoking nuances.

    I love it. I feel very spoiled by it.

    Steve, I think you are absolutely right and yet/so I wonder if part of what makes people uncomfortable with funny women–to the point where they would deny we were even funny–is that you do have to make yourself ferociously vulnerable. In order to be ferociously vulnerable, you have to have some power.

    Maybe it makes some folks nervous to see women weilding power like that.

    Twyla, I’m glad to hear it. If you were to leave, who would remind me in such kind ways when I’m being a jackass?

  6. Um. Yeah. Reread this post and tell me again how much of a sense of humor you have?

    Penis size jokes? You don’t read Dooce much do you?

    And Steve Pick, you must be a real riot at parties.

    Jesus Christ, talk about being able to dish it out but not take it.

  7. Aw, Morgan, don’t be mad. Obviously, I get that you’re aiming for funny or I wouldn’t have said “I think Morgan is taking the bigger comedic risk here.” I wouldn’t have paired you with a canonical comedian. I wouldn’t have mulled you over, if I didn’t think what you were doing didn’t operate on about one million different levels.

    Come on. You’re going to come on here and try to suggest that you weren’t, in part, in that post riffing on attitudes like Lewis’s? I don’t believe it for a second. I think you pretty deliberately knew what assumptions you were tweaking.

    And, if you were, who’s to blame me for trying to get at why those attitudes are around in the first place?

  8. morgan,

    Sarcasm is a delicate weapon, but you swing as though it were a machete. If that’s what you have in your hand at all.

  9. The funniest thing to come out of a woman’s mouth is my cock.

    See how that is brought full circle from the earlier posts? Comedy gold!

  10. Well, I think you’re funny, Sarcastro. Not as funny as the graffiti in the women’s bathroom at the Bluegrass Inn makes you out to be, but funny, nonetheless.

  11. The all-time greatest comment anyone ever made on the subject of funny women was made by Anne Beatts. Beatts was a writer for the original Saturday Night Live, the creator of the TV series Square Pegs, and co-editor of the “Titters” books of humor by women.

    She said:

    “Men don’t like the idea of women making jokes because they think the ultimate women’s joke is ‘How big is it?”

  12. Anonymous, Leslie Nielsen also has a blog called “Tiny Cat Pants?” That’s going to get confusing. Lucky for me (or for him, depending on who got there first), the law is pretty clear that titles aren’t copyrightable.

  13. For what it’s worth, Anonymous beat me to my comment. Long-time Nashville blogger Lesley’s blog is named “Well, I think I’m funny.”

  14. Ah, well, obviously, anyone who reads me knows that I’m unintentionally derivative, so it only makes sense that someone would have beat me to it.

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