Social Question

j0ey's avatar

Do you think men are perceived to be funnier than women? Is a woman with a sense of humour valued as much as a man with the same sense of humour?

Asked by j0ey (2419 points ) April 23rd, 2010

I could be wrong, but I think that it is more socially acceptable for men to be “comedians” than it is for women.

A man telling a joke will be perceived to be funnier than a woman telling the same joke.

What do you think and why?

Do you think this may explain why there are more successful male comedians?

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69 Answers

MarcoNJ's avatar

I think it’s because men are more willing to be crass and say whatever flies off their head where as women tend to compose themselves, you know…keep it classy. So men have a whole lot more ways of saying the truth in a way that comes off funny to most. Of course, being hilarious is also a natural gift for some…they don’t even have to try. They just are funny.

j0ey's avatar

@MarcoNJ Yes, but even when women are crass and say whatever flies off their heads, I don’t think they get the same laughs as men do…

wundayatta's avatar

Huh? What’s so funny?

Oh wait. Some people think I’m a woman. Never mind.

I think humor is like taste. There’s no disputing it. I mean, for God’s sake! Some people think that even I have a sense of humor!

j0ey's avatar

@wundayatta hahaha youre not a women?? Wow, didn’t see that one coming.

I always enjoy reading your responses to questions whether you are a man or a woman

rebbel's avatar

There are definitely more men then women that i can think of who’s job it is to be funny, that’s true, but for example, the British Jo Brand i find as funny as any man.
If not funnier.

MarcoNJ's avatar

@j0ey I agree. Maybe it’s the subject that women focus on. I mean, how many jokes about fellatio do they have to tell?

Blackberry's avatar

I’m not going to lie, men just seem to be more funny. Maybe it is because we are used to seeing all men be comedians until recently. Similar to how no one watches the WNBA lol. We will like female comedians and watch female basketball one day….

janbb's avatar

Women – funny; say it ain’t so!

j0ey's avatar

Also, I think that a man can be hit with the ugly stick and his sense of humour will save him (in the eyes of women). And even if a woman is only hit by the ugly twig, no amount of funny can fix the ugly (in the eyes of a man).

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

ugly stick? What the hell is that?

j0ey's avatar

Sorry….it must be an aussie thing. I lose track of what is slang and what is not, when talking to foreigners

It means when someone isn’t great looking..“they have been hit with the ugly stick”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Could be worse. Could be dick slapped or bitch slapped.

j0ey's avatar

…..yeah but they are actual slaps….being hit with the ugly stick is a metaphor.

Zen_Again's avatar

It’s the peacock thing; it’s the reason why guys learn to play guitar. Those that have the looks, get the girls. Those that don’t, try to make ‘em laugh. It’s a Darwinian thing.

MarcoNJ's avatar

@Zen_Again I’ve always been curious about learning to play the guitar. It does look pretty smooth

j0ey's avatar

@Zen_Again…..but why aren’t men attracted to humour the same way women are?

I agree with you completely though, about the peacock thing. It just seems that if it isn’t a physical quality a woman has, it is void when it comes to impressing men…

I’m pretty sure men pretend they think hot women are funny when they tell a joke…

JeffVader's avatar

@j0ey Hehehe, yeh, in England we fall out of the ugly tree & hit every branch…. well, depending on just how ugly.
Men are very visual creatures & don’t generally spend alot of time imagining or fantasising, perhaps that’s why a good personality or sense of humour doesn’t have the same effect….. or maybe, historically there have always been more ugly men, proportionally, so women have had to become less fussy.

j0ey's avatar

@JeffVader hahahaha yeah unfortunate aussies do that too…

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I don’t think this is an accurate or a common perception. My favourite comedian is female – Cal Wilson.

thriftymaid's avatar

I don’t see the difference in male or female senses of humor, or any difference in the values thereof. I have a healthy one and like others that do as well. Without it, life would be all but unbearable sometimes.

