Saturday, October 4, 2008


Tonight, Paul and I went to see comedienne Kathy Griffin who performed at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.  I have to say, she is one of the funniest people that I've ever heard.  No one is safe with Kathy.  Not Oprah, not Sarah Palin, not Paris Hilton, not the Lohan's, not even her own mother is safe from ridicule.  What I like about Kathy Griffin is that while she is making fun of people (herself included), she's really not mean-spirited.  She's merciless, but somehow she manages to humanize the people she ridicules.  I think that's really a great talent.
After her show, I was thinking about how tough it must be to be to be a female comic.  It really is a male-dominated profession, isn't it?  I think a lot of people see female comics, past and present, as shrill and really unlikeable.  Comics like Roseanne, Jeanne Garafalo, Phyllis Diller, Rosie O'Donnell, Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey (my personal hero right now!) and Lily Tomlin, among many, many others fit into this category.  I wonder how much of this perception is due to the fact that they are women?  Is it that these women push the boundaries of some people's preconceived ideas of acceptable female behavior?  Is it easier to accept bad language and off-color jokes when they come from men?  Is it that being a comic or even just being funny is sort of aggressive and seen as unfeminine and better left to men?  Stand up comedy is by it's nature aggressive.  You are standing alone on a stage and facing down a large crowd of people who are expecting to be entertained.  That takes a healthy ego and a lot of self-assurance.  Is this really something our society still can't accept in women?   
Wow, lots of questions.  And here I thought I was just going to a show for a few laughs................

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