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4.14.2015

Women in Comedy

Watched Bonnie McFarlane's documentary "Women Aren't Funny".  (You've seen it, right?)  And I know that I shouldn't say this, but one of the most memorable bits was the guy at the end riffing on Christopher Hitchen's.  The scenes where Bonnie stands in a meadow without any pants (or underpants) and her husband and toddler looking on really grated on me.  Couldn't see any point to her nakedness other than to make a cheap joke; 'isn't it hilarious that I'm partially naked' and it didn't help promote her premise that women in fact, are funny.  Since any woman can take her pants off.  But not anyone can write a good joke.  And even in a cheap kind of a way, it wasn't funny.

Probably the best scene
was McFarlane recouping after she bombed during a stand-up routine disguised as a man.  She's in such a dark place as her husband comforts her, and we got to see her vulnerability and ultra-sensitivity,  and made me appreciate how difficult it is for comics to expose themselves on the stage, and to constantly be receiving either positive or negative feedback from the audience.  I liked that part.  And I kind of wonder what makes them press on through the dark & failed experiences.

So, yeah.  Bamford.  She's got her Special Special Special on Netflix.  And I watched this as well the other day.  It was good, and funny.  Maria is awesome in that her material is so original.  I can't think of any other comic who uses mental illness as comic material, at least in the way she does.  Although, of course, it can get dark.  Making jokes about suicide isn't always very funny.

I couldn't help but realize that S. S. S. is essentially the exact same show that she did when she came to Portland 1.5 years ago.  She's a comic who's definitely reading from a scrips.

Which a lot of them do, I know.  It's just how it's done.  But it made me appreciate someone like Kathy Griffin a little bit more, who (it appears from watching My Life on the D List, anyway) essentially ad-libs her entire stand-up routine.  She prepares for her show by making a list of topics, and then does the entire show from there.

Ah, well.  Woman and comedy.  Anyone who thinks that woman aren't funny is living under a rock.

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