Aging asshole and increasingly irrelevant journalist Christopher Hitchens famously posited in the January ’07 issue of Vanity Fair that women just aren’t funny because, instead, they are pretty and so they don’t need to be funny and so that’s why no women are funny.
His game here is that he even has Nora Ephron and Fran Lebowitz–two menswear enthusiastic, witty ladies who know their way around a deadpan remark–to back his bullshit up. Well Mr. Hitchens, all I can think to say is that if I am ever unfortunate enough to suffer a profoundly unpleasant bout of digestive turbulence, rest assured that your doorstep will be my very first stop. Suck a dick, dude.
There are lots of woman actors and comedians who do get respect these days; Tina Fey, for one, has made it okay to be the nerdy funny girl, Chelsea Handler’s wise-ass remarks and wry delivery make her unique among female talk show hosts and even Sarah Silverman (who, in my opinion, has worn out her welcome and kinda needs to find a new shtick) have changed the way that women are viewed as conduits of hilarity. Sometimes though, a lady is awesome and hilarious but doesn’t really get the love that she deserves. Without further ado here are 5 severely under appreciated women in comedy .
Yes, she was a giggling flower child on Laugh-In, but Goldie actually has some pretty serious comic timing, as displayed in movies like Private Benjamin and one of my all-time favorites, Overboard, where she stars opposite live-in lovahhh Kurt Russell. If you haven’t already seen it, do yourself a favor and rent the greatest movie in the history of the world.
Yes, she’s getting some attention now for Glee, but you know what? I haven’t seen that show and I don’t intend to. I had intended to for a while and then I read Sadie Stein’s piece on Jezebel about it and deduced that I would probably feel the exact same way. [Ed Note: since then, I have also read Emily Nussbaum's defense of the show and as a lover of Popular and Ugly Betty, I think I might see her point of view, too! Okay, now I actually have to watch the show.] From the very first time I saw her in Best In Show, Jane Lynch’s hypersexual weird old lady captured my corazon. Recently I watched the entire STARZ series Party Down which is hilarious, and uses Lynch in the absolute best way; she steals the show. If you haven’t checked it out, do it now, if you want to be cool.
Where do I begin? Elaine Benes was the very first television female who was actually a fully formed individual. Larry David, god that he is, allowed Elaine to be much more than just the straight female counterpart to some wacky guy she married (see Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, Mad About You, virtually every domestic TV show ever created). Elaine was as every bit as obnoxious, demanding, smart, whiny, horny, manipulative and brilliant as her male costars. Her gender wasn’t ignored, but neither was it pandered to; she hated The English Patient, didn’t want to have a baby, and a chance sighting of JFK Jr. caused her to forfeit her contestantcy in a masturbation contest. My kinda layy-dayyy. She was popular sure, but never quite got the heaps of adulation she so richly deserved for making that role so brilliantly unforgettable. I don’t watch her new show but my mom says it’s good. But she also thinks CSI: Miami is A Really Good Show, so who knows.
Can someone please write this woman a decent role? I mean someone other than the writers of Arrested Development, because they already did. The other day I was flipping through cable and came upon celluloid waste 27 Dresses and was saddened to see Judy Greer playing Katherine Heigl’s less-attractive sidekick in a movie whose script doesn’t deserve to line the floor of her parrot’s birdcage, if indeed she has a parrot. Judy Greer as Kitty was absolutely fucking marvelous and it breaks my heart to see her cast, once again, as the quirky friend to the beige expanse that is Jennifer Aniston in this latest and most half-assedly named rom-com nightmare, Love Happens. Sigh. This is the woman who changed the way we looked at flashing our bosses. Here’s hoping 2010 does you right, Judy.
So….as it turns out, I couldn’t decide on a 5th. I was thinking about Alia Shawkat and Portia di Rossi also from Arrested Development, whom Anna wrote about, but I didn’t want to get too heavy into that series. I also considered Jane Krakowski from 30 Rock, but…eh…it just didn’t feel right. So who should it be? Megan Fox? Just kidding!
I can’t solve this mystery, can you?