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The 'women aren't funny' myth

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  • So what IS the reason for such a huge disparity of ticket sales between male and female comedians if its not down to men being funnier than women?

    Probably sexism. That's usually the answer.




  • So what IS the reason for such a huge disparity of ticket sales between male and female comedians if its not down to men being funnier than women?

    If we're using pure numbers as a way of deciding what is and isn't funny, then Brendan O'Carroll is one of the funniest comedy writers working today. Peter Kay can sell out a 20,000-seat arena faster than almost any other stand-up, only to fill the hour-and-a-bit with the very same jokes that he was telling in the last century. Jimmy Carr can fill Vicar Street and spend 90 minutes delivering jokes that were written by other people.

    I don't really understand why some people feel the need to argue so vociferously that men are funnier than women - especially when 'funny' is a concept that differs wildly from person to person.




  • If we're using pure numbers as a way of deciding what is and isn't funny, then Brendan O'Carroll is one of the funniest comedy writers working today. Peter Kay can sell out a 20,000-seat arena faster than almost any other stand-up, only to fill the hour-and-a-bit with the very same jokes that he was telling in the last century. Jimmy Carr can fill Vicar Street and spend 90 minutes delivering jokes that were written by other people.

    I don't really understand why some people feel the need to argue so vociferously that men are funnier than women - especially when 'funny' is a concept that differs wildly from person to person.

    It's probably because there are a lot of people who seem to believe that women are as funny as men....without a shred of any kind of evidence....when all metrics would suggest different...without quotas, we wouldn't be subjected to the banal woke comedy currently being shoved down our throat!!!

    (I do apologise...The hannah gadsby set has clearly gotten to me...I can't take any more of that nonsense...someone has to make a stand before Amy Huberman gets a similar special in the 3 Arena!!!)




  • If we're using pure numbers as a way of deciding what is and isn't funny, then Brendan O'Carroll is one of the funniest comedy writers working today. Peter Kay can sell out a 20,000-seat arena faster than almost any other stand-up, only to fill the hour-and-a-bit with the very same jokes that he was telling in the last century. Jimmy Carr can fill Vicar Street and spend 90 minutes delivering jokes that were written by other people.

    I don't really understand why some people feel the need to argue so vociferously that men are funnier than women - especially when 'funny' is a concept that differs wildly from person to person.
    I'm not saying one gender is funnier than the other but I am curious, why do male comedians sell (way) more tickets than female comedians? What is the actual reason for the huge disparity?




  • I'm not saying one gender is funnier than the other but I am curious, why do male comedians sell (way) more tickets than female comedians? What is the actual reason for the huge disparity?

    Mrs Brown's Boys is commercially (way) more successful than Father Ted. Such disparities exist for lots of reasons.


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  • Mrs Brown's Boys is commercially (way) more successful than Father Ted. Such disparities exist for lots of reasons.


    Both of those shows are written, directed, produced and starred in by men so its not an analogous situation to male comedians v female comedians. I am not saying men are funnier than women, I'm trying to find out why male comedians are far more popular than female comedians




  • Both of those shows are written, directed, produced and starred in by men so its not an analogous situation to male comedians v female comedians. I am not saying men are funnier than women, I'm trying to find out why male comedians are far more popular than female comedians

    And I'm explaining to you that popularity is not necessarily the result of superiority. There have always been far more male comedians than female ones. Therefore, it's statistically more likely that the most commercially successful ones will be male.




  • And I'm explaining to you that popularity is not necessarily the result of superiority. There have always been far more male comedians than female ones. Therefore, it's statistically more likely that the most commercially successful ones will be male.

    For a very good reason...they are more successful.

    There are way more men who attempt to succeed in comedy also, but they just don't connect with the audience and flame out...it's the same across a lot of the creative industries.




  • For a very good reason...they are more successful.

    There are lots of reasons why comedy was traditionally a male-dominated area.




  • There are lots of reasons why comedy was traditionally a male-dominated area.

    The reasons are now even more obvious!


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  • And I'm explaining to you that popularity is not necessarily the result of superiority. There have always been far more male comedians than female ones. Therefore, it's statistically more likely that the most commercially successful ones will be male.

    You're dissembling. No one has made a claim that popularity=superiority. They've claimed that higher success rates for men in a specific field might indicate a that men, as a group, have a disposition that makes them more successful in that field.

    Of course you can make a counter argument of "but.. but it's all because of the patriarchy" and leave it at that I guess. At least that would be more honest than all the non-sequiturs.




  • We all know (or should know) that comedy is subjective so you can’t say women aren’t funny or that one sex is funnier. Maybe in your SUBJECTIVE opinion that is the case but that doesn’t make it fact.

    As for stand up, I like plenty of male and female comedians. Most of them aren’t very well known though. With female comedians I often find people go into it closed minded, expect them to fail so they are way more critical than if it was a male comedian. Any time a joke doesn’t land they point it out as proof women aren’t funny but wouldn’t do the same for a male comedian.

    A good example of a funny female comedian that everyone seems to hate is Sarah Millican. I watched one of her specials from a few years ago recently and yeah it was full of dirty jokes (which I’m not that into) but man she can deliver a joke. She performed for a massive audience and every single joke landed. The show was 1 1/2 hours long and she told long form jokes, quick one liners and did audience interaction. She also speaks very fast. That is a lot of material know and deliver perfectly. So you can say you don’t find her style of comedy funny but you can’t say she is not funny when she can fill a room and every one of her jokes land. Personally I though it was hilarious even though I don’t find “dirty jokes” that funny.

    Most of the podcasts I listen to are by women and some of my favourite tv comedies are written by women. SNL is famously unfunny but some of their best sketches in the last few years were the ones written by the female cast. I will agree there are more funny male comedians that are famous than female comedians but that is more of a reflection of the industry rather than whether women are funny. It I have heard a lot of funny female stand ups but none of them are well known. It seems only a certain type of female comedy can make it big.

    I know this is a bit long winded but my point is women are funny. Just because you don’t find them funny doesn’t make it so. If you tell me you never find any women ever funny then in my opinion you have some issues to resolve. When it comes to female comedy go into it with an open mind rather than the conclusion that women aren’t funny. Otherwise you will never find them funny (and maybe you don’t want to find them funny…but again issues to resolve)




  • We all know (or should know) that comedy is subjective so you can’t say women aren’t funny or that one sex is funnier. Maybe in your SUBJECTIVE opinion that is the case but that doesn’t make it fact.

    As for stand up, I like plenty of male and female comedians. Most of them aren’t very well known though. With female comedians I often find people go into it closed minded, expect them to fail so they are way more critical than if it was a male comedian. Any time a joke doesn’t land they point it out as proof women aren’t funny but wouldn’t do the same for a male comedian.

    A good example of a funny female comedian that everyone seems to hate is Sarah Millican. I watched one of her specials from a few years ago recently and yeah it was full of dirty jokes (which I’m not that into) but man she can deliver a joke. She performed for a massive audience and every single joke landed. The show was 1 1/2 hours long and she told long form jokes, quick one liners and did audience interaction. She also speaks very fast. That is a lot of material know and deliver perfectly. So you can say you don’t find her style of comedy funny but you can’t say she is not funny when she can fill a room and every one of her jokes land. Personally I though it was hilarious even though I don’t find “dirty jokes” that funny.

    Most of the podcasts I listen to are by women and some of my favourite tv comedies are written by women. SNL is famously unfunny but some of their best sketches in the last few years were the ones written by the female cast. I will agree there are more funny male comedians that are famous than female comedians but that is more of a reflection of the industry rather than whether women are funny. It I have heard a lot of funny female stand ups but none of them are well known. It seems only a certain type of female comedy can make it big.

    I know this is a bit long winded but my point is women are funny. Just because you don’t find them funny doesn’t make it so. If you tell me you never find any women ever funny then in my opinion you have some issues to resolve. When it comes to female comedy go into it with an open mind rather than the conclusion that women aren’t funny. Otherwise you will never find them funny (and maybe you don’t want to find them funny…but again issues to resolve)

    Ahhh...so it is all the men (with closed minds) who are the problem, and therefore have issues to resolve....how does that explain all the women who go to comedy clubs and don't find women (in general) funny....maybe it is the repeated version of vulgar anecdotes that seems to be the only place from which female comedians extract humour...it is not the audiences fault you can't make them laugh...




  • Ahhh...so it is all the men (with closed minds) who are the problem, and therefore have issues to resolve....how does that explain all the women who go to comedy clubs and don't find women (in general) funny....maybe it is the repeated version of vulgar anecdotes that seems to be the only place from which female comedians extract humour...it is not the audiences fault you can't make them laugh...

    If you read back over my post you will find no where did I say all men I said people. It applies to both men and women. And yes there are women who say they don't find women funny. I would also say to them before listening don't go in with expectation that women aren't funny or you won't find it funny.

    I am man, I find women funny. I know plenty of men who do. I stand by the fact that (whether you are a man or a women) if you do not find any women funny at all then you have issues to resolve.

    I have been to plenty of female stand ups that had the room laughing. Both men and women. So by your reasoning women are funny. There are also plenty of female comedians that don't specialise in "vulgar" humour. Like I said thats not really my thing.




  • If you read back over my post you will find no where did I say all men I said people. It applies to both men and women. And yes there are women who say they don't find women funny. I would also say to them before listening don't go in with expectation that women aren't funny or you won't find it funny.

    I am man, I find women funny. I know plenty of men who do. I stand by the fact that (whether you are a man or a women) if you do not find any women funny at all then you have issues to resolve.

    I have been to plenty of female stand ups that had the room laughing. Both men and women. So by your reasoning women are funny. There are also plenty of female comedians that don't specialise in "vulgar" humour. Like I said thats not really my thing.

    I have no issues to resolve, who are you to tell me that I do!!!...on a night out in a comedy club I have the utmost respect for anyone who tries their hand at stand up comedy, it is very difficult...I'd love to be able to say that I saw some young man or woman at a comedy club that had me in stitches...it's one of the reasons I go...I've seen many more men bomb than I have seen female comedians bomb...but the best I've seen, and by the audience reaction around me, I am not on my own...have predominantly been male! What I see at grassroots level is mirrored at the highest level of the professional game.

    What you are seeing is not reflected at the highest level of the professional game.

    Please note, I have not insisted that you must have issues to resolve because you find women as funny as men...please extend the same courtesy to me!




  • I have no issues to resolve, who are you to tell me that I do!!!...on a night out in a comedy club I have the utmost respect for anyone who tries their hand at stand up comedy, it is very difficult...I'd love to be able to say that I saw some young man or woman at a comedy club that had me in stitches...it's one of the reasons I go...I've seen many more men bomb than I have seen female comedians bomb...but the best I've seen, and by the audience reaction around me, I am not on my own...have predominantly been male! What I see at grassroots level is mirrored at the highest level of the professional game.

    What you are seeing is not reflected at the highest level of the professional game.

    Please note, I have not insisted that you must have issues to resolve because you find women as funny as men...please extend the same courtesy to me!

    I didnt tell you you have issues to resolve. I didn't even address you in my original post. Relax. But if someone goes through their entire life and can honestly say they have never found a single woman funny...then yeah they must have issues.

    There is also a difference between saying women aren't funny and the best comedians you have seen have been predominately male. That is recognition that some women are at least a little but funny or at the very least the others around you have found them funny. It's also not my experience that at grassroots level the class of comedians are a mirrored at the highest level of the professional game.

    Anyway all this is besides the point. Really it doesnt matter what you think. As others have pointed out. Comedy is subjective. Just because you might not enjoy female comedians doesnt mean women don't make good comedians. I find a lot of women funny as do many others. Sarah Millican can sell out a stadium and make the room laugh. She can deliver a solid set and her jokes land every time for her audience. Whether you like her or not she is a funny female comedian.

    Also it's not true that I find men and women equally funny. Based on my friends, the podcasts I listen to, stand up I listen to and shows I watch I find women funnier than men. Doesn't mean men aren't funny. It's just what I subjectively find funnier.




  • I didnt tell you you have issues to resolve. I didn't even address you in my original post. Relax. But if someone goes through their entire life and can honestly say they have never found a single woman funny...then yeah they must have issues.

    There is also a difference between saying women aren't funny and the best comedians you have seen have been predominately male. That is recognition that some women are at least a little but funny or at the very least the others around you have found them funny. It's also not my experience that at grassroots level the class of comedians are a mirrored at the highest level of the professional game.

    Anyway all this is besides the point. Really it doesnt matter what you think. As others have pointed out. Comedy is subjective. Just because you might not enjoy female comedians doesnt mean women don't make good comedians. I find a lot of women funny as do many others. Sarah Millican can sell out a stadium and make the room laugh. She can deliver a solid set and her jokes land every time for her audience. Whether you like her or not she is a funny female comedian.

    Also it's not true that I find men and women equally funny. Based on my friends, the podcasts I listen to, stand up I listen to and shows I watch I find women funnier than men. Doesn't mean men aren't funny. It's just what I subjectively find funnier.

    Were you a fan of Al Porter by any chance?




  • In my personal life I have never met a funny woman




  • Were you a fan of Al Porter by any chance?

    no




  • no

    But you think women are funnier than men, how bizarre...it's not something you hear too often...I can't work it out!


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  • But you think women are funnier than men, how bizarre...it's not something you hear too often...I can't work it out!

    Not sure I understand the connection between the two? How are those two things in anyway related?

    As for whether its something you hear often or not.... I'm not overly concerned with that or what other people think. If I went by popular opinion then I probably would have like Al Porter as well as Michael McIntyre or Peter Kay. All very popular comedians (or at least at one time very popular)I find a bit dull.




  • I used to think women made bad comedians, until I saw Wanda Sykes in Caroline's in New York. I was drinking my tears. The whole place was in bits. She was on fire. Don't think that anymore.




  • ColdTurkey wrote: »
    I used to think women made bad comedians, until I saw Wanda Sykes in Caroline's in New York. I was drinking my tears. The whole place was in bits. She was on fire. Don't think that anymore.

    Reminds me of a bit from the Heartbreak Kid:

    Eddie Cantrow : [about Lila] She doesn't have a great sense of humor.

    Doc : Are you out of your mind? Funny's a male gene, you idiot. Haven't you ever noticed whenever you see a really funny girl, she's a little mannish? Think about it. Lily Tomlin, Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O'Donnell...

    Mac : Oh, I got a thing for Ellen DeGeneres though. I do, I have to admit it. I think she's great, I think she's hot. Great ass. Check it out.




  • Has anyone ever been subjected to a gig by Kate Smurthwaite?




  • Surprised it hasn’t come up before in this thread but

    David Letterman’s interview with Tina Fey (My Next Guest on Netflix) is worth watching for a genuine discussion on this. Tina Fey is probably the best placed person to talk about the subject.

    There’s some decent insight there.




  • I found this comedian:

    Enissa Amani , when I was watching - Comedians of the world on netflix

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ36DZAYPtg

    She is a bit unusual a former model who is Iranian born and her native language is German.

    The bit I posted above is only to give an example of who she is in English.
    On the Netflix special "Comedians of the world" for her half hour she spoke in German with English subtitles.
    I thought it was very good, I had given up hope after listening to some of the other comedians.

    There is a whole set of standup recently added to Netflix as well "Enissa Amani: Ehrenwort" in German with German subtitles

    Unfortunately I do not know much German at all, so I feel like I am missing out on her work.




  • JJayoo wrote: »
    In my personal life I have never met a funny woman

    Really?

    That's weird man.




  • This woman is funny - Shappi Khorsandi her name is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgTZ0VY0dYk

    (strangely she another Iranian origin comedian)
    As for the women aren't funny myth:
    I think it is because there are less women comedians then men?
    Also a lot of women comedians fall into the trap of just discussing 'women issues'/ women's 'body image' which men do not relate to.
    It just ends up sounding whiny and there are very little generalised stories that everyone can relate to.




  • I'm not the biggest lover of stand-up comedians in general, regardless of gender. Definitely some women are funny. I like Wanda Sykes, Jo Brand and Caroline Ahearne. I can't think of many others off the top of my head right now, other than Paula Poundstone. I watched this one night a few months ago and thought it was very entertaining.



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  • Oh you think jo brand is funny?

    I’m out.


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