There's a scene in the excellent FX show, "Louie," where Louis CK is backstage with Joan Rivers, talking shop after her set. Joan Rivers, that ancient goddess, tells Louis how hard she worked to be a headliner, and casually asks him if he knows how many men she had to blow to get there.
He's hesistant, but eventually she goads him into guessing ("Uh... Forty?") at which point she begins savagely beating him, insisting that she never blew anybody to get where she is. Because Joan knows what I know: Blowjobs don't get you on TV.This is was one of the first things I thought of when I read That Interview with Whitney Cummings in the New York Times, in which she was asked if it was true that she'd used sex to get "Whitney" and "2 Broke Girls."
First, that's not an appropriate question to ask, ever. Also, I just want to remind people that "Showgirls" is only a really wonderful, moving film and that sex is not really currency in showbiz. I feel like I just have to reiterate this. You know, for women who read the New York Times and might think, "Hey, I'm sick of being a physical therapist. I should just blow somebody and get a sitcom." Or for men, who may read it and suddenly have conflicted feelings about Bea Arthur. I know! It's confusing. For a long time, I thought being able to give great head was like belonging to the Harvard Club, or being Mr. Howell's niece. But now that we outnumber men in colleges and we're outearning them at work and in "Bridesmaids," there's no advantage in being able to do that thing with the under-balls that everybody seems to like so much. It just doesn't happen. If you sleep with a powerful guy, what exactly do you have on him? Sodomy is legal now. If you can't even get a guy to return the favor when you go down on him, how the hell do you think you're going to pull down a slot opposite "Pan Am?"
As far as blackmail goes, I've never heard of a girl actually getting jobs or jewelry to be quiet about sex. You know, outside of songs in old musicals. (How many of us had to figure that out on our own? Thanks for nothing, "Guys and Dolls.")So, OK. Let's say you don't blow anybody, and you're just a pretty woman. Is being a pretty woman helpful in getting jobs in general? I don't know. I like to think of myself as a "homely plus." (I got pulled over for speeding this past week, and the trooper gave me a warning, which I assumed was because I was in the South and "The Help" is out and it's a time for celebrating the accomplishments of headstrong white ladies.)
Do attractive women have a competitive edge in show business? Well, hm. I think the number of unfunny, unattractive men with their own half-hour comedies is still much greater than that of pretty ladies with theirs. (I'm still upset that "Suddenly Susan" got cancelled. I would blow a thousand guys if we could get Judd Nelson back on TV.)So, all of you girls, trying to be the next Mary Richards: Don't just start hanging out in front of 30 Rockfeller Center in your car wash shorts, hoping to catch the eye of a horny development executive. I don't think any of them can actually get an erection without focus-grouping it first, anyhow. Don't waste your oral game. Save it for when you need street drugs, or you want your boyfriend to drive you to Taco Bell and you're feeling lazy. That totally works.