Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.”
Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.
So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!
There is a certain dumb thesis that keeps rearing its cretinous head, even though there’ve never been more funny women working in the entertainment industry. While it’s hard to take the argument even remotely seriously (Tina Fey is funnier than the five funniest men on this planet put together), its persistence does demand a rebuke of sorts, which comedian Bonnie McFarlane provides in debut documentary “Women Aren’t Funny.”
McFarlane treats the titular insult with the respect it deserves: none at all. She strikes a playfully annoyed tone throughout, and never for a second doubts the worth of her fellow female comedians. Instead she devotes herself to finding the source of the bias and examines the effect of institutional sexism in the entertainment industry. She interviews Opie and Anthony, Artie Lange and the late Patrice O’Neal, who are all too willing to argue how funny women aren’t. (It should be pointed out that O&A make their living being contrary jerks, and O’Neal was known for leveling crowds with shocking opinions he didn’t take seriously; it’s hard to tell to what extent they feel women aren’t funny and to what extent they are goading a colleague. To be fair, O’Neal concedes that Margaret Cho is “one funny b*tch.”)