According to highly scientific polls, 15 percent of women think staring is cheating, 45 percent have tried the “fingernail” diet, and 99 percent rate a sense of humor as the sexiest trait a man can have (the remaining 1 percent picked “sparkle”). When such pop statisticians ask men the same question, they usually respond “boobs.” Judging from this inequality of opinion, one could conclude that women are selfless flowers who find self-awareness attractive and that men are shallow. This is not entirely untrue. That women prize a guy who can laugh at himself and all the unpredictable absurdities that life throws at you is great news to bros with bellies who can belch the melody to “Paparazzi.” I like to think of this as an evolutionary gift; otherwise, the females of the species would have been left having to choose equally matched mates by their ability to fling poop.
Men are funny. We’re the class clowns, wisenheimers, and court jesters. Hyenas cackle for a reason: it’s a form of pack communication. Socially, men are pack animals and a high value is placed on the dawg who can maintain pack cohesion with humor. I’ve worked in the stand-up comedy world, and man, is it thick with dudes. The scene is very “Frat House of Misfit Toys.” Like most covens of socially awkward testosterone, they fear and are in desperate need of feminine attentions.
The women who manage to elbow their way into that bro club deserve all the attention they get (or, frankly, any attention at all). A lot of female comics get stuck in one of two male-oriented comedic stereotypes: the brassy potty mouth or the psycho dating trainwreck. Both of these archetypes are very amusing to men, and both are strangely sexless. It goes without saying that there are plenty of funny stand-ups, and even more unfunny ones. Men are culturally associated with funny the way women are associated with beauty. Male models are almost always assumed to be gay, and one day, I hope to blow that misconception wide open. (Poor choice of words? Doesn’t matter: I’m straight and gorgeous.) In the meantime, there is a surplus of female comedians right now, a near golden age that is the entertainment industry’s saving grace.
More Not-Necessarily-Female Hysteria! Don’t miss the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, featuring headliners Ellen DeGeneres, Cedric The Entertainer and Andy Richter, plus Lady Antebellum and a special guest appearance by Jerry Seinfeld.
A funny woman is a rare and wonderful creature, like Pegasus or a luck dragon. I’ve been watching a lot of BBC America lately, because I’ve become obsessed with “Dr. Who.” (I want to invent an American Time Lord and call him “Captain What.”) That channel has been playing reruns of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” probably because our cousins need to imagine that the U.S. will one day evolve into a benevolent socialist military dictatorship populated by Shakespearean actors, gay androids, and Kunte Kinte. Just follow me, here, because a funny woman would indulge my inability to communicate in anything but science-fiction metaphors (it could be worse; I could try to explain my feelings with baseball statistics). A funny woman is like the shimmering red dilithium crystals that power starships. They are powerful, precious, and pretty.
Sometimes I feel the entirety of existence is just one long — very, very long — set-up to a punchline that will probably involve lots of explosions and nuclear fire and a big cosmic crunch that ends with a juicy fart. And in the meantime, my daily travails are just a reality show for Mother Nature’s express amusement. She worked hard birthing this planet; she deserves to kick back and have some laughs. Our various bodily functions are a never-ending source of hilarity. Take sex, for example. It’s nothing but lots of bouncing, squishy noises, and faces blowing smokeless smoke rings. Have you ever seen a picture of two monkeys grinning and doing it in the dirt? Monkey ass? Hilarious, and I’m sure that’s what it looks like from Mother Nature’s vantage point. An orgasm is just laughter on a serious mission.
“Funny” isn’t “sarcasm.” Sarcasm has increasingly become an insufficient coping mechanism. It’s not “snark,” which is just an obnoxious pose, the vocabulary of the embittered privileged. It’s what passes for wit at the Algonquin kiddies’ table. A sense of humor, on a molecular level, is a hunger for truth, that then turns into the ability to reconcile life’s myriad and maddening contradictions. Comedy is laughing at pain without suffering the hurt. The focus is on the banana peel, not the bruise. Pain is one of life’s few guarantees. It’s the universe’s way of saying, “Yer not dead yet, ha, ha, ha.” Humor is flipping a glowing middle finger to all the darkness that threatens to swallow us all.
Not only do I love funny women, I’m in love with one. She makes her living telling funny jokes, but she saves her best material for two in the morning. Like a windshield wiper, she cleans my soul of the day’s grim. She makes me laugh. Gives me perspective. Our bed is a playground of giggles. Plus, she has great hooters.
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