Funny women.

6 Jul

[I guess this is the topic du jour?  I began this draft a few days ago….]

Recently Adam Carolla caused women (and other people) to get ruffled because he said that women aren’t funny and, even worse, pointed out that female comedy writers are especially not funny and are more or less only kept on writing staffs because of affirmative action.  Predictably, female voices were raised in chorus to cry, “BUT! BUT! ELLEN!!  And there used to be some lady named Carol Burnett!  And Lucy Ricardo!”  There was also a lot of “Adam Carolla isn’t funny so he can’t possibly be a good judge of what is funny!” , which is like saying that only directors who have made a good movie can correctly judge if a movie is good or not.

In my experience, very few women are genuinely funny.  If you’re bristling at Carolla’s ~misogynistic injustice~, ask yourself how many women you know who can:

  • consistently make people, including complete strangers, laugh with their stories
  • tell jokes and deliver a killer punchline
  • are witty

It’s probably not more than a handful, if that.  Among beautiful women, the number starts approaching zero.  (And I mean actually beautiful, not “Kristin Wiig isn’t fat so let’s put her in the HOTTTT category!” beautiful.)

Of course, that doesn’t mean that men on the whole are funny.  Most men aren’t funny, either.  But chances are, the person in school who cracked you up all the time was a guy.  The person at work who cracks you up all the time is a guy.  In your friend circle, the person who brings the most laughs is a guy.

I think this disparity largely boils down to differences in the natures of the sexes.  Men have to impress women to keep their company, whereas women just have to have boobs.  So being funny is a boon to men, but neutral for women.  Being funny can actually be a negative for women.  If she’s funnier than most of the guys around her, they’ll laugh, but they’d rather be around a woman who laughs at their jokes, not a woman who can make them laugh.  If they can sense that the woman isn’t going to laugh too much at anything they say, they’ll move on to a woman who will.  So while being funny can make a woman popular among female peers, it can alienate her from men.  Men generally prefer women who are amusing (as in, “lololol, aren’t women just the silliest?? Their precious li’l minds aren’t concerned about anything important, the dears!  Thank goodness I’m a man and therefore brilliant!”), as opposed to women who are funny.

Also, comedy, at its roots, is uncomfortable.  It requires you to make observations about human nature that people don’t want to acknowledge under a sober light.  It can be antagonistic.  It requires a certain boldness and lack of inhibition – you have to be willing to go for the joke and see it through.  This goes against the nature of women.  Women, most of the time, would rather be a part of the pack than stand apart from it.  They would rather have the comfort of consensus than be an outlier.  Men, meanwhile, don’t have the same social strictures as women, so the social cost of being daring isn’t nearly as high.  Men don’t boot out a peer because he had a different thought or did/said something vulgar.

Comedy just works against social expectations of women and feminity.  Can anyone imagine a woman doing a Chris Rock-like stand-up?  She’d be eviscerated for her vulgarity.  All of the conservative moms and Boundless readers of the world would call for her head.  (Then the makers of Fireproof would write a new movie featuring a beautiful, lapsed Christian comedian who sometimes says “crap” but is mostly an alcoholic who has implied sex with jerks, but then meets a highly attractive, super manly, ultra intentional Christian comedian who has Scars Of The Past and was once a cop and/or a firefighter and/or a high school football coach, who, after breaking through her walls of cynicism, leads her to renounce her trashy comedy and to recommit herself to the Lord and also marry the Christian comedian in a covenant ceremony.)  Likewise, does anyone want to see a female version of Chris Farley’s “I’m Matt Foley, and I live in a VAN down by the RIVER!” bit?  Are women in drag even a fraction as funny as men in drag?  I mean, men in drag = HI-LARIOUS!, while women in drag = uh-oh, smells like lesbians.  Basically:  much of what works for men in comedy doesn’t work for women.  A woman has to be much better than just OK to pull off a lot of typical male comedy stuff.

As a result, a lot of female comedians make one of two mistakes:  either they (a) resort to unimaginative riffing on menstruation/PMS, jerks, bad sex, bad sex with jerks, their completely unrelated inability to find love, and being fat/hating skinny chicks, OR (b) they overdo it on sarcasm and/or monotone hipster irony.  It’s rare to come across a female comedian who doesn’t employ either of these strategies.  Being funny is hard, but being a funny woman is even harder because there’s just more to balance.

By the way, I wish that more comedians and people attempting to be funny in general would figure out that being funny has very little to do with being quirky, and very much to do about timing and delivery.  Some people think that being funny means acting large or having a shtick.  You know, like, “I”m wild, unpredictable party guy!” or “I’m such a spaz!  I totally made a fool of myself in front of a really hot guy!” girl or the Reliable Ironic Quip friend.  Sure, those things can get you attention and even make people laugh, but they don’t make you funny.  They’re just you playing a part.  Real comedy is really just telling people the truth in a way that makes them lower all of their defenses without even realizing it.

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34 Responses to “Funny women.”

  1. Purple Tortoise July 6, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    “Are women in drag even a fraction as funny as men in drag? I mean, men in drag = HI-LARIOUS!, while women in drag = uh-oh, smells like lesbians.”

    After watching the musical “Calamity Jane”, I’d say this is true.

  2. The Man Who Was . . . July 6, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    I happen to have been watching a fair amount of stand up shows on youtube. A few thoughts:

    1. I’d strongly recommend Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain. His other shows are a bit tamer, more PC, less sharp. Lots of great stuff on relationships.

    2. Louis CK’s full length stand up shows are almost all fantastic, but he exemplifies Roissy’s quote, “You can lie, cheat, steal, ogle, insult, demean and objectify, but nothing turns a girl off faster than expressing self-doubt.” A lot of his comedy is about his failing (now failed) marriage. A good example of how not to be.
    3. Jim Jeffries has a great extended bit on sluts vs. studs with some terrific asides on sluts vs. nice girls, but his whole show is actually pretty scattered. The following clip is actually heavily edited.

    4. Richard Pryor still holds up amazingly, but I’m not sure Eddie Murphy’s stand up really works now.
    5. Whoever thought George Carlin was funny? What a boring windbag.
    6. The few good female comedians are often lesbians and/or have extremely masculine personalities. People you just don’t want to be around: Rosie, Rosanne, Kathy Griffin.
    7. There are a few more feminine comics, like Sarah Silverman, but they’re not that feminine and they have to make do with a more low key style, which can work, but is a bit limiting.
    8. There was a Mexican American female comic I saw on TV, who really made me laugh, but who I was never able to track down again. On voluptuous vs. fat: “You’re still fat, but they want to sleep with you anyway.”
    9. Women can be great comic actresses, but those tend to be women who are amusing, as Haley puts it, not funny in their own right. Maya Rudolph might be an example or the female cast members on any decent sitcom.
    10. “overdo it on sarcasm and/or monotone hipster irony” = Janeane Garafalo.

  3. The Man Who Was . . . July 6, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Oops, Chris Rock clip here:

  4. The Man Who Was . . . July 6, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Christopher Hitchen’s famous essay on the topic:
    http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701

  5. AnonymousDog July 6, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    “Whoever thought George Carlin was funny?”

    Part of Carlin’s appeal 50 years ago was the fact that his brand of comedy was so different than, say, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, or George Burns. Carlin’s stand-up holds up better than that of Hope, et al, though the comedy those guys did in movies and TV sit-coms holds up at least as well as Carlin’s stand-up.

  6. Aunt Haley July 6, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    More grist for the mill: the New York Television Festival just announced the top 25 finalists for their original comedy script contest. Of the 31 writers credited (some scripts were written by teams), only three had identifiably female names.

  7. Vicomte July 6, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    The only funny female comics are/were Ellen Degeneres(gay) and Paula Poundstone(asexual).

    This is not coincidence. I have yet to see a single straight female comedian who I would describe as remotely humorous. Mostly they’re just embarrassingly bad. Let’s not even mention the non-professionals.

    That said, even most of the great male comics aren’t that funny anymore. They get famous, then seem to slide into this ‘I’m ME, you know I’m funny!’ laziness where people laugh just because they’ve gotten used to laughing. Carlin is a great example of this. I saw him live six years ago and came away incredibly disappointed.

    Louis CK is going that way, as well. At some point of success comedians think people just want to hear them talk. One can’t be funny by reputation.

    There’s actually very little quality comedy in this world.

  8. The Man Who Was . . . July 6, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    I watched Carlin’s USC special, supposedly a career highlight, from the early 70s and he was just as unfunny back then.

    Louis CK’s Shameless and Chewed Up are fantastic. Haven’t watched his later stuff. But. yes, comics can lose the hunger once they get successful.

    Also, a lot of black comic’s tend to get more PC as they get older as they don’t want to seem like they are helping white racists with their dead on depictions of black life. Eg. Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock’s Niggers vs. Black People routine.

    There are some pretty good heterosexual women comics. Samples from Sarah Silverman:

    “Once you get past 30 you really have to think about whether you want to have kids . . . because, as we all know, the best time to have a child is when you’re a black teenager.”

    “I got in trouble for saying the word “chink” on a talk show, a network talk show. It was in the context of a joke. Obviously. That’d be weird. That’d be a really bad career choice if it wasn’t. But, nevertheless, the president of an Asian-American watchdog group out here in Los Angeles, his name is Guy Aoki, and he was up in arms about it and he put my name in the papers calling me a racist, and it hurt. As a Jew—as a member of the Jewish community—I was really concerned that we were losing control of the media.”

    But they are the exception.

  9. Vicomte July 6, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Silverman falls into the usual female comic trap of thinking being offensive is funny because women ‘aren’t supposed to be offensive’. See Chelsea Handler et al.

    Most of the straight, (relatively) attractive female comics do this. Occasionally it works, but mostly it just feels try-hard and pathetic. Joan Rivers was doing it forty years ago, and it wasn’t particularly funny then.

    CK’s latest stuff has been pretty sad. He just seems angry and frustrated, but not in a funny way.

    Eddie Izzard was good when he was good. I’m not sure what bearing his being a transvestite has on the discussion at hand, as he is apparently a heterosexual male.

  10. The Man Who Was . . . July 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    1. I will throw this out there too. In some studies I`ve read (I`ll try and dig up some links later), religious people seem to have the same profile as women: they are as fully capable of appreciating humour as anyone else, but they are deficient in generating it. This fits with my observation.

    2. Interestingly, the best satirists (Aristophanes, Juvenal, Dryden, Pope, Swift, Waugh, Houellebecq) seem to be social conservatives, but they all have a rationalist streak and are not necessarily religious. The best comedy writers (Moliere, Byron, Wilde) however tend to be pretty liberal.

    3. Nobody seems to have mentioned her, but Jane Austen seems to have been a pretty normal heterosexual woman and she is very funny. Emily Dickinson can be very funny too, though she was a weirdo. Marianne Moore was a very good comic poet, but she was probably a lesbian.

  11. Anna July 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I have a movie for you: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.

  12. Vicomte July 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I saw it. Interesting flick.

    She did seem awfully upset about other people’s opinions of her, considering she’s more of an insult comic lately.

    Also opened my eyes to the demonically powerful properties of make up.

    Still, even in the snippets of her stand up and performance in the movie, none of it struck me as funny. Apparently she’s just another lackluster comedian who wanted to be an actor. I hate that.

  13. Cane Caldo July 7, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Here’s Hitchen’s rebuttal to the rebuttal of his column that TMWW linked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7izJggqCoA

    There are Dorothy Parkers out there, but they’re rare, and mostly bad for you. I suspect Jezebel was funny.

  14. A♠ July 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    I think you’ve made an excellent argument and I agree with your points.

    Plus, having done stand-up for years, I can tell you:

    1. Truly funny people are – almost without exception – miserable people. As Søren Kierkegaard wrote:

    “The more one suffers, the more, I believe, has one a sense for the comic. It is only by the deepest suffering that one acquires true authority in the use of the comic..”

    While I’m certainly not saying women never have bad experiences, men are far more on the receiving end of them than women – these days, especially.

    2. Women love attention – not scrutiny. There is a tremendous difference between the two. There’s no denying that performing comedy (on stage or among a group of friends) is placing oneself under the microscope.

    3. As the saying goes “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Women are rarely brief in their discussions. Women usually speak to convey the ups and downs of an emotional journey – not get to a destination. All too often, women are too long-winded, scatter-shot or simply unfocused to make a trenchant, biting and ultimately “funny” statement.

