Can Attractive Women Be Funny?

25 Oct

While Nikki Finke, Editor in Chief of Deadline Hollywood, was watching the Emmys’, she wrote:

“Beautiful actresses are not funny. They don’t know how to do comedy…Only women who grew up ugly and stayed ugly, or through plastic surgery became beautiful, can pull off sitcoms or standups. Bowen isn’t a comedienne just like Brooke Shields wasn’t and a zillion more. Because it’s all about emotional pain and humiliation and rising above both by making people laugh with you instead of at you. So stop casting beautiful actresses when you should be giving ugly women a chance.”

It reminded me of an article I read in Vanity Fair by the late Christopher Hitchens. He explained that attractive women don’t need to be funny to get attention from men, that women in general aren’t childish (crude) enough to be funny and that the rare female comedians who are funny are normally “hefty or dykey or jewish” (oh my).

There are other opinions out there suggesting women in general aren’t funny.

So, can attractive women be funny? Can women in general be funny people?

Nope. You’re right, Nikki Finke and ghost of Christopher Hitchens (who quoted the 1911 poem “The Female of the Species” by Rudyard Kipling, which says women deal with the seriousness of motherhood and have no time for jest). I guess we can all agree because we all have the same views on what it means to be “beautiful” and/or “funny,” despite the variety of both female characteristics and types of humor that exist.

I really just can’t think of any funny, pretty women on TV and my lovely lady friends/the beautiful female bloggers are certainly all dull.

And yikes, Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Tina Fey never get me to even crack a smile:

Photo by Annie Leibowitz, Vanity Fair

Anyway, I’m off to make some sort of stew and have a baby or something. If readers have any examples of funny, attractive women, please share.

No? You don’t? Didn’t think so.

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82 Responses to “Can Attractive Women Be Funny?”

  1. Cat Forsley October 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    This is brilliant ……..

    Like

  2. sweetmother October 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    and black men can’t read…and gay men can’t play sports…and gay women all look like boys…and asians can’t drive…and the irish are always drunk…and the polish are stupid… etc, etc. i don’t know why this “argument/ debate/ nonsense” still continues. it’s ridiculous, really. and if you don’t know a funny woman (whoever you are out there) then chances are, it’s YOU who aren’t funny. nice piece tho. xoxox, sm (a funny lez, but a kind of cute one too. i guess on the days i’m cuter, i’m less funny. sigh.)

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      Exactly. And hey, stop being so cute so I will love your blog even more. ;-)

      Like

  3. mikeakin1 October 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Duh!!! You are so funny, and duh…attractive too. So there you have the answer!! :)

    Like

  4. Kathy V. October 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Have you ever seen the show “Coupling”? The British version, not the horrific and unfunny American remake that lasted three episodes. The women on there are hi-LAR-ious and gorgeous. Seriously, in addition to all the funny ladies you talked about, I can think of tons of women who are funny and beautiful. Maybe comedy does come out of pain, but why should women only be subject to pain based on their looks? Lots of beautiful women have experienced lots of pain, because of all sorts of things — maybe even because they’re always judged based on their looks. And you know what? I thought Brooke Shields was actually pretty funny. And Julie Bowen is unfunny? Has this guy even seen Modern Family? What a fucktard.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      I really want to hang out with you.

      Like

  5. dee dee October 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Because all three women that were on Friends certainly weren’t attractive. And, that show wasn’t funny at all….They never made names for themselves and haven’t gone on to do other funny movies and whatnot.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      Ugh I know, terrible show.

      Like

  6. Love and Lunchmeat October 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Ack! Typecasting, much? Reese Witherspoon, Christina Applegate, Courtney Cox… And a lot of folks in Hollywood are Jewish, so I don’t even know where to go with that. Yikes. It is 2012, right?

    I do think people with rocky pasts gravitate toward dark humor as a survival mechanism. So I guess that part is right.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      I agree, and I think humor is good for a rocky past. Christina Applegate is a hoot. Good one!

      Like

  7. gingerfightback October 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Joan Rivers

    Like

  8. Trip X October 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Sandra Bullock

    Like

  9. calahan October 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Lucille Ball was super hot on I Love Lucy. What about Marilyn Monroe or Judy Holliday?

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

      Ooooh yeah, guess we forgot about those broads.

      Like

  10. stuffitellmysister October 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Julia Roberts….a fav or mine…

    Like

  11. Anonymous October 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Along with you, more cool examples: the women from Parks and Recreation and from Bridesmaids, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Schaal, Janeane Garofalo, Garfunkel and Oates, Lizzy Caplan, , Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Maria Bamford (and there’s probably a lot more that I’m forgetting at the moment)

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      See, I knew no one would have examples for this. (I love Zooey and Elizabeth Banks and Garfunkel and Oates–forgot about those two gals…all good choices!).

