It’s an age-old question that’s plagued the masses for centuries: can men be funny? Like, really actually funny? Ellie Kemper, The Office star and just one of the many fabulous funny (ginger!) women that control the female-dominated comedy world, mused prophetically about the subject for GQ this month. And, well, it’s fabulous. Fans of satire will appreciate her deft ability to look at the oft-posed question (“are women funny?”) by flipping the quandary onto men in order to highlight its absurdity. Here are our 5 favorite moments.
1.) “Why do they even try? my 7-year-old self would wonder as I watched Alan Alda flounder helplessly through yet another failed rerun of M*A*S*H. Why is every single Korean-lady extra so much funnier than he is?“
2.) “From Madeleine Albright to Kate Upton to Sinead O’Connor, so sue me, women just make me laugh. And I’m not talking about the kind of sweet, sexy laughter that I use when I am trying to butt someone in line; I am talking about the loud, snorting, disgusting laughter that essentially explodes out of me when I have fully and completely given myself over to yet another zinger flung by Barbara Piasecka Johnson.”
3.) “Please don’t think that I am arguing that all men are humorless. There are some extremely acceptable male comedians out there: Joel Osteen, Abraham Lincoln, the man who played Phil Spector in HBO’s Phil Spector. … Has any one of those men ever uttered anything even close to the zings that fly swiftly, sharply, and uproariously from [comic strip star] Cathy’s chocolate-loving mouth? Game over.”
4.) “Guys, do you want to know a secret? You don’t have to be funny in order to attract us. Believe us, between your scalps and your calves, you’ve already got us. Your narrow, decrescendoing hips, and your soft, very hairy thighs leave us breathless. The truth is, there is no evolutionary cause for you to have to be funny. And precisely because your ancestors, and your ancestors’ grandparents, and your ancestors’ grandparents’ grandparents, and so on and so on, had no procreative need to cultivate a sense of humor and performance, you literally do not have it in your DNA.”
5.) “We women, with our sumptuous breasts and our shapely hips, have to be funny in order literally to survive. Our curves render us useless for just about anything except cracking wise and quip-firing. Sometimes our breasts are so big that we actually can’t move; we have no choice but to sit very still in one place and come up with joke after joke. Sometimes—though rare—our hips are so wide, that we physically cannot fit through the exit door of the comedy club that our office co-workers dragged us to after happy hour. So the only option available to us is to stay inside the comedy club, absorbing comedy act after comedy act, and in so doing, completing the full transformation from comedy student to comedy master.”
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