Friday, May 13, 2011

Women Aren't Funny

I lied.  I actually do think women are funny, but I figured the controversial title would lure more viewers in.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I read Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants.  Well, truthfully I didn't read it.  I listened to it.  I ordered the audio version like a dummy from the library without noticing that it wasn't the printed copy.  But do not fret, I am now a fan of audiobooks.  You just put them on your iPod and all the sudden you can do all the things you couldn't do when you were actually reading a book.  For example I got to go on ridiculously long walks while listening.  I made dinner with my headphones in.  I listened whilst mowing the lawn.  Or you can simply lay on your bed and stare at the ceiling for a couple of hours while listening to Tina Fey's voice...She’s a funny woman.  Seriously.  You can’t read/listen to her book with out laughing.  She’s got this smart, partly sarcastic humor that is so entertaining. 

But this post isn’t to promote audiobooks or Bossypants (though I highly recommend both), it’s to prove the fact that women can be funny. 

Not that long ago I accepted the idea that women aren’t funny.  Sometimes they are, but mostly they just try too hard and aren’t.  Well, in some cases I still agree with that statement.  I could think of tons of funny men like Will Ferrel, Adam Sandler, Steve Carell, and on and on, but it was much harder to do the same for women.  I used to claim that the only funny woman I could think of were Ellen Degeneres and Tina Fey.  Ellen didn’t help my cause much because she’s a lesbian.  As in, she’s not the typical female.

I went to watch Humor U, which is the stand up comedy group at BYU.  There were only two females in the group out of 11 people.  One of the girls, Callie Petterborg was hilarious. 

See? She’s funny, but she’s not exactly girly either.  I have to include another video just for entertainment purposes.

Then there’s Tina Fey, who I’ve already mentioned.  (I kind of have a girl crush on her if you couldn’t tell).  She’s funny, but knows what she’s doing.  She used to write for SNL, is almost better at being Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin herself, and has an awesome show (30 Rock), which really should have higher viewer ratings.  Oh, and Betty White.  She's cute, old, and crude.  Always a good combination.

Women aren’t seen as funny, because it’s much harder for us than it is for men. 

I’ll put this in a real-life scenario.  It was freshman year at BYU.  The boys in our ward made a music video to Katy Perry’s song, Teenage Dream.  It was a battle, so the girls had to make a music video back.  We were worried.  The guys’ video was pretty funny, and we were afraid that ours wouldn’t be.  “What are we gonna do?  Girls aren’t funny.”  Yeah, we didn’t have much hope in ourselves.  We tried thinking of different songs which would set up funny scenes, but we knew most likely they’d crash and burn.  So instead we went with a classic Hall & Oates song, and just made the video good.  The humor came naturally, we didn’t try to force it.  No offense to the boys, but in the end, our video was better.  Guys got the cheap laughs because acting slighty feminine to a Katy Perry song is automatically funny.  Girls can’t do that.   

So I've come to a conclusion.  Sort of.  It's a work in progress actually.

1) I've decided that to be a funny woman, you don't necessarily have to be butch, but you can't be the stereotypical girl either.  Most of the time we're not not ladylike and perfect, but some like to pretend that they are and won't just relax.  You can't be very funny when you're perfect. 

2) You have to be smart about your humor.  It's a lot harder to get a cheap laugh as a woman.  And honestly, I don't want cheap laughs.

3)  Be yourself and be honest.  Unless you're doing a skit... Then be someone else.

I'm probably not right about any of this, but so far it seems persuasive.  It's not like I know much about being funny.  People have told me I'm funny, but more have told me my blog is funny.  I bet when they read it they picture a guy talking, not me.

Looking back at this post, I discovered that I was mostly trying to prove that woman are in fact funny, but the actual post was boring and definitely not funny.  So I am going to tell you a joke to lighten the mood.

- Why did the raccoon cross the road?
- To show his girlfriend he had guts.

Man, I crack myself up.  I'd like to add that I know about three jokes, and I've been using the raccoon one since I was five. 

Maybe I didn't persuade you that women can be funny.  Maybe I did.  The impressive thing is: You're still reading this post.

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