Guest Post: Mystery Monkey of Tampa, Florida

Hello, my name is Chet, though many people like to call me the “Mystery Monkey”.  You may have seen a recent NY Times article about me and a few of my cousins in the Tampa area.  While I enjoyed the article, reading it over the shoulder of an elderly gentleman waiting to play golf at Rocky Point, I think it really missed the point of why I was in Tampa.

POLITICS.

My people have been in the Florida area for the last 80 years, and we’ve seen a huge influx of conservatives that have reshaped our state’s politics.  I was born just after Bill Clinton was elected, and witnessed first hand the debacle of the 2000 election.  Katherine Harris was forced to halt the recounts after I urinated on some of the ballots.  Of course, the Democrats made it a political to-do, a Republican Secretary of State rigging the election for George W. Bush, but she was simply looking out for the volunteers.  Nobody wants Herpes B.

You’re probably saying, “Chet, you’re just another Republican monkey! Rehashing talking points ad nauseum!”  I like to consider myself “unaffiliated” with any party, and if I could vote, I would definitely be independent. However, I can’t thanks to the Draconian Florida voter-registration rules.

What are my politics you ask? Well, I do believe in gay rights.  When I was growing up, I fondly remember playing with the penises of the other members of the group, without anyone in the troop judging us.  I don’t remember Satchmo (the troop alpha) ever saying, “I don’t know if kids being gay is right for our troop!”  He knew that the likelihood of us finding a mate was slim-to-none, so we might as well enjoy ourselves before we are violently bludgeoned by a future rival.

While I am socially liberal, I do believe in smaller government.  Particularly, I believe in de-funding the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  I don’t know how many times they tried shooting me – wasting much needed bullets that are better used on those good-for-nothing alligators that keep trying to eat me.

I am looking forward to seeing the RNC convention coming up, particularly to see what the Romney-Ryan plan for America is.  I like their plan to give back the Bush tax cuts to the alpha human “job creators”, because from my experience, we don’t want to piss off the alphas.  I once saw Satchmo rip apart the jaws of a rival male, and I thought to myself “Looks like I’ll be a subordinate!”

Also, I don’t really understand all this hubbub about the Republican “War on Women”.  It’s pretty amazing to me that human women can just kill a baby before it even gets born.  That’s usually the responsibility of a rival male (and he can only do it after the baby is born).  I’d be nervous if women could choose not to birth children – what would stop them from never having children?  I’ve never raised a child, as it looks quite onerous, so I wouldn’t blame women for not wanting to do so.  However, I don’t blame the Republicans from having a war on women, because women need to understand that they have to make babies, or the troop will die off.

My biggest concern with the Romney-Ryan agenda is that they want to create more jobs. To me, this means more buildings and factories; destruction of my people’s habitat.  I haven’t seen my troop in years, and my attempts so far to procreate with USF humans has been completely unsuccessful.  I would like to ask Romney-Ryan – “If you destroy the wilderness to build more factories, or drill more oil, then how am I supposed to get offspring?”  No matter what the Tea Party says, I can’t just go around trying to rape every animal I see.

I don’t know if Romney and Ryan hold the answers for America, the country that I love.  Then again, Barack Obama’s health care plan offers no coverage for monkey attacks (well, attacks on humans by monkeys is covered, but not the other way around), so I’m against Obamacare.  To be honest, I feel no matter which party you vote for, it’ll just be for a couple of apes that really aren’t looking out for us monkeys.  Then again, apes never have.

Damn dirty apes.

(Raj Sivaraman holds no responsibility for the content of this post, as it was written entirely by an anthropomorphic rhesus macaque.)

The Idiot’s Guide to Brown People Religions

After the senseless attack on the gurudwara in Wisconsin, I thought it necessary to post a simple guide to the various religions of brown people (South Asians), if only to avoid the event of me getting shot at a Hindu temple because someone can’t tell the difference between Ganesh and Allah (hint: YOU CAN’T DEPICT ALLAH).

