Isn't That Funny? Negotiating Womanhood in Professional Improv Comedy
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Inspired by a Vanity Fair article by Christopher Hitchens entitled "Why Aren't Women Funny?" the author addresses the many questions: Why are there so few female comedians to speak of? Why is it that in social situations, men more frequently exert their humor? And why are so many people willing to accept as fact that women as a whole simply "aren't funny?" Furthermore, what role does gender play in the politics of performance comedy? The author combines her personal background in improvisational comedy, with interviews with women in theater. The author begins with the historical context of improv (which ironically traces its history back to a woman), and then details the ways in which the experiences of a woman in the improv industry are distinctly different from those of men, some positive, some negative. She then explores the variations between women's and men's humor and provides suggestions for why the prevailing myth of women's humorlessness exists.