Saturday, December 16, 2006

Why ________ Aren't Funny

So, of course everyone’s all pissed off about the Christopher Hitchens article in Vanity Fair this month. It’s called “Why Women Aren’t Funny,” and it’s basically about, um, why women aren’t funny. But here’s the thing: Explaining how and why someone (or some group of ones) isn’t funny is also not, in itself, funny and therefore difficult to credit. It’s kind of like being told you’re out of shape by Orson Welles. Also, I suspect that you could probably take the word “women” out of the title of the article and substitute it with practically any other group of people in the entire world and come up with a similar thesis. Let’s try it out!

Why the British Aren’t Funny

Be your national identity what it may, you will certainly have heard at some point about the legendary wit of the British. “They’re so off-color!” your friends may say after having watched The Life of Brian, stoned, for the forty-third time since eighth grade. “The British are sardonic and wacky!”

But I want you to shine the flashlight of truth deep down into the guts of your soul and try to remember the last time you really, actually thought something a British person said was funny. You can’t, can you? The Ab Fabs--Patsy and Edina--are all plastic-surgery jokes and fake cocaine. One can’t help but equate Hugh Laurie’s tired, desiccated one-liners on House with the fact that his head-skin seems to be shrinking onto his skull, mummy-like, with each passing episode.

And does any American who’s ever read P.G. Wodehouse actually think he’s funny? Or are we just afraid of looking like we didn’t get the joke?

Even the original British TV show The Office has been outdone by the American version. What could be funnier than watching Dwight Schrute drive Michael’s car into a telephone pole, stagger out, and concussively vomit on the back windshield? Sorry, Ricky Gervais, the answer is: Nothing.

Admit it. The last time you sincerely laughed at something British was the first time you saw The Holy Grail, or possibly People magazine’s unveiling of Elton John’s latest hairpiece. Even Princess Di jokes don’t make anyone laugh; not because we feel bad about her untimely and tragic death, but just because there has always been something so inherently unlaughable about every single member of Britain’s aristocracy and/or ruling party. Unlike our beloved bumblers in the White House, the Royals and members of Parliament are just not funny. Dick Cheney shot some guy in the face, for crying out loud!

I would almost allow for Sacha Baron Cohen, except for the fact that there is nothing even remotely amusing about hearing his signature Borat or Ali G lines recited incessantly by annoying coworkers and frat boys in cube farms and Irish pubs across America.

Here are some more examples to illustrate my point:

Tony Blair: Not funny.

Soccer hooligans: Not funny.

Jack the Ripper: Not funny.

Earl Grey tea: Not funny.

Colonialism: Not funny.

Hedgehogs: Okay, kind of funny.

Oliver Cromwell: Not funny.

Boddington’s Ale: Not funny.

The Sex Pistols: Not funny.

Stonehenge: Not funny.

Roses: Not funny.

Big Ben: Not funny.

Christopher Hitchens: Not funny.

See what I mean?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, like Hitchens, find that women who laugh at my jokes are funny or drunk and in either event are more likely to sleep with me, which means they have a very keen sense of humor.

I would modify the Hitchens Theory of the Sexes with my own Corollary: Lately, women seem to be getting less and less funny as I get older and more married. In fact, I suspect that, sometime around 2005, coinciding with my own wedding date, women completely lost all capacities for mirth and joy.

My suspicion is confirmed by science. Since 2005, Marmaduke, which has for years been known to be underwritten by the National Organization of Women and the Hilary Rodham Clinton Legal Defense Fund, has gotten consistenly less and less funny. See

Further, there is empircal proof. The number of women who have laughed in my presence and have subsequently offered to sleep with me has plummeted to zero in the past 12 months. With the exception, of course, of my incredibly funny wife, on a handful of occasions.

Just the other day, I was at an office happy hour and I told the classic joke about "tequila" that, back in the day, was part of a compendium of lines and witticisms that qualified as "panty-droppers." This joke was met, unbelievably, with stunned silence:

A blonde walks into a bar, and tells the barkeep that she just broke up with her boyfriend, and wants to get hammered. She orders drink after drink, and caps the night off with several shots of tequila. She passes out at the bar and then, the local guys proceed to take her out back, and one after another, take turns gang-raping her in the bathroom.

The next week, she returns to the same bar, and announces again that she wants to get hammered. However, instead of ordering the variety of cocktails, she goes straight for the tequila. Again, she drinks to the point of unconsciousness and passes out, whereupon the local guys at the bar take her our back and commence to take turns gang-raping her, one after another.

The following week, she returns to the bar, and again announces that she is still in a drinking mood. The Barkeep, winking at his buddies at the bar, asks her if she wants her usual selection of tequila shots. The blonde demurs and says, "No, I think beer this time. Tequila makes my pussy hurt."

Surely, the conclusion is inescapable: women are becoming decreasingly receptive to humor and increasingly litigious.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Screwsan said...


10:06 PM  
Blogger Dolph said...

Male version:

Female version:

I no longer have Screwsan's email address. I missed her over the holidays. She's much more funny than I.

11:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home