      Like

      • zfthrimej October 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

        Emma Stone and Jane Lynch too. (your blog post was very unusually nice enough to make me forget to log in so i impusifyingly posted as Anonymous. correcting that now though as zf)

        Like

        • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

          I adore Emma Stone! (no worries, it happens to me all the time).

          Like

  12. aparnauteur October 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I agree with Christopher hitchens inasfar as that attractive women need not be funny. But, that cannot be extrapolated to mean that they actually aren’t. We need to weed out these stone-age perceptions to call ourselves a progressive society.
    Nicely done!

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Agreed! And thank you. I was pleased to see you updated your blog. :-)

      Like

  13. Le Clown October 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    La La,
    Stereotypes. Sad ones, too.
    Sarah Silverman. Thank you.
    Even better: The Ringmistress. Thank you.
    Le Clown

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Those Sarahs are fine, funny gals indeed.

      Like

    • saradraws October 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

      I heart you forever with my boobs and other lady bits….LIKE MY BRAIN.

      Like

      • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

        Minus an “h” for this Sara, of course. And brains? We have those?

        Like

  14. Madame Weebles October 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Nikki Finke sounds like a bitter, twisted moron. And I never took my views on life from Christopher Hitchens, because I think he was an idiot.

    So in addition to all the attractive women you named who aren’t funny, I would also add Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy—two old-school Hollywood actresses who were SO not funny. Nope.

    I’m funny, but I have boils all over my face, a hump on my back, and a beard. So I guess that’s okay.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin October 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

      Hmm, I can help you with those boils, but as for the hump and the beard, you’re on your own.

      Like

      • Madame Weebles October 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

        You’re a kind soul, Carrie. But you’re pretty, so it’s too bad you aren’t funny.

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin October 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

          I guess I have JC Penney’s portrait studio to thank for that illusion…

          Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

      See, I sensed that you have a lady beard and boils, but I didn’t want to ask. That explains why you are so funny!

      Like

  15. Carrie Rubin October 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Isn’t that a crazy stereotype? Sophia Vergara makes me laugh out loud every week, and I doubt anyone would say that woman isn’t gorgeous. And what about Christina Applegate? Talk about great comedic timing.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      She’s a total babe, and hilarious, too!

      Like

  16. Maggie O'C October 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Great post and observation. I think beautiful funny women are the best. I’m not a big Julie Bowen fan but that doesn’t mean she isn’t funny. I thought Brooke Shields was really funny in Suddenly Susan and I was bummed when that went off the air. I’m going to go way back here but Carole Lombard was hilarious in My Man Godfrey. Justine Bateman in Family Ties. Kirstie Alley. Portia de Rossi, maybe she can be funny b/c she is gay for that hideously ugly and not funny woman Ellen Degeneres, who just got the Mark Twain Award for American humor, probably b/c she is so ugly she has to wear a bag over her head.
    Gahhhh! For pete’s sake.
    Well done LaLa!

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Thank you. Ellen won an award? I wonder if they know she’s a woman. Maybe not, because women aren’t funny.

      Like

      • Maggie O'C October 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

        Ellen won a huge award but she does have really short hair.

        Like

  17. saradraws October 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Y’see, men are SUPPOSED to be sexy and funny. Us ladies, we can only handle one major responsibility at a time. Which is why I haven’t blinked since I started typing this. No multi-tasking, thanks. So being pretty OR funny OR a mom OR a secretary….but not two at the same time. And if you were to try and combine three or four, I’m certain that there would be a rift in the space time continuum and we’d all be ruled by evil sponge lords. SO really, no responsible woman would try to do more than one thing.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      Hahaha, I would like to take this comment home with me and hug it a lot and make it my multitasking boyfriend.

      Like

    • Love and Lunchmeat October 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Yes. One major responsibility at a time. I for one, don’t even drink beverages with my food anymore. It’s just too much burden.

      Like

  18. Doggy's Style October 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Lisa Lampanelli, wait, she’s not cute.
    Carrot Top, wait, that’s a guy.
    Sarah Silverman is funny and she’s cute.
    Women are damn funny, regardless the looks.
    I gotta leave the office but I’ll complete the comment later on.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Yay! And boo Carrot Top!

      Like

  19. isawbobdylaninaspeedo October 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    omg…don’t even get me started…don’t get me started. This is often up for debate..if pretty chicks are funny. Funny is funny y’all…and if the tits are real, its just a plus. LOVE THE PIC OF SNL BEST OF THE BEST. (It is now my screen saver.) You are awesome. Now go make your baby stew…

    Like

  20. becca3416 October 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    I stopped going to the gym and wearing make-up so people would think my blog is funnier. You should try it. You are not at an equal ugly to funny ratio.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

      You mean I don’t have to work out….interesting….you should come over and we can eat stuff.