Type Buddhist Christian Hindu Jain Muslim Sikh
Looks Like
Religion Buddhism Christian Hinduism Jainism Islam Sikhism
God(s) Buddha Jesus? Many Noone / Everyone Allah Onkar
Place of Worship
Dietary Restrictions Typically vegetarian No restrictions Typically Vegetarian Pure Vegetarian, no garlic, onions, root vegetables No pork or non-Halal meats Meat killed by single stroke of sword
Should be shot? No No No No No No

Guns don’t kill people, Massacres do…

The shooting last week in Aurora has captured the media’s attention for the past week, which is quite impressive considering the media has ADD.  One of the underlying themes of this story is the question of gun control.  Many people have argued that we need to control guns to protect people from such tragedy again.  My general response to tragedy: data mining.

While I am completely opposed to guns (despite my amusement at reading an issue of “The Complete Book of Handguns”), I do wonder if gun control would have really stopped that shooting.  I read an article recently that showed that there was a decline in gun ownership over the last 30 years.  There is also this blog that suggests that the gun culture of America is waning.  So, I decided to do a little bit of my own research:

Y-axis shows number of deaths in shootings, number above bar represents number of shooting incidents in the last 5 years. Source: Wikipedia

The above figure shows all the countries that had over 200 people die in the last 5 years in mass shooting incidents, as well as listing the number of shooting incidents that occurred in each country. I looked through Wikipedia for the amount of shootings and mass murders that occurred over the last 5 years, and I noticed a few interesting trends.

  1. The USA barely ranks in the top 5 of people killed in mass shootings, behind Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mexico, and Pakistan.
  2. The USA has over 3 times as many incidents of mass shootings compared to the next closest country.

America really tries to revel in the fact that most mass shootings happen here, ignoring the data that hundreds more are killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (mostly by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army – remember that guy?), Iraq, Pakistan, and Mexico.  While it is true that the frequency of mass shootings is higher here, the loss of life is considerably less*.

So, the question is, does having a gun promote the likelihood of mass shootings?  When you take all shootings in the last 5 years and compare that to the number of guns in the country (according to the Small Arms Survey, an independent research project on gun proliferation), countries that have had mass shootings have significantly more guns within the population (counting total number of registered guns/person) relative to countries that have not observed mass shootings.  This is not to say that number of guns is a predictor of likelihood of mass shootings.

As you see above, there is no correlation between the total number of people killed in a five year span compared to the number of guns in a population, or the world gun ranking (according to Small Arms Survey).

So, while limiting access to guns doesn’t guarantee that incidents like Aurora won’t happen, societies with guns are more likely to have these types of shootings.  But, I think the point of this statistic is not that guns cause violence, it’s that the mentality of a society that feels the need for guns is what causes the violence.  If you compare China and the US, China has 3 guns for every 100 people, while the US has 89.  While the US witnessed 258 people killed in the last 5 years by mass shootings, China saw 241.  Most of the killings in China during this period were caused by people wielding knives and axes.

Year

Attack

Details

2009

Chengdu bus fire

Man set fire to bus because family wouldn’t support him anymore

2010-2011

School killings

Several incidents over 2 years.  Perpetrators would attack school children with knives, cleavers, and hammers

2010

Hebei tractor rampage

Drunk man killed people with tractor

2012

Yecheng attack

Muslim extremists attacked pedestrians on Happiness road with axes/knives

I think China is a perfect example that it’s the mental state of individuals who perpetrate these crimes.  And if you look at all the other countries on this list, it’s paramilitary groups or terrorist organizations, or gangs that are responsible for these attacks.  While we like to dismiss this behavior, there is a fundamental ideology that leads someone to join one of these organizations.  And often times, it’s a product of a dysfunctional society.

I would argue that it’s the media’s morbid curiosity in these killings.  A video by Newswipe’s Charlie Booker shows an interview with a forensic psychologist who argues that the news propagates antisocial behavior, even encouraging “copycats” to commit mass killings.

