So not funny.

Stephen and I went a little back and forth today on facebook in a (very) brief discussion about stand up comedy.

I hate stand up comedy, especially women. I always have. And oddly, people do their best to try to convince me why it’s funny. But it never works.

Now, I am not going to say that all stand up comedy is horrible. I like many female comedians. But stand up is another thing. A fully formed and scripted comedy routine carries a form that is rather distasteful to me. Too many of the jokes by female stand up comedians rely on gender stereotyping of the feminine role for women. Which frustrates me since it tends to only enforce these roles instead of noting awareness of them.

Though I do like Kathy Griffin. ‘Cuz she got to kiss both Elliot AND Olivia on SVU.


8 thoughts on “So not funny.

  1. Ashley Yang says:

    Kathy Griffin is fantabulous. Mostly because she is completely and utterly pwnd by her teeny tiny wizened Catholic mother who can instill guilt like no other. And she suggested Kathy didn’t use enough tongue on Olivia which is why the scene got cut.

    Although I don’t appreciate how, inevitably, whenever I call my mother mid-nervous-breakdown and she gives me one-syllable answers, it’s because she’s busy watching Kathy Griffin and distracted.

    That being said, I also hate stand-up comedy. It seems too stiff. Anyone can write a witty script–it takes real talent, and bullshit skills, to flow with the moment, and come up with wit off the tip of your tongue.

  2. Cory Andrews says:

    Does satirizing these stereotypical gender roles challenge them, or reinforce them? That’s the first thing that I thought about reading this, and I’m not sure which it is. In another class I’m taking this semester, we just watched a skit from the Dave Chappelle show where he played a blind white supremacist. The point was to illustrate that because he was blind, his peers had decided to “make it easier on him” by not telling him he was black, and from there on he had no reason not to believe stereotypes and prejudices he heard from others about black people. I thought it was clever commentary, but then again I knew what the point was before I watched it. I think audience is important here. Obviously the other students in my Multiculturalism class and I are the type of audience that would pick up on the challenges Dave Chappelle was presenting; but what about people who watch in a non-academic setting? If I recall, I think that’s why Dave Chappelle ended his show — he wasn’t sure if people were laughing because they really “got it” or laughed because they thought the stereotypes he was presenting were funny. While I think most of the female comediennes I’ve seen are challenging gender roles with their material (making jokes as a way of saying “this is just plain stupid”), maybe not everyone sees it that way. Something to think about..

  3. Brooke N says:

    I love comedy and laugh at most everything and anything but I can agree that stand-up is usually not that funny. I have a couple comedians that I love… I find the puppet stand up act of Jeff Dunham hilarious. And there is one female comedian, Lynn Koplitz, who I absolutely adore, her act is sooo funny. I can agree that many female comedians rely on gender stereotyping of the feminine role for women. Which in turn I guess you could argue why it’s funny but none rise any awareness as mentioned in this post.

    I think in Lynn Koplitz’s routine does a good job not stereotyping the feminine role of women. There is times where she stereotypes with issues with weight and such but for the most part I think she dismisses a lot of what guys tend to think. Here is a link to a segment of one of her routines…—lollipop …. (if you have time I suggest watching all of the links on the side cause she is great) but I thought this particulair segment did a good job dismissing the idea that men have on women concerning eating food like ice cream and bananas…

    I think her routine revolves around roles of women but I think she does a good job with it and also plays with both gender roles… I could be bias t hough because I enjoy her routine so maybe she isn’t doing these things….

  4. Alex Cragg says:

    I love stand up comedy and I always watch it on comedy central. I don’t know why but I particularly love offensive comedy. The more offensive the better. (Stephen Lynch, anyone?)
    The stereotypes concerning race and gender already exist, comedians are just playing off of it. I don’t think comedians are reinforcing stereotypes, I think they’re making light at them. When I watch stand up, I see comedians as saying “Look at how ridiculous these stigmas are” not telling people “This is how it should be”. I don’t think comedy should be taken seriously because it comedy. You’re supposed to laugh what comedians say, not adopt their comedic views as your new system of beliefs.

  5. Brittany Betts says:

    I pretty much laugh at anything so I’m not a tough critic on comedy; not to say there aren’t comics with terrible, unfunny jokes out there. My personal favorite is Daniel Tosh. I don’t think I’ve laughed harder at any other show than his (Tosh.0 is on Tuesdays at 10 on comedy central if you’re interested). He’s extremely inappropriate, sexist and racist, but thats the best part; he rips on everyone, and looks so innocent while doing it. I know some people find him very offensive, but honestly how many comics aren’t offensive? His show mostly consists of him commenting on popular, funny you tube videos. Pretty harmless. He’s also had a few standup specials, and I know people with funny shows usually aren’t that funny on standup but he was awesome. Still not as funny as his show, but close. Although my friends and I think he’s hilarious (yeah I know, a bunch of college kids-real mature sense of humor), my parents and friends’ parents even admit how funny he is. Parents and their kids agreeing on comedy, now that’s saying something.

  6. Tom M says:

    This blog post made my night. This was not that hard, I have eaten three bowls of Rice Krispies in the last three hours, but it is nonetheless an accomplishment. I cannot STAND stand up comedy (pun completely intended). I remember being forced to watch every new “hilarious” comedian on Comedy Central every-time I went to my buds house as kid and I wanted to pull my teeth out. The new comedic god was never funny. Instead of rolling around the ground with laughter, I ended up sitting eating Doritos watching some guy talk about his dead dog Charlie who would hump ANYTHING that moved! LOL! At the end of the night I left feeling like all there was to comedy was telling some crude jokes, walking around a stage, and drinking a bottle of water. I do not hate on anyone for loving stand up comedy, but I find far greater enjoyment from scripted comedic shows. I don’t think the problem is necessarily female stand up comedians, as it is this genre of comedy as a whole.
    I have my reasons for believing this and I will share my thoughts. As a lover of comedy, I feel stand up comedy leaves something to the imagination. There exists a kind of disconnect between me and whatever story is being told. It is as though someone’s recapping a crazy party I missed because I had stomach cramps from eating to many Doritos at Rj’s house. I find the humor in what is being told, but I’m still kind of pissed off I was not there. In contrast, I find scripted shows far more engaging, in that they allow me to feel involved in the comedic performance. I think for me, it is about the visual connection far more than the audio connection that resonates with my funny bone. (I guess I lack a creative imagination). In my opinion, the best comedic viewing is Parks and Recreation on NBC and Modern Family on ABC. What I love most about these shows, and I do not feel alone in this observation, is that the shows are written fantastically. They, in contrast with stand up comedy, provide a visual context for the jokes and develop a story line that interconnects multiple different characters and situations. Stand up comedy to me is strictly limited to quick fire jokes that are either hit or miss. I think the over quality of stand up comedy is far inferior to a scripted show that maintains a comedic storyline while using creative writing to produce an enjoyable storyline for the audience.

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