Women Aren’t Funny – We disagree…
If you have ever listened to Bonnie McFarlane and husband Rich Vos on their podcast “My Wife Hates Me”, you know that they have a sort of sadistically sweet relationship. Whether or not it is a bit, they continuously and mercilessly bash each other in often hilarious ways. The fun thing about this for me is that Bonnie often walks away from these jab wars with less scars than Vos. She goes toe to toe with an accomplished comedian… and she out duels him quite frequently. This is because she is equal parts funny and biting. Yes… even though she is a woman. I find her extremely funny. My wife and I drive to Seattle twice a month, and the McFarlane/Vos podcast is always what we listen to (as well as the equally funny and entertaining Opie and Jim Norton show).
In “Women Aren’t Funny”, McFarlane takes on the titular myth mainly in the world of stand up comedy. The films features interviews of many great comedians (both women and men) on the subject. All voice their opinions and examples of why they believe women stand ups are or aren’t funny. These interviews are all fun and enlightening on how comics feel about sexism in comedy. It was great seeing the likes of Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Jim Norton, and Todd Glass all weighing in.
My favorite aspect of the film though is the personal side. There are a lot of back stage/ behind the scenes moments between McFarlane, her often rough around the edges husband (who shows a tender side here), and their cute as a button daughter. For fans of the podcast, it is these moments that are a treat in that we get to really know the people themselves, stripped of the microphone persona. There are also some gut bustingly funny scenes of Bonnie playing the part of an investigative journalist while walking through annoyingly tall grass.
All in all I really enjoyed this documentary. I laughed consistently and feel a deeper understanding and appreciation for what women comedians go through. I hope McFarlane and Vos do a follow up/ sequel where they do a Q&A panel with all of the comedians involved. In any case, I recommend seeing “Women Aren’t Funny” and also checking out the “My Wife Hates Me” podcast.