MarcoNJ's avatar

@thriftymaid No doubt you have a sense of humor. But who would you say are generally funnier…men or women?

Cruiser's avatar

I think some of the funniest comedians have been women! I know a few women friends who are some of the most hilarious people I know and as far as crass jokes, nobody spits them out better than my MIL!

Here is an example of what I am saying…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3c2UVwEJJg

thriftymaid's avatar

@MarcoNJ I don’t think either is funnier honestly.

j0ey's avatar

Maria Bamford is my favourite comedian of ALL time….I find her hilarious. But I have this feeling she would be more successful and more well known if she was male…...you know what I mean.

LeotCol's avatar

There are some funny female comedians out there. But the majority of well known comedians are men.

I have noticed on some of the comedy panel shows when they have women on they tend to have less humorous input, with exceptions like Jo Brand.

MarcoNJ's avatar

@Cruiser That was pretty funny. Although it had to be fake.
My favorite female comedian is Lisa Lampanelli. The queen of crass humor…not for the easily offended.

octopussy's avatar

I wouldn’t say it was more socially acceptable and I fail to see how the ugly stick is worse for the woman in a comedic sense, if her jokes are good then she owns her audience. Once comedians start swearing every second word then they’ve pretty much lost me, I really don’t see why most of them think they can only be funny if they add copious amounts of swearing. I guess that’s why I really liked Jerry Seinfeld, he was genuinely funny without the need for swearing and his material was all about nothing.

filmfann's avatar

When women say “pull my finger”, it becomes a sensual thing.

slick44's avatar

Men are funnier because thats what their good at, they practice that stuff. nothing better to do i guess.

j0ey's avatar

@octopussy…..I dont think you understood what I was saying in regards to the ugly stick.

octopussy's avatar

@j0ey, well aren’t you pretty much saying that in the eyes of a male, unattractive female comedians cannot be funnier than male comedians because they appear uglier to men, what’s the point of that? she’s not in a beauty contest and it’s not like you are going home with her after the gig.

j0ey's avatar

@octopussy no no…I was saying in the general population if an ugly man is funny, women will find him attractive because of this sense of humour. If a women is ugly, a man will find her no more attractive because of her sense of humour.

The question was originally regarding the general population, not comedians.

I only mentioned professional comedians as a conversation starter…..you get what I mean?

The question is not about comedians specifically. maybe read the question again

aprilsimnel's avatar

I never have that problem. And I’m damn funny. Certain men feel threatened by funny women, but that’s OK, because even if he’s hot, if a guy is threatened by my sense of humour, then I don’t want him anyway. Seriously, I need to be able to crack a joke or 6 through the inevitable not-so-awesome times. It keeps me sane. Incidentally, I have my first live (non-paying) solo show next week. I’ll be doing it in a storytelling mode, but it’s gonna be funny. And there’s going to be a lot of men attending.

However, I do notice that British men seem a lot less threatened by my sense of humour than American men. American men, more often than not, do seem to find a female with a sense of humour “unladylike” for some reason. I have no idea why that is. I don’t understand why these men would want such a passive woman. If you’re secure in yourself, then you have the emotional space to appreciate others, I find. If I crack a joke, most American dudes’ll give me a tight little smile, while British men guffaw if they think I’ve said something funny. Yes, I hang out with a lot of Brits. Thank goodness for Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, is all I have to say. They’re among my comedy idols.

@lucillelucillelucille, girl, and you’re another one. Keep on’ jokin’, lady! ;D

Sophief's avatar

Men are funnier. I think when women try to be comedians, they try too hard. Plus the only way they think they can be funny is by taking the piss out their husbands. Although saying that I always liked Jo Brand, and she took the piss out of her husband, but she was funny.

octopussy's avatar

@j0ey. If a woman is ugly, a man will find her no more attractive because of her sense of humour.?? Some men would beg to differ I’m sure.