      Like

      • becca3416 October 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

        You’re on. We are going to be the Medusa queens of comedy.

        Like

  21. Bob October 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I actually prefer a good female comic. There is something about a raunchy intelligent sexy woman that brings it all together for me.

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Raunchy or not, ladies can be funny it seems :-)

      Like

  22. Christopher De Voss October 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Freshly pressed! Freshly pressed! Come on chant with me!

    Like

  23. Storkhunter October 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Someone’s already mentioned her, but I think she deserves another mention – Christian Applegate. Funny and cute. Nikki Finke – don’t know who she is, don’t care – she sounds like a jealous bitch.
    But, you know, it’s great to take the pressure off. Tomorrow I’m ditching the diet, am going to wear only sweats from now on and avoid any kind of personal hygiene. I don’t need to do that anymore because hey I’m funny!

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      Hells yeah. She really is a great, funny lady. Feel free to come over and eat ice cream with Becca and I!

      Like

    • isawbobdylaninaspeedo October 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Good call!! Christina Applegate is super funny and beautiful…and she was funny as a teen and only got funnier!!

      Like

  24. Brother Jon October 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Here’s Christina Pazsitzky and Tammy Pescatelli…Two very attractive, very funny laddies.

    Like

  25. zfthrimej October 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    also: Carrie Brownstein and Wanda Sykes.

    Like

  26. Kathleen October 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I dont think anyone mentioned Ali Wentworth. I think she is hysterical.

    Hey La La, I would like to email you, is there a way to do that that I cant figure out?

    Like

    • La La October 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi Kathleen, I emailed you!

      Like

  27. Maddie Cochere October 25, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Wow! A million comments before I got over here, and all of the beautiful, funny women who crossed my mind have already been mentioned. So, I’m just popping in to say hello to a beautiful, funny woman! :-)

    Like

  28. Pigeon Heart October 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Interesting. Yeah it seems like you get to pick 1 to shine with. Looks or brains. There is Zoe Deshanel or however you spell it, but she’s quirky ditzy too. Hmmm. Hollywood you dick.

    Like

  29. diirrty October 26, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    If you don’t think Tina Fey is funny, you don’t know what funny is! She’s kinda the perfect woman, actually.

    Like

    • La La October 26, 2012 at 7:36 am #

      Agreed. I’d love to be friends with her.

      Like

  30. David Stewart October 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    There are lots of South Korean actresses that are funny and beautiful. Kim Haneul (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Ha-neul), Lee Nayoung (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Na-young), etc. They’re just in movies though, not stand-up.

    Like

  31. davidhardingblogs October 27, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    The fact there are so many more male comedians has always bothered me. Do you think it’s because males don’t want to laugh at women because then they are under their control? Stinkin’ aloha males…

    Like

  32. davidhardingblogs October 27, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Wait, I meant alpha males!!
    Although aloha males sound like jerks too.

    Like

  33. The Bumble Files October 27, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    This is great, La La! I like your thinking.

    Like

  34. Cakes and Shakes... October 28, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Instead of listing any of the fifty million gorgeous funny famous and non-famous ladies I know of, I’m just going to chime in with: agreed.

    Like

  35. Jen and Tonic October 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    That editor needs to stop sippin’ on her Haterade. I think it’s such a bad thing for someone to say, especially another woman. It makes women feel like they have to choose to be one of two things: dull and pretty or ugly and funny. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’ve met more women in my life who have caused me to think, “Oh, sure. Be funny and pretty and cool and smart and nice. Make it harder on the rest of us.”

    Like

    • La La October 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

      I concur. When I feel that way I’m like wow…girlfriend is put together!

      Like

  36. Ben November 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Maybe we can say it this way. There are more funny unattractive women than funny attractive women.

    Like

    • La La November 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks for your opinion. Any thoughts on why?

      Like

  37. The Hook November 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    The answer, of course, is YES! You’re beautiful AND funny….

    Like

  38. Christopher De Voss November 22, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Reblogged this on Christopher De Voss and commented:

    Happy reblog Thanksgiving Thursday! I figure you will read plenty of posts about being thankful, and turkey, and relatives who are turkeys…so I thought I would share a post that should have been freshly pressed instead. Enjoy! (It’s not too late fresh pressed people!)

    Like

  39. workspousestory November 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    How did I miss that?

    Hitchens is my absolute love. A forbidden one, too, especially for a Catholic girl. Well, that would also make me a necrophile now. Anyway.

    I think there is a lot of truth to his words. As much as it pains me to say it, women are just *not* as funny as men. It hurts. Oh well…

    Like

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