Women are funny

You’ve probably not heard of Newsjack. It’s squirrelled away on Radio 4 Extra (yes, that’s a thing) and is a topical comedy news show. But there’s one difference – it has an open door policy for writers. That means anyone can submit sketches or quick jokes. Anyone. I’d vaguely heard about it because I follow a few comedy writers on Twitter and some people I vaguely know, know the people who work on it. But in the wake of Chortle managing to only nominate two women for their annual awards, @funnywomen retweeted something Newsjack said.

Only around a tenth of submissions for the first episode came from women? Well, there’s only one way to actively make a difference to that. So I submitted four jokes.

And one got aired.

If you really, really want to hear it, it’s on iPlayer til something like next Sunday, comes within the first couple of minutes and is the one about the horse*. It earned me £18.

This post isn’t about me bigging up how brilliant I am – though, clearly, I am sodding amazing and will be writing the autocue bits on HIGNFY by Christmas – it’s about funny women. Because there are tons of them/us. I can kind of understand why there are fewer female standups but women comedy writers? That’s sitting in a room – or, in my case, hanging up the washing when I started giggling (laughing at your own jokes=not cool) – writing some stuff down and emailing it off. Half my timeline on Twitter is people making jokes about stuff in the news. Many of them are women. I suspect fewer women have the ego to think ‘hmm, I wonder if these gags could make me £18? I’ll just have an investigate and see if there’s anywhere I could send it’, or pay attention when they see something like Newsjack mentioned. I certainly didn’t pay attention until my feminist hackles were raised. Me? Write for a comedy show? That’s ludicrous. But apparently not.

And jeez, if I can do it…

* “Somewhere an annoyed [police] officer is shouting ‘no, the journalist was offering YOU a pony’.”

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3 responses to “Women are funny

  1. Fran March 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Eighteen quid? That’s not bad for a joke. I’m going outside to hang up some washing and see what happens. (It’s dark, cold and wet outside, so something funny is BOUND to happen.) Thanks for blogging about this – it’s encouraging.

  2. adam March 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Most people who are funny are men: I’ve long since given up figuring out why or even, whether it’s important. Actually, it’s depressing: I would dearly, dearly love to meet, go out with, fall in love, and live happily ever after with a funny woman but I have known/met the grand total of 3 *in my entire life* and one of those *was* a stand-up comedian, (this is not the precursor to asking you on a date by the way). I don’t know: they can’t *all* be shy at parties can they? Don’t get me wrong: most men I meet aren’t funny either but most of my (male) friends are funny; can tell a joke; like comedy. Most of my female peers, acquaintances, work colleagues, girlfriends and wives of friends aren’t. Never will be. Never have been. It’s not a failing: not everyone has the impetus for it, they just don’t have it. They *laugh* at other people; they *get* jokes, they *are* (sometimes) fun to be with but that unique skewed inventive imagination that creates actual bona fide comic japery I have rarely if at all witnessed. A 10 to 1 ratio sounds about right to me. Certainly if you look at the ratio of comic performers on Chortle I bet it’s about the same. Good luck though: I would love to see it evened up and some of my favourite comedians are comediennes: there just aren’t very many of them and I don’t think that is ever going to change.

    • rachel bagelmouse March 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Adam, I can only advise you to get new female friends. All mine are warm, witty and wise. I choose not to hang out with women who are vacuous and bland. Maybe you made a different choice.

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