Nigel Downer is a Toronto Mainstage alum and director of The Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase.
“Just because a thing always was, doesn’t mean it actually is.”
–Ruth Bader Ginsberg*
It’s hard to believe we’re still asking, “Are women funny?” It’s also hard to believe that there’s still a pay gap and a huge problem with violence against women in America, but my Facebook feed don’t lie. So neither will I. Sorry dudes, you’ve been 70% of who I’ve worked with as a comedian, but…
You aren’t funny.
And You Will Never Be as Funny as Women.
- Women have more clothing options. Props and costumes are funny.
- When I see shows, there are usually at least three men on stage and it’s hard to decide which one’s the funniest— because I want to have sex with all of them, so they cancel each other out and I end up inevitably ( and unintentionally) watching the women. You’re splitting your odds, the women automatically stand out. Put less men in your show and you will be funnier.
- Men are always given the functional roles like “husbands” or “boyfriends” or “both buddies” in a “buddy scene” or “four buddies” in a “buddy scene.” They also play the doctors and the waiters and the cops, the athletes, the superheroes, the stoners and the robot pirates. Overexposure=BO-ring.
- When we’re watching comedy, we want to see things that are relatable. I’m incapable of relating to men when they are onstage because I am a woman and we are different. So I will never ﬁnd them as funny. Can’t ﬁght science, bro.
- Power is not funny. Men are powerful. Both physically and mentally. All of them. Stereotypes are true. And funny. But men are not.
- Men think their boners are hilarious. Their dicks in general. Your dicks are not as funny as you think they are. They are good for sex and peeing near toilets. That’s it, boys.
- Boobs are funnier than boy parts. I know this because there are boobs in almost all of the comedies that formed my young comedic mind.
- Both men and women rate “sense of humor” as being an important quality in a partner. But women deﬁne sense of humor as funny, and men deﬁne it as people appreciating their humor. Women know that men like being funny, so yes, we laugh harder at you when we’re trying to have sex with you. We laugh at your dumb jokes and pretend your puns simply slay us. Because we want you to use your penis on us for one of the two things it’s good for. We let you think you’re funny. You’re welcome, and we’re sorry for being part of the problem.
- Men created ironic facial hair = very unfunny. Men are also responsible for both world wars, Vietnam, the holocaust and the assassination of John Lennon. You think those things are funny?
- Think of the funniest sketch you’ve ever seen a man in. They were probably dressed as a woman.
I hate that this “Are Women Funny?” thing is still a thing. But until there is no longer a need to have women-only festivals, or women-only teams— until those happen naturally and are not an anomaly, it will be.
Until I am cast in a sketch show where 3 of the 3 writers are not men and so is the director, until the majority of casts at the premiere theaters for comedy in the country are no longer made of more men an women STILL in 2014, until I stop getting the compliment “I was surprised how funny you are, cuz, you know, you’re a women!” Until its harder for me to get a job but easier for me to get respect, this will continue being a benign, boring conversation, an argument against a ghost enemy that I hope is time.
Ignorance will always exist. But it’s not the asshole yelling “Take it off!” from the back of a darkened theater that bothers me, it’s the people who don’t know they’re creating the problem. Some of my favorite comedians are people.** No gender specifying necessary.
*The author has no reason to believe RBG ever said this.
**The rest are goats.
Andel Sudik has performed improv at iO, the Playground and the Annoyance and sketch comedy at Second City on a cruise ship, in theatricals, with the National Touring Company and on the e.t.c. stage. She is an alumni of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, currently teaches sketch and improv in Chicago and occasionally writes things while looking out her window at the lake. Follow her on twitter @AndelSudik or check out her website andelsudik.com.