Our favorite Friend Matthew Perry made a brilliant assessment about women in comedy at the 2012 Comedy Awards this week. There has been so much attention on women in comedy this year. We have done our fair share of coverage of this issue but I hope the point that we have made is that women have always been funny but people just didn’t seem to notice. As Matthew said, “This wasn’t the year women finally became funny, this was the year men finally pulled their heads out of their asses.”
The release of the film Bridemaids last spring sparked a trend of “What? Women can be funny too?” There were pros and cons with this. The pros were Bridesmaids made a ton of money ($288 million worldwide) “despite” the fact that it had six women on its poster which was considered a bad advertising move. Doors were opened for female screenwriters and television writers. We had a slew of female-driven television vehicles (New Girl, Girls, Suburgatory) and we are going to see a bunch more movies in the Bridesmaids genre (Lola Versus, Bachelorette, That’s What She Said, For A Good Time Call.) “For 10 years, people were really afraid that there wasn’t an audience for an R-rated female-centric comedy,” says Bachelorette writer/director Leslye Headland. “(Bridesmaids) proved that there was. I think it will get hundreds of movies made.”
Studios started asking “Where’s our Bridesmaids?!” The negative side was that this happened at all. Kristin Wiig is hilarious but she is hardly the first woman to make people laugh. Did we forget about Lucille Balle, Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain, Roseanne Barr, Brett Butler, etc.,? Basically it just took society (or “men” as Matthew Perry calls them) a really long time to pull their heads out of their asses and see that women are funny. So Matthew is right. This isn’t the year women became funny. It’s just the year people finally noticed.
You can watch the clip here.