  15. andrewymoon July 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Hi Haley,
    Your observations/views are largely supported by an article in Scientific American Mind: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-humor-gap. Unfortunately, you can only see the preview; I read the article in the hard copy version when the issue came out. One of the interesting things they found was that, in an experiment they ran at a speed dating event, there was a correlation between how much a woman laughed during the conversation and how attractive they found each other. In other words, how much the woman laughed was not only a predictor of her interest in the man, but also the man’s interest in the woman. Also, there was no correlation the other way; it did not matter how much the man laughed.

  16. http://www.marriedmansexlife.com July 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    Humor is a very high IQ sort of thing to do and there are more men at both of the extreme ends of the IQ scale. Thus more funny men than women.

    I read somewhere along the way that the average IQ of a professional comedian was 140.

  17. samsonsjawbone July 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    @Thursday:

    I will throw this out there too. In some studies I`ve read (I`ll try and dig up some links later), religious people seem to have the same profile as women: they are as fully capable of appreciating humour as anyone else, but they are deficient in generating it. This fits with my observation.

    I’m quite interested to see your links, because the relationship between religiosity and humour is one that I was going to remark on myself. I would go you one further and say that religious people in general are bizarrely unable not only to generate, but also, often, to *appreciate* humour. Or at least certain types of humour.

    Ages before the manosphere existed, years before Roissy, before the Eternal Bachelor even, my first introduction to anything remotely resembling a red pill was a blog entry entitled Jeremy the Perfect Boyfriend. It concerns Christian women and their fantasies and is worth reading in full, but I have always especially loved this passage:

    Jeremy has no discernable sense of humor. This is because while all women theoretically desire a man with a sense of humor, many women dislike the active practice of joking around – they find it crass or rude. Jeremy is able to make his girlfriend laugh by referencing previous humorous incidents or by recounting scenes from funny movies, but he as a person is not funny, and in particular he would never use sarcasm.

    “Yes, that’s exactly how it is,” I thought when I first read that. This would’ve been when I was in college, when I was interested in dating, but was also a new Christian and noticed something odd: a lot of the Christians I was meeting in College and Career or wherever were… not like me. They seemed utterly devoid of any sense of humour and unable to laugh at any sort of joke that was remotely unusual or edgy.

    This pattern has remained constant, and with experience I can say that there is a distinct humour difference between Christians raised in Christian homes, and adult converts. Extremely frequently – and I don’t meant they are otherwise dislikeable – people raised as Christians come across as somehow “flat” or “missing” the humour gene, almost like they are alien clones. I don’t know why this is, although I’ve had extensive conversations about the phenomenon with my wife and we think it may have to do with the fact that Christians who are raised Christian develop a habit as youths of constantly monitoring themselves for anything resembling sin, which in practice means guarding against anything that could remotely be construed as “fun” in any racy or “across the line” kind of way.

  18. The Man Who Was . . . July 9, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Here are some links:

    http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2003.HumorAppreciation.pdf
    http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2004.MHRC.HumRel.pdf
    http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2004.SickHumor.pdf
    http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2002.Humor15.2.pdf
    http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/psyreli/documents/2001.MHRC.Hcreation.pdf

    It does look like there is also some impairment of ability to appreciate humour among the religious too, though this appears to be related to “fundamentalism.“ Some of this inability may be related to dislike of aggression and some to a higher aversion to disgust. I also suspect that religious people hold many more things to be sacred than less religious people and, of course, you just don`t make jokes about sacred things.

  19. Mark Slater July 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    “BUT! BUT! ELLEN!! And there used to be some lady named Carol Burnett! And Lucy Ricardo!”

    Corolla’s basic premise is true, women tend NOT to be funny in the same way as a man, and she often has to “bounce” off of a man to be perceived as funny. Carol Burnett was funny because she bounced off of Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, LaWanda Page was funny because she bounced off of Redd Foxx.

    Lucille Ball was funny in a feminine way; that is, her character was forever sticking her nose into trouble with hairbrained schemes and had to be bailed out by Ricky. Vicki Lawrence was funny when she played the older curmudgeon “Mama”.