Helen Lewis’ article in the New Statesman even looks at what papers got it right and wrong in their coverage of Aurora.  I believe that the rise in gun violence corresponds to cultural changes of the last few years, and if you look at the following plot, it would appear that a steep rise in the number of shooting incidents every 5 years occurs after 1980.  This is divided into shootings in the workplace, soldiers shooting other soldiers (not in combat), school shootings, and shootings based upon religion.

Source: Wikipedia

And if you look at other types of shootings, this trend seems to follow across regions.

Source: Wikipedia

While there was a general rise in gun violence since 1900, there was definitely an inflection point around 1980-1990. And many can draw conclusions of their own as to who is to blame for this recent rise (or if in fact this increase exists, much like those climate-change deniers), but I would just like to throw out for sake of argument that CNN first broadcast on June 1, 1980.  Whether the 24 hour news cycle perpetuates mass gun violence is definitely up for debate, but I would argue that news broadcasters tread a fine line between covering a story and romanticizing a killing.

Now back to comedy-related posts. What’s up with Daniel Tosh, huh?

*I’d like to point out that this data only includes paramilitary groups attacking civilians or civilians attacking civilians, or civilians attacking government officials.  So, the hundreds that have been murdered in Syria or the Mexican drug war have been excluded from this analysis.  I did included mass graves found in Mexico, as it’s unclear if these people are rival gang members or just regular people killed by one of the cartels.

Comedy in India

It’s a strange predicament being an Indian who grew up in America.  When I would go to India, all my creature comforts in America were gone. I couldn’t get pizza, donuts, or watch movies or TV in English.  I had to adapt to a new land and learn new customs.  I took up cricket and carrom, washed myself using little buckets, and got used to removing geckos crawling on my bed.  Over the years, India has modernized, and become more “western”, to the point now that there is a growing community of English-speaking standup comedians in Mumbai.

I was intrigued at the opportunity to perform for an audience whose primary language wasn’t English. I figured it would be a challenge to make my material on nachos and homelessness relevant for people who don’t know what nachos are and think begging is a viable career path.  More so, I was curious to meet the comedians who were doing standup comedy in English in India.

I was asked to perform at a bar show in Bandra, a vibrant part of Mumbai with many bars, shops, and restaurants.  However, I was staying with my family in Goregaon, a suburb of Mumbai, with little to nothing of interest, other than my family.  I had to take an auto-rickshaw to the show, which was no small task, as I don’t speak a lick of Hindi and the driver kept asking me for directions. Fortunately for me, “left”, “right”, “stop”, and frantically gesturing to turn around are universally understood.

 The cultural attitude of my family in India could best be described in American terms as somewhere between Amish and Fundamentalist Christian. They mostly don’t drink, and meet that stereotype of the white-collar IT employee who works 18 hours a day and doesn’t do anything for fun.  So, while they knew that I did standup comedy, it was a chore to convince them that performing in a bar did not make me a godless heathen.

Bars in India are where the über-wealthy go to play; I saw several BMWs and Audis parked in front of the bar.  I tried getting change for a 500 rupee note from the bar, and after much discussion a man offered me change by going out to his Mercedes-Benz, and pulling a large briefcase filled with money.  I was pleasantly surprised when he left immediately after, because I was terrified that that interaction made me part of the mafia.  And I am really terrible at breaking people’s legs (other than my own).

The comedy show took place in a corner of the bar, without a stage, with a swarm of people just standing around the corner.  While this isn’t really an ideal situation for comedy, I was still very impressed by the number of people that were present and attentively listening to standup comedy, even open mic standup comedy.

Most of the acts were people who’ve been doing comedy for less than one year.  A couple of 18 year olds got on and said they were doing it for their first time.  It was funny watching these kids, because I realized that bad open mic’rs are the same the world around.  One kid’s entire act was about how little sex he was having. I couldn’t help but think, “You’re an 18-year-old in India! How much sex could you possibly have?” 

I was introduced with a question to the audience: “Do you want another sexy young 18 year old, or a man with a sexy accent?”  After an awkward silence, one woman intrepidly offered “an accent?”  Then another chimed in “Accent!”.  Then the host got the crowd to start chanting “Ac-cent! Ac-cent! Ac-cent!”.  I’m assuming they weren’t expecting my Kentucky drawl, as it is low on the list of sexy accents. If you’re keeping score at home, it’s just above Ugandan.