I was answering the last part of your original question, re: male comedians v female comedians. If I’ve strayed too far I apologise.

MarcoNJ's avatar

@Sophief “Taking the piss out their husbands” Never heard that phrase before.

Sophief's avatar

@MarcoNJ Your obviously not British then?

MarcoNJ's avatar

@Sophief Got that right. I’ma just assume it means to belittle them. Sounds about right to me.

j0ey's avatar

@octopussy I wasn’t saying you have strayed too far…I was just explaining my “ugly stick” comment.

Yes some men would disagree….but in GENERAL…a sense of humour enhances a man’s attractiveness in the eyes of females more than a sense of humour enhances the attractiveness of a woman to males.

rebbel's avatar

What is clear from this thread (to me) is that Jo Brand is one funny fox.
Yeah, fox.

Sophief's avatar

@MarcoNJ Yes it does mean that.

@rebbel She is no fox, believe me!

jfos's avatar

@j0ey I agree with the ugly stick theory concerning humor.

I know some females that are truly funny, but men and women think differently than one another. I would venture to say that men and women both appreciate male humor, while primarily only women appreciate women’s humor. This doesn’t mean that no males enjoy female humor, or that female comedians are less funny.

Also, I think that the women who are famous in comedy try to stand out with strong individual personalities. Sometimes this is unattractive from a viewer’s perspective.

rebbel's avatar

@Sophief
Okay, a big fox.

j0ey's avatar

@jfos I agree completely…...great answer :)

iphigeneia's avatar

I do think that men are perceived to be funnier than women. I don’t know why it is, but when we plan our annual Christmas concert, the guys can bring the house down just by putting on dresses and singing a Britney Spears song. And the most successful material from female comedians tends to be about being female (husbands, children, menstruation, etc.) sort of how many comedians from ethnic minorities make a lot of jokes about ethnicity. Sorry, I realise your question is not just about comedians or comediennes, but that’s the point I had in my head

I definitely agree that in the professional world a sense of humor can save a man who isn’t blessed in the looks department, while a woman will find it harder. And when it comes to impressing the opposite sex, a funny guy is probably going to be more successful than a funny girl, (unless that funny girl can also cook!). But I think that in a normal social situation among friends or acquaintances, someone who can joke around is valued pretty much the same regardless of gender.

plethora's avatar

@j0ey I’ve heard the term “ugly stick” and falling out of the “ugly tree” all my life…in US. Can’t believe someone here has never heard it. It’s always a funny term.

plethora's avatar

@iphigeneia You said it very well. I agree

gailcalled's avatar

@j0ey: Balderdash: MIlo here; Gail is hilarious;

Here is a similar question,more awkwardly worded.

http://www.fluther.com/disc/48644/are-females-generally-worse-in-the-field-of-comedy-than-males/

plethora's avatar

My experience is that most women do have a great sense of humor. I do not mean the joke cracking kind of humor, but just the ability to perceive humor in life situations. I and most men I know are much better at perceiving humorous subtlety.

PacificToast's avatar

Just the same as why women will always earn less money than men, past sexism hasn’t died out. I’d take Jimmy Fallon over Ellen DeGeneres any day.

janbb's avatar

I’m the funniest person I know “and ain’t I a woman?”

definitive's avatar

I’m a woman and I’ve got a wicked sense of humour…what you see is what you get, I can make people laugh as good as a man…it’s about timing and humour in the moment without thinking about it

Lol there’s nothing like having a belly laugh…and making light of a situation :)

HarryWeener's avatar

Let’s see… men are the more crass gender, very “meat and potatoes” while women are neat and more about aesthetics. much of humor comes from the trenches of life (going to work, raising children) and that area is much more aligned with masculinity. you don’t want to see a beautiful woman take out the garbage. some guys still believe that women don’t fart. so, a joke about an ordinary, mundane topic seems natural coming from a guy like Jerry Seinfeld, whereas a woman telling that same joke would detract from the humor.

gailcalled's avatar

@HarryWeener:

you don’t want to see a beautiful woman take out the garbage. some guys still believe that women don’t fart. so, a joke about an ordinary, mundane topic seems natural coming from a guy like Jerry Seinfeld, whereas a woman telling that same joke would detract from the humor.

What planet are you living on?

wundayatta's avatar

I’m a guy, and I couldn’t remember a joke to save my life. I’m about as funny as a stovetop. I couldn’t wring a laugh out of Elmo. And to top it off, I don’t think farting is funny! I must have missed school the day God was handing out humor.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I think yes. We are used to men being okay being seen as clowns, accepting depracating treatment for general amusement. For some reason I immediately recalled the movie “La Strada” just now. Hmnn.

plethora's avatar

@definitive A woman with a wicked sense of humor is a pleasure indeed..:) As you said, it is exactly “about timing and humour in the moment without thinking about it”

HarryWeener's avatar

@qailcalled i think you’re taking that too literally, i meant that women are more neat (in general) and men are more sloppy.obviously its very difficult to generalize an entire gender (half the people on earth). its more about how observational humor about an everyday topic like airplane peanuts seems much more natural coming from a dorky lookin’ guy than it would coming from a beautiful woman. i don’t think sexual preference even enters into it, its just an aesthetics thing.

octopussy's avatar

@j0ey re: your last comment to me. That’s cruel of men to be like that :( I wonder why a funny female can’t pull a man, I mean are you talking paper bag over the head ugly here?? sheesh give the fuglys a break!
And @wundayatta, I too have never found farting to be funny in the slightest, a guy friend of mine just lets one rip while in mid conversation without so much as an ‘excuse me’, out of embarassment I usually say, and that was a word from our sponsor!. btw congrats on your 30K lurve you are the talk of the town around here you dog :)

aprilsimnel's avatar

Men are perceived as funnier by other men, mostly. I mean, who’s doing the judging, then, to be able to answer this question in a meaningful way?

meagan's avatar

I really don’t know any funny men in “real life”, rather than the men that get paid to be funny. Its all about the funny Ladies here

MarcoNJ's avatar

@aprilsimnel Me. I’m doing all the judging here on Fluther. And I say men are funnier. Point blank. Period. This matter is closed, damn it.

gailcalled's avatar

@MarcoNJ: Making a declaration, point-blank as you say, with no evidence is meaningless. Period. Read Janbb, Sueanne_Tremendous, syz, Simone de Beauvoir, Jeruba, Coloma, chyna, marinelife, Jeanmay, Lucille cubed. (I know I have left out some) for original and funny humor.

Humor is in the ears of the listener. Some flutherers, for example, have the need to insert a “fart” remark wherever possible, and sometimes, when it is not possible. One man’s (one woman’s) meat is another’s poison.

MarcoNJ's avatar

@gailcalled I’m just kidding around. Isn’t it obvious? OK, well maybe not.
Wasn’t funny, was it?

gailcalled's avatar

As I said, it’s in the ear of the listener. Maybe try subleness instead of obviousness next time? (And no, sadly, I did not fall off my chair laughing.)

HarryWeener's avatar

humor is a great topic for this site because nothing is as subjective as comedy. everybody’s got their opinion of what is funny and obviously nobody’s opinion is right or wrong, if it makes one laugh then it has done its job.
i am a stand-up comedian in chicago and it i have danced with it for a long time. humor is such an elusive topic, and it doesn’t hold up well to scrutiny, humor cannot be explained. its a perspective thing. cheers :o]

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Personally, I’ve always found male comedians to be funnier and wittier than female comedians.

comicalmayhem's avatar

Women have a sense of humor and some that I know will laugh at almost anything, but are not really as funny as men. They can crack a few funny jokes here and there or be the joke (purposely), but I think women are rarely funny. Women have made me laugh, though. So it’s not like they’re never funny. It’s just that men are funnier. That’s just my opinion though.

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