    As far as raw stand up? When confronted with one of these on television I do what most people do and turn off the set.

  20. Mark Slater July 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    andrewymoon said: ” One of the interesting things they found was that, in an experiment they ran at a speed dating event, there was a correlation between how much a woman laughed during the conversation and how attractive they found each other. In other words, how much the woman laughed was not only a predictor of her interest in the man, but also the man’s interest in the woman. Also, there was no correlation the other way; it did not matter how much the man laughed.”

    Yep. Women like a man who can make them laugh, and men like a woman who can appreciate his humorous, clever insights. Once again, a man leads and a woman responds, even in the realm of yoks.

  21. Aunt Haley July 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    For plentiful Christian unfunniness all in one place, I recommend the blog “Stuff Christians Like.” It’s really, really, really unfunny for a blog that is supposed to satirize (white, middle to upper middle class) Christian culture. The guest bloggers there are equally unfunny as its host, and the comments…..oh boy.

    The reason Christians have a very difficult time being funny is that they care too much about heartfelt sincerity. They’re always too concerned that someone will think they don’t care, or that someone will take them the wrong way and accuse them of being mean and then hate Jesus forever. As a result, they can’t sustain the antagonistic tension that is necessary for comedy, especially satire, to work. So there’s always an undertone of apology in the comedy that just kills it.

  22. The Man Who Was . . . July 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Let’s face it most devoutly religious people tend to have very conventional personalities:

  23. Kathy Shaidle (@kshaidle) July 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Excellent!

    Agreed: Louis CK and Carlin = overrated. I especially dislike Louis CK’s increasingly earnest, virtuous-progressive, beta-male-dom.

    http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/12/31/george-carlin-wasnt-funny/

    Now, Nick DiPaolo and Adam Carolla? Two alpha types. And way more talented.

    Agreed, part two: As a woman, I can tell you that women aren’t funny because —

    They don’t have the guts to go balls out, and/but

    When they DO, it’s a cringe-inducing turnoff.

    http://takimag.com/article/hysteria_reconsidered_are_women_finally_funny#axzz20GYhSqwF

  24. The Man Who Was . . . July 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    From Jonah Lehrer’s book Imagine, talking about improv comedy:

    “The lesson of letting go is that we constrain our own creativity. We are so worried about playing the wrong note or saying the wrong thing that we end up with nothing at all, the silence of the seared imagination.”

    P. 104

    Conservatives and religious people are higher in the personality trait of conscientiousness. But people the part of the brain that makes people conscientious, in addition to inhibiting bad behaviour also inhibits creativity.

  25. Hermit July 11, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    You mentioned Kristen Wiig. I think the characters she plays are usually funny, but she’s not. She’s a great actress, but a poor comedian. I would hate to see her do standup or improv. Also, most of the female comics mentioned (Kathie griffin, Roseanne, Sarah Silverman,) are incredibly bitchy, grating or annoying. Attempting to ape the edginess of male comics, but not quite getting it right. Not that I dislike them, but I don’t put any of them very high up on the list.

    “Comedy just works against social expectations of women and feminity. Can anyone imagine a woman doing a Chris Rock-like stand-up?”
    Yeah, her name is Lisa lampanelli, and she is vulgar and unfunny.

  26. y81 July 11, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Harking back to what Married Man said above, I think it might be mostly a matter of greater diversity among men than among women, i.e., the 95th percentile is more standard deviations from the mean among men than among women. Because if you just examine your friends, or the people in your office, I’m not sure that you would say that the men are funnier than the women on the whole. But the funniest person in the group (i.e., we are now talking somewhere about the 90th percentile) is probably male, and professional comedians (99.9th percentile) are overwhelmingly male.

    All who read this blog know of at least one woman–a Christian at that–who is very funny. But, as the cited sources suggest, it doesn’t get her any dates.

  27. katmandutu July 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    I think that humour differs from country to country.

    In Australia, we tend to engage in a lot of self deprecating humour.
    We also like to (what is colloquially known as,) ‘ take the piss out of ‘ others as well as ourselves.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/take_the_piss

    I often find that kind of humour goes down like a lead balloon with many Americans. ;)

    Australian humour is much more similar to that of the British, I think.