My set didn’t start off well, and, in my hubris, I decided to try out some new jokes. I had written a couple of minutes of material while in India, mostly about my experiences dealing with Indians there. Unfortunately, the crowd did not enjoy those jokes, which flustered me, then led to a downward spiral of failure (commonly referred to as “bombing”, but that term is unpopular in India, for obvious Pakistani-related reasons).  One woman in the crowd even heckled me with “Enough about India!”

In my mind, I thought I was setting the world afire with my astute observations about India, but in reality, the audience simply didn’t care.  They would much rather hear jokes about how Delhi people are dumb, or how Gujuratis are cheap, and Punjabis eat too much.  They didn’t care for my joke about how Hindi is the national language of India, despite the fact that no one in the 4 southernmost states speaks it. 

So, my goal to do standup in India failed miserably. When talking with my family about this, they said it wasn’t because I’m an outsider, it was because I was talking about things that Indians don’t like to talk about.  There are still a lot of taboos in Indian society, even with people that will come to a comedy show in a bar in Mumbai.

When I discovered that there was standup in India, I was excited, just like I was when I discovered Domino’s had moved in, or my family installed a shower in their bathroom.  While there is standup in India, it’s a very different standup from the kind you’ll find in the US.  It’s a kind of standup that makes fun of society, but without ever really addressing important issues.  It’s the kind of standup where million dollar homes next to the squalid huts, a Mercedes Benz stuck in traffic behind a herd of goats, and major cities losing electrical power for no apparent reason are unacceptable topics of comedy.  I look forward to the day when that will happen, hopefully as soon as the geckos stop crawling on my bed.

A Night of Comedy in India pt. 2

I accidentally uploaded this post before I finished the story.  Here’s the rest of that night:

The second half of the open mic began with the host opening the floor up to anyone wanting to do a set.  To me, this is the last straw.  How can you open the floor up to people who’ve never done comedy before, and then ask them to do a 4 minute set?  That’s like saying, “Hey, what you’ve been watching tonight is SUPER EASY.  You don’t even need to PREPARE.  Just come on up and be VERY FUNNY.”  Fortunately, nobody took the MC on her offer, and it just created 5 minutes of awkwardness (which I would have much preferred to be added to my time, but whatever).

The second half of the show was filled with even more train wrecks.  Two guys who have never done comedy before came up.  The first, a freelance designer, told the joke that made me wonder at what point did he think it would be funny.  The joke was:

People in Bombay don’t like people in Delhi.  Why? What happens in Delhi?  Rape.  I was with in Delhi on a date with a girl from there, a guy comes up to me, robs me then takes the girl and proceeds to rape her.  I’m scared in the corner, and when it’s all over, the girl comes back and I say “Are you OK?”.  She says “I got off lucky, it was only one guy.”

I’ve never heard a story of rape told A) so glibly and B) on purpose, in front of an audience, for comedic purposes.  The audience groaned at the end of that, proving just how tolerant they were.  I’m assuming that story was made up, but if it wasn’t, he has a very strange way of handling traumatic experiences.

To confirm just how loving and warm that audience was, the next comic started telling a joke then finished and realized there was no punchline in the joke.  He then said “I’m a comedy virgin”, which somehow got him an applause break.

Then, my anti-Delhi friend, Abhimanyu, comes on and does his act, including a joke about how Gujuratis all go to Bangkok and have sex with ladyboys (this is the kind of stereotypes that the people who wrote Outsourced missed).  One of the frustrating parts of the evening is that most of the punchlines were delivered in Hindi.  So, I’m going along with the whole premise and setup then “BOOM”. The audience is dying of laughter and I’m just thinking “I really wish I learned Hindi. Because I’m fairly confident that joke is not that funny.”

