Patt Morrison for July 9, 2010

The age old question: Are women funny?

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Frederick M. Brown & Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Is there really a boy's only club in the world of comedy?

What makes someone funny? Is it the look? The writing? The timing? And what makes someone not funny? Well, according to a common stereotype, two ‘X’ chromosomes. The thought of women not being funny isn’t anything new - it’s a stigma many female comics consider a handicap in a male dominated industry. Even after a pseudo womens' comedy renaissance, thanks to the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, Sarah Silverman, and Chelsea Handler among others, have women progressed at all in the world of punchlines? A recent article stating that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the essence of a “boy’s club” and “almost unbearable” for woman to work, let alone succeed in, has compounded the issue of women working with a clear disadvantage. Even though many female comedy writers came out in defense of Jon Stewart, who is the latest late-night comic to be accused of being sexist, it seems to be business as usual in the humor industry. We talk to some funny hunnys for their take on the issue (or non-issue).

Guest:

Aisha Tyler, comedian, writer, and actress. Her latest project, Committed - a short action film which she wrote, directs and stars in, was just released on the Fourth of July. It has a message of recycling and was done in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful and PepsiCo. She’s the voice of Agent Lana Kane in FX’s popular animated show Archer. People will remember her from Friends, 24, CSI, and Talk Soup.

Paula Poundstone, a regular on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me and the first woman to receive the Cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy. Paula’s new comedy CD is I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them In Maine. She is also author of There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say.


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