Who you calling unfunny? Vanity
Fair took its sweet time, but after more than a year of letting the
anvil of an essay “Why Women Aren’t
down the discourse, the magazine finally issued its own rebuttal with
its April cover story, “Who Says Women Aren’t
Funny?” And to
prove that point, it assembled some of the most sparkling female wits
for a photoshoot with famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Yes, Amy Poehler
appears to be grabbing Tina Fey’s
boob. You really can’t argue with comedy genius like that. Answering the call to funny alongside them were Sandra Bernhard,
Susie Essman, Jenna Fischer, Chelsea Handler, Leslie
Mann, Maya Rudolph, Amy Sedaris, Sarah Silverman,
Wanda Sykes and Kristen Wiig. I’m going to need a moment
to soak in all this concentrated hilarious. Seriously, my sides are
starting to hurt from phantom laughter just looking at them.
In response to (resisting the
urge to use a profane adjective) columnist Christopher Hitchens’ decidedly
unfunny article about why women are the unfunnier sex, New York Times
TV critic Alessandra Stanley has penned a footnote-worthy essay that
touches on everything from English novelist George Meredith to Virginia
Woolf to tribes in Papua New Guinea. To which I say, sure,
but where do the rubber chickens fit in?
The article also explores the
phenomena of whether pretty can be funny and how today “the funniest
women on television are youthful, good-looking, and even, in a few cases,
close to beautiful.” Close to? Sheesh, Tina Fey and her sexy librarian
glasses make me want to take her into the stacks for naughty study sessions.
But I digress. Of course the
women have their own self-deprecating takes on whether they’re
lookers. As Tina said, “If I am one of them, it’s just under the
wire.” Amy Poehler, her former Weekend Update co-anchor, concurred:
“For funny ladies,
we’re attractive. But when you open us up to real, professional attractive
people — I do not want to run with those horses.”
Snicker. God, I love funny
women. And I love funny women when they’re trying to make other funny
women laugh, like in this behind-the-scenes video from the photoshoot.
Oh, Amy Sedaris, who hasn’t used the old “tubes tied” excuse?
The funny ladies were posed
as today’s tawdriest paparazzi princesses. To wit, we have Sarah as
Amy Winehouse, Jenna as Lindsay Lohan, Wanda as Naomi
Campbell and Chelsea as Britney Spears. I have no idea who
Sandra is supposed to be or, kind of, why she is there at all. Don’t
get me wrong, I love her. But she’s not exactly au courant. And while
I’m a fan of pretty much all the women, I do wish they’d been more
diverse with their selections. Like, uh, where is Margaret Cho?
And they didn’t pick any of the lesbian comedy titans? Or, for that
matter, Kathy Griffin?
Still, while those are legitimate
quibbles, I think the queens of comedy have forever put to rest the
inane idea that women aren’t funny. Sneering, self-important, misogynistic,
middle-aged white males? Well, that’s another story.