The last comedian of the night was introduced as a guy who works with Aditya Birla (the Andrew Carnegie of India).  He starts with “As a chartered accountant, you’re probably expecting to hear economic jokes.  I’m not going to tell you economic jokes because the intelligence level of the audience is too low.  And it’s not your fault, you’ve been listening to comedian after comedian who is making you dumber and dumber.”  Even I was a little annoyed about his opening thesis.  I have a joke about the existential nature of nacho cheese!  He also says “Unlike the other comedians on this show, I have a real job.” That is BS, because almost every comedian on the show was either an engineer, accountant, pharmacist, or me, a lowly scientist.  Funnily enough, that was probably the most accomplished open mic I’ve ever been to.

So, after that, two comedians were selected: Ukelele Guy and Abhimanyu (who apparently brought everyone he knows to the show, including his mother).  Ukelele Guy won (big surprise), which got him a guest spot at some later date on a weekend show.  After the show, I went to thank the host and see if I could get on some other shows this week.  She was really nice, and said “Too bad you didn’t win.  We all really liked your act.”  Nothing like feeling you had a good set and then having it ruined by the fact that you didn’t win.

Even though standup comedy in India is still in its infancy, I can see it developing into something pretty great.  It was cool to see an open mic on a Wednesday drawing over 100 people. Admittedly, there are a billion people here, so anywhere you go is 100 people.  As much as I dislike the corruption, mosquitoes, and heat of India, I do look forward to coming back and doing more comedy here. An audience who can listen to a fake rape story and still be polite is a real comedians dream.  Which just goes to show how messed up comedian dreams are.

A Night of Comedy in India

For me, there is nothing finer than the human spectacle that is an open mic night.  Especially ones at comedy clubs.  For some reason, people who decide to first perform standup at comedy club open mics are usually the craziest open mic performers I’ve ever seen.  And to their credit, they usually don’t last past the 1st year checkpoint to attain quasi-legitimate standup comedian status.

Last night, I performed standup at the Comedy Store in Mumbai.  I was trying to get a guest spot on the weekend, but they said they were full.  Fortunately, they were kind enough to at least put me on the open mic, which, in hindsight, I much preferred. Because I got this story to tell.

Before the show started, the host, Aditi Mittal, explained that this was going to be a competition (which I didn’t realize, so I don’t count this as violating my anti-competition boycott).  We had 4 minutes to perform, at 3:30 there will be a light, then at 4 minutes there will be this alarm noise that will force you to stop.  Interestingly, there was no punishment for going over, as more than half the performers went long.

I’ll say that most of the comedians on the show weren’t that terrible; however, I didn’t see any comedian that was particularly groundbreaking comedically.  I met this guy before the show named Abhimanyu (I think.  He told me his name, and I thought to myself, “I have no idea what word he just said”) who was really nice and friendly, and he was explaining his act is a lot of making fun of his family and the dumb things they say.  He has an aunt who says instead of “Bombay-ites” and “Delhi-ites”, “Bombay-titties” and “Delhi-titties”.  I wanted to press him and ask if that’s actually true, but I thought it’s far too early in the evening to be an asshole.  Abhimanyu, then tells me “you should do jokes about people from Delhi, nobody likes them”.  I asked why, and he said “People laugh at jokes about people from Delhi”.

I was astonished with the first performer who began his act by talking about the recent royal Jubilee, then said “To take from famed Indian comedian Hari Kondabolu, I wish that old bitch would stop wearing my grandmother’s jewelry”.  He is, I believe referring to this joke of Hari’s:

I have a powerpoint that I’ve done occasionally where I explain how to perform comedy, and one of my favorite bits from that is saying “It’s not joke theft, as long as you cite your sources.”  I never realized that that joke would become a reality.

The second comedian of note was introduced as “this man was a failed rapper”.  Before the show, we were all given sheets of paper for the host to read about us as an introduction.  I wrote, “I’m from Boston”, and “this is my first time performing comedy in India”.  One guy just wrote “No” for his introduction.  This guy used the tactic: “I’ll use my introduction to set up my act”.  A tactic, I believe, that 98% of standup hosts hate, especially when the act asks the host to make some joke, which the act then insults during their set.

Failed rapper guy really aught to have been introduced as “guy who’s cool with dropