October 18, 2007, - 12:51 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
I can’t think of a single female comedian. Yes, there are plenty of women who call themselves “comediennes” or comedians or stand-up comics. But none of them are funny. Not a single one.
Rosie O’Donnell. Not funny. Fun to laugh at her, but, still, not funny. Ellen Degeneres. Gay and man-like, but not funny. Crying on national TV about giving up a dog in violation of a contract with a dog shelter. Definitely not funny. Loud, obnoxious New York Yenta Joy Behar on ABC’s “The View.” Sorry, no laughs. Just sad. Whoopie Goldberg? Even the stupid fake name ain’t funny. Name any well-known female comedienne. Not funny, not funny, not funny.
The only one who even comes close, in my mind, is Julia Louis-Dreyfus. And that was only as Elaine on “Seinfeld.” And that was because her lines were written by . . . men. And on that show, she was basically one of the guys–their female alter ego. On “Saturday Night Live,” she was never funny, and on her new show on CBS, she’s not funny. Joan Rivers sometimes comes close to being funny. Or used to. But that’s about it.
That said, it’s not really a shocker that even the effeminate, girlie-manish Brits say that men are funny/witty, women not so. So says a survey by British Comedy TV Channel “Dave”, in which the top-10 list is exclusively male. The only woman that came close as a top wit was #12, Margaret Thatcher. Oscar Wilde was #1. One of my faves, Winston Churchill came in 5th and the article recounts one of his best lines:
Accused by a female MP of being drunk, the wartime premier is said to have replied: “Madam, you are ugly. But in the morning I will be sober.”
I also like the one, where he’s told by a woman at a party that if she were his wife she’d poison his drink. He responds, “If I were your husband, I would drink it.”
Here’s the one they cite from Thatcher–good, but not even close:
Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
That’s not funny, so much as witty.
British feminists are up in arms, including writer Emily Dugan of The Independent who names her female top ten, none of whom are funny, and many of whom are dead. Jane Austen? HUH?! She’s not funny. A good writer, but she’s depressing. Or was. Virginia Woolf–funny? Hello . . .? Some Muslim chick named Shazia Mirza? These days, if you’re Muslim and call yourself a comedian, every PC-freak in the nation pretends you’re funny. But you’re not.
Bottom line: Women “comedian/ennes/whatever”–not funny. Just the way it is.
Who do you think is funny in America (living or dead)?
Tags: ABC, America, Brits, CBS, comedian, Debbie Schlussel, Ellen DeGeneres, Emily Dugan, good writer, Jane Austen, Joan Rivers, Joy Behar, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Comes, Louis-Dreyfus Comes Close, Margaret Thatcher, MP, Oscar, Oscar Wilde, Rosie O'Donnell, Saturday Night Live, Shazia Mirza, The View, Virginia Woolf, wartime premier, Winston Churchill, writer