According to Adam Carolla, he wouldn’t place a bet on women being funny. I am going to quote from the following interview from the NYPost.
The lesson you learned from a sexual harassment seminar was “Don’t hire chicks.” Do you hate working with women?
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.”
The “are women funny” debate has grown very contentious. You’re not worried about reactions to this?
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.
Well he managed to not only be misogynistic but racist in just a few statements. He also implies that it is easier for a woman to get a job writing for a sitcom, or that women somehow have it easier in comedy based on their gender. My head spins on that particular premise. What Carolla misses is that we don’t all share the same sense of humor. Comedy is subjective, and for many female comedians their audience is not guys like Adam Carolla.
Carolla is just expressing his opinion and he has every right to do so, but he made a huge mistake in singling out Roseanne Barr. Love her or hate her comedy, Rosanne Barr had a hit TV show Roseanne that ran for nine seasons on network television and attracted millions of viewers. At its peak it was the #1 show on American television. She has been one of the most successful comedians in American history, not just one of the most successful female comedians. The only other equally successful sitcoms created by and featuring a comedian would be Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond both also ran for nine seasons on network television and were widely popular.
Other successful women in television include.
Lucille Ball – She revolutionized the television. Her show “I Love Lucy” is so popular that it is still in syndication all over the world and is considered a cultural icon by many.
Tracey Ullman – She has had several popular and award-winning shows both in the US and the UK.
Jennifer Saunders – Creator of the highly successful British series Absolutely Fabulous another female based comedy. Absolutely Fabulous is still broadcast all over the world.
Ellen DeGeneres – Creator and host of a hit syndicated talk show since 2008. Also had a popular sitcom “Ellen” that ran for four seasons on network television.
Women also go to movies, the most recent phenomena being “Bridesmaids” a film made up of mostly female comedians and comic actresses grossed $288 million. Some other female based comedies(I made a mistake earlier and only included domestic grosses for these fims, the new numbers reflect total worldwide grosses) My source was boxofficemojo.com
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding – $368 million
- Sex in the City – $368 million
- Runaway Bride – $309 million
- My Best Friend’s Wedding – $299 million
- Miss Congeniality – $212 million
- Nine to Five – $103 million (1980)
- Mean Girls – $129 million
Adam Carolla has had a very successful career and according to the Guinness Book of World records the most downloaded podcast in history. Carolla’s best known work would be “The Man Show” a popular television show on basic cable. I would agree that it might not make much sense to have a female writer for a show like “The Man Show” designed and made for a primarily male audience. “The Man Show” although popular on Comedy Central would never survive on network television its content too controversial and its audience too specific.
And as far as Carolla’s claims that women have it easier in comedy, the LA Times blog reports on a recent study done by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, in which they took a look at the top 100 grossing films last year and found that women only accounted for 33% of all characters on-screen, while women currently make up 51% of the world’s population. Another study shows that although minorities buy plenty of movie tickets, they are also underrepresented on screen.
Yet despite this, Mr. Carolla somehow thinks women have it easier in the entertainment industry and are given jobs out of some sort of “politically correct” atmosphere, when the opposite is actually true. But when women can find and connect with their core audience, they can surpass their male counterparts. We all find different things funny, I didn’t laugh once when watching “The Man Show” but then again I wasn’t its intended audience. Some of the most successful comedians have been women, yet this stereotype is perpetuated. I don’t know how many more Lucille Ball types will have to exceed their male contemporaries until this debate finally ends. Had Carolla bet against someone like Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball or Tracey Ullman he surely would have regretted his pick. All I know is that I would rather watch “I Love Lucy” over “The Man Show” any day.