Joseph Gordon-Levitt Thinks Hot Chicks Aren’t Funny.

 

Another arguably funny guy has contributed to the patriarchal gospel that women, and especially hot ones, aren’t funny.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I’ve always liked, and whom a lot of women rank second only to Ryan Gosling, is the culprit this time around, saying that his co-star in the upcoming movie, Looper, Emily Blunt, is a funny girl, which is a rarity because most hot women aren’t funny.

Sigh.

I’m sure your past co-stars, like noted funny women and hot chicks Kristen Johnson, Ellen Page and Zooey Deschanel (whom I just don’t get, but each to their own), would have something to say about that.

When I posted the Jezebel article to a Gordon-Levitt fans’ Facebook, I was expecting her to be disappointed in his generalisation. Instead, she defended his stance and agreed with him that not a lot of conventionally attractive women are funny. She said the women Jezebel lists as funny and hot (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman and Ellie Kemper, to name just a few) she finds neither. I see your argument, and I raise you Olivia Munn, Kristen Wiig, Anna Faris, Lucille Ball, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Chelsea Handler and Ellen DeGeneres.

My friend then went on to say that she has yet to see a female comedian who is “intelligent enough in her humour to make me laugh without cringing”. This may be true, but has anyone stopped to wonder why there aren’t many female comedians out there, and the ones that are are relegated to talking about periods?

The patriarchy, my friends.

Comedy, like most creative callings and occupations, is a male-dominated world. I have a female friend who is a comedian, and she could go on for hours about the shit she’s had to deal with. Just look at the Daniel Tosh debacle, which involved female audience members, not comedians. When I’ve gone to see her perform live, she’s often the only woman on the card. It’s not that there aren’t any funny and sexy (and some would say you can’t have one without the other: I personally find a not-conventionally attractive man who’s funny sexier than a conventionally attractive one who’s behind the eight-ball when it comes to humour) women out there, it’s that they aren’t able to break into the boys club that is comedy, or they’re too disillusioned by it to even try.

Another friend jumped into the Facebook discussion here, and said that comedy is about poking fun at society’s ills and, from my point of view, who better to do that than a group that has historically been socially marginalised: women! This might be why “unattractive” males seem to rise to the top of the comedy scene (look at guys like Hughsey, Pete Hellier [Friend #2’s cousin!] and Hamish Blake, who dominate the Aussie comedic TV scene. On the other hand, there’s Blake’s partner Andy Lee, Jon Hamm, Andy Samberg, Ryan Reynolds, Russell Brand and Dane Cook, so go figure), but at the end of the day it just goes to show that men have many different currencies that show their worth, whereas women only have their looks.

Having said that, I’m sure many will disagree with the hot and funny people I’ve listed here (sound off in the comments!), but I think we can all agree that beauty—and humour—is in the eye of the beholder.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says Most Pretty Girls Aren’t Funny; Our Vaginas Sigh with Disappointment.

[Cookies for Breakfast] So a Girl Walks Into a Comedy Club…

Image via Fanpop.

Movies: The Underlying Message in The Muppets Movie*.

 

Talk about a metatext!

It seems like every two minutes in The Muppets there was a thoroughly enjoyable self-aware reference and celebrity guest appearance. Gary presents Mary with some lacklustre flowers, which were squashed “probably from the dance number I was doing” in one of the opening scenes of the movie. When Mary laments in song Gary’s brother, Walter, joining them on an anniversary trip to Los Angeles, a gardener conveniently sprays water on the window she’s wistfully looking out of. When Statler and Waldorf introduce the “important plot point” involving oil tycoon Tex Richman drilling for oil under the old Muppet Theatre, Walter tries to get the Muppets back together to save it. When this fails to come to fruition midway through, Mary remarks, “This is going to be a really short movie.” And let’s not forget Camilla and the other chickens’ performance of “Forget You”. You can’t get much more meta than that!

As for the cameos, take Jack Black and his School of Rock cast mate Sarah Silverman, for example. Or Dave Grohl on drums for The Muppets cover band, the Moopets, and the later performance by The Muppets Barbershop Quartet of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Or Amy Adams as Mary, and her Sunshine Cleaning co-star Emily Blunt in her very Devil Wears Prada-role as Miss Piggy’s secretary. Even Blunt’s real life husband, John Kransinki, makes an appearance. Phew!

But, we’re reminded, celebrities are fair game because they are “not a people”. Makes a poignant comment on our celebrity-saturated society.

That’s the not the only point The Muppets makes. Richman is the personification of the 1% and, like the Moopets, is “a hard, cynical act for a hard, cynical world.”

The film also seeks to promote diversity and acceptance, I thought. Take, for example, the Ebony magazine cover that Kermit fronts, which is traditionally a magazine for African Americans, and how this might represent the Muppets as being beyond racial definition. I also got the feeling that Walter was marketed to be a differently-abled person, which would certainly explain Gary’s reluctance to let Walter go when he is accepted into the Muppet clan and his sheltered existence in Smalltown up til then.

On the first watching of the film, I noticed in particular that Kermit wont tell Miss Piggy he loves her, which is all she asks of him. It reminded me of the Blair and Chuck storyline in Gossip Girl from a few years ago: their back-and-forth love story that depends on Blair needing to hear those words and Chuck never being able to say them. On second watching, I confirmed that, in fact, Kermit never does say “I love you”.

The second time around was more enjoyable. While I originally got to see the film a month before it came out in Australia—and for free!—being in an audience of primarily under 10s wasn’t as good as being in an almost-empty theatre consisting only of Generation X’s who grew up with the Muppets. There was, however, a group of about six teenage fanboys sitting behind me. I was originally annoyed by their chatting in the first ten minutes of the film, but I actually laughed more at them than at the movie when they slid off their seats during the appearances of Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons. But, after watching “Muppet or a Man”, can you really blame them?

*Blanket spoiler alert.

Images via YouTube, Cover Me Songs.