    Here is an opinion of Australian comedy.. ( don’t know the author)

    “I sometimes find it too camp and crude but the part of it which most appeals to me is the ever present sense of irony, stoicism and dark moods underlying it – Australians like to joke about tragedies as a way of coping with them in a way that, for instance, the more sentimental Americans would find rather inappropriate”

    Different strokes for different folks. :D

  28. katmandutu July 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Here is joke about the difference between Aussies, Brits, Canadians and Americans.

    Americans: Seem to think that poverty and failure are morally suspect.

    Canadians: Seem to believe that wealth and success are morally suspect.

    Brits: Seem to believe that wealth, poverty, success, and failure are inherited.

    Aussies: Seem to think that none of this matters after several beers.. :D

  29. katmandutu July 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Sorry, just can’t resist sharing this one. It’s a cracker.

    In the beginning God created day and night. He created day for footy matches, going to the beach and barbies. He created night for going prawning, sleeping and barbies. God saw that it was good.
    Evening came and morning came and it was the second Day.

    On the Second Day God created water – for surfing, swimming and barbies on the beach. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came and it was the Third Day.

    On the Third Day God created the Earth to bring forth plants – to provide tobacco, malt and yeast for beer and wood for barbies. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came and it was the Fourth Day.

    On the Fourth Day God created animals and crustaceans for chops, sausages, steak and prawns for barbies. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came and it was the Fifth Day.

    On the Fifth day God created a bloke – to go to the footy, enjoy the beach, drink the beer and eat the meat and prawns at barbies. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came and it was the Sixth Day.

    On the Sixth Day God saw that this bloke was lonely and needed someone to go to the footy, surf, drink beer, eat and stand around the barbie with. So God created Mates, and God saw that they were good blokes. God saw that it was good. Evening came and morning came and it was the Seventh Day.

    On the Seventh Day God looked around at the twinkling barbie fires, heard the hiss of opening beer cans and the raucous laughter of all the Blokes, smelled the aroma of grilled chops and sizzling prawns and God saw that it was good. well almost good. God saw that the blokes were tired and needed a rest.

    So God created Sheilas – to clean the house, bear children, wash, cook and clean the barbie. God saw that it was not just good, it was better than that, it was bloody great!

    IT WAS AUSTRALIA !!

  30. Ronin July 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m moving down under.

  31. The Man Who Was . . . July 19, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Another comedian who isn’t funny is Bill Hicks. His earliest stuff which is more easy going and observational is OK, but the liberal rants towards the end of his career are just terrible. Basically, very few liberals can do satire, because satire requires pinpoint accuracy, and liberals tend not to have much grasp on reality. Hicks did however apparently coin, or at least popularize, the phrase “Chicks dig jerks.”

    I haven’t heard much Adam Carolla, but Nick DiPaolo is a boring, by-the-numbers Republican who is nothing more than the mirror image of Carlin and Hicks. It’s like he’s going through the latest talking points.

  32. Hermes July 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I was going to mention Bill Hicks, too. I had never heard of him until 2-3 years ago, when I encountered some comment online somewhere by a liberal, calling him a genius because of how he demolished religion or some such nonsense. I then looked up a Youtube clip of one of his routines. It was a straight-up cultural-leftist rant. He wasn’t even trying to tell any actual jokes. It was like watching someone just read off a left-wing newspaper op-ed piece verbatim. I thought, people pay money to get into a comedy club to see this?

  33. The Man Who Was . . . July 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Some more thoughts:

    Another not so great comedian is Sam Kinison, at least judging by his Breaking the Rules special. Punctuating everything with an admittedly powerful scream may have seemed edgy in 1986, but it is not enough to make your jokes funny.

    Andrew Dice Clay’s original 9 minute guest spot on a Rodney Dangerfield special is very funny, but in everything else he comes across as little more than a crude blowhard. A little Dice goes a long way.

    Daniel Tosh’s stand up specials Completely Serious and Happy Thoughts are really funny. They’re both more like a giant heap of jokes than the more unified kind of work you get with Richard Pryor or Chris Rock, but they’re still enjoyable.

  34. EricATX July 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Charlize Theron is funny as hell! (or heaven, if you prefer)

    Check it:

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