Last night, Showtime aired the documentary Why We Laugh: Funny Women, a follow-up to its 2009 doc Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy. Dozens of female comedians were interviewed for it, including titans like Joan Rivers, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Aisha Tyler and Kathy Griffin, who riffed on what it's like to be a woman in what is still considered (by many of them even) to be a "masculine" job in a male-dominated field.
The most satisfying section (condensed slightly above) was when these women answered the claim made by Adam Carolla, Jerry Lewis and Christopher Hitchens that women simply aren't funny. Many of them disproved their naysayers on the spot, of course.
My favorite response came from Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion writer Robin Schiff: "One of the reasons I think women aren't funny is because we're so busy thinking about when we can give our next blowjob, it's like our brains are so crowded up with that, we don't have time to think of funny things to say."
Update: For the sake of clarification, Adam Carolla didn't say that women aren't funny, as claimed in the clip above. He said they are less funny than men. Here is the excerpt from a 2012 New York Post interview:
Post: The lesson you learned from a sexual harassment seminar was "Don't hire chicks." Do you hate working with women?
Carolla: No. But they make you hire a certain number of chicks, and they're always the least funny on the writing staff. The reason why you know more funny dudes than funny chicks is that dudes are funnier than chicks. If my daughter has a mediocre sense of humor, I'm just gonna tell her, "Be a staff writer for a sitcom. Because they'll have to hire you, they can't really fire you, and you don't have to produce that much. It'll be awesome."
Post: The "are women funny" debate has grown very contentious. You're not worried about reactions to this?
Carolla: I don't care. When you're picking a basketball team, you'll take the brother over the guy with the yarmulke. Why? Because you're playing the odds. When it comes to comedy, of course there's Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin - super-funny chicks. But if you're playing the odds? No.
If Joy Behar or Sherri Shepherd was a dude, they'd be off TV. They're not funny enough for dudes. What if Roseanne Barr was a dude? Think we'd know who she was? Honestly.
Still a dick, though.