Saturday, February 8, 2014

On Comedic Racial Imbalance

Michelle Dean accuses a couple of white guys of implying that the reason there are so few women or "people of color" in the field of comedy is that they're just not as funny.

Oddly, her article fails to offer a list of hilarious women or "people of color" comedians to contradict the assertion.

Sorry, Michelle, it's not prejudice, it's statistics.

There's more white guys, so more of them are going to do stand-up. And if 90% of comedians are white guys, then there's only a 10% chance that even 1 not-white comedian will be in the top 10% of comedians that get most of the exposure, recognition, and good gigs.

Here's a better question: what's up with black guys and sports? Especially football. There's basically no white receivers, no black offensive linemen, and I don't think I've ever seen a black kicker.

And don't even get me started on the lack of white basketball players.

I call racism.


  1. Greg Morton is hilarious:

    Thea Vidale is hilarious.

    Alex House is not only hilarious, but gorgeous: (And fairly unknown, unfortunately.)

    The Untamed Shrews are hilarious (and filthy):

    I've seen hundreds of comedians. The key to their success is the ability to connect the jokes to something the audience is familiar with. A lot of black comedians think they have to be aim for an "urban" audience to be "authentic." But really, mostly they're just limiting their audience. Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby. They all speak of "black" experience, but they are skilled enough to allow everyone to see through their eyes and experience it for themselves.

    The biggest problem with most women n comedy is that they want to tell stories, rather than jokes. Sometimes the stories are funny, sometimes they're mildly amusing, sometimes they're interesting. A lot of times they hit the Del Griffith Trifecta and achieve none of those.

    The best female comedians manage to make men see the world through their eyes and find it funny. Roseanne Barr could do this before she got famous and stupid. Brett Butler did it well. Ellen DeGeneres was a master (mistress?) of gentle humor before it all became about Coming Out. Don't believe that? Watch this:

  2. And, what's up with synchronized swimming?!?!