There have been a lot of, “Why Aren’t Women On Late-Night TV?” articles lately, so I’ll answer that question: Of course women are funny enough to be on late-night TV, don’t be ridiculous (say that out loud in Balki’s voice from "Perfect Strangers").
As of now, the only woman with a late-night talk show is Chelsea Handler. However, funny women dominate the daytime talk show world -- Ellen, Wendy Williams, the ladies of "The View," and the star of one of my all-time favorite shows “Living Single,” Queen Latifah. (I just made two references to 90s TV shows in two paragraphs, I’m sorry).
The Ellen show averages 4 million views per episode. The Tonight Show averages 3.5 million, and Letterman is 2.8 million per episode. Ellen is consistently hilarious and so talented. I went to a taping of her show last year with my friend Lizzy and we didn't stop laughing the whole time. She was so funny and charming. She even came into the audience and danced with everyone. Um, Letterman would NEVER do that!
What does late night TV have to do with how funny women are? Do you have any idea how many unfunny people watch late-night TV because they find comfort in repetition and are used to zoning out during Letterman’s Top Ten List? I have no idea officially, but I’m sure it’s a lot.
"The Big Bang Theory" has literally a billion people watching (OK, like 12 million or something). That show has such a basic sitcom feel and is designed to make the average viewer laugh. None of my comedian friends, or people I find funny, watch it.
I’ll spare you another “Are women funny?” post to proclaim that women are FUNNIER than men. Yeah, I said it.
I'm not saying I dislike late-night TV. I think Jimmy Fallon is incredibly talented and funny. I love "The Colbert Report," too. But if Tina Fey or Amy Poehler had talk shows, I'd watch religiously. (Tina and Amy should be all the evidence you need that women are hilarious.)
Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Jen Kirkman also all have best-selling books. Just saying.
Have you seen Broad City on Comedy Central? If not, you should. It’s my new favorite comedy about two girls in New York being hilarious and awesome. More favorites of mine are Kate Miccuci and Riki Lindhome. They call themselves “Garfunkel and Oats,” and sing funny songs. Kate was in my UCB improv class a few years ago and was by far the funniest one.
Kelly Oxford and Jenny Johnson are considered Twitter royalty for their humor. Also, Kelly is a NY Times best-selling author (I read her book, it’s fantastic). Shelby Fero is another super smart and hilarious tweeter, and she’s only 20. Oh, and of course xoJane writer Julieanne Smolinski has been making me laugh on Twitter since forever.
I could go on for days about women being hilarious. I’m way more drawn to female comedy because I’m a woman who supports anything and everything having to do with women succeeding and conquering the world. I cannot wait for the day we have a woman president. Decreased testosterone in the White House sounds good to me.
I used to find comedians who made fun of women funny. Not that I agreed with them, but jokes about their exes being crazy or doing things that men find ridiculous but women don't, were funny to me. I thought that if I laughed at men degrading women, then I would be funny because I "got" it. I would take pride in someone saying, "Melissa is just like one of the guys."
I have an ex-boyfriend who makes a living off of having a scumbag persona on his radio show. Most things he says I laugh at, but he also says horrible things about women that I now find offensive. Men don't have to degrade women to be funny, and I no longer have the need to feel like I "fit in" because I laughed at a smelly vagina joke.
Most humor comes from hardships, and women have had far more to deal with than men. The funniest comedians, to me, are the ones who can take horrible things and turn them into funny stories.
Morgan Murphy once told a story where a woman came up to her and asked to take her photo because she photographs androgynous-looking women. Morgan said, "Joke's on you, lady, I'm actually a man."
I find it amazing that on top of having to deal with sexism, women can still be strong and find humor in everything. The fact that women have overcome so much and are stronger and more successful than ever makes supporting them in comedy (amongst many other fields) feel gratifying.
I also really dislike when people say a woman is funny because “she thinks like a guy.” No, she thinks like a hilarious woman, idiot.
Men who don’t think women are funny are probably just intimidated by funny women. But why do men get to decide what's funny anyway? There are more of us, we can just make each other laugh if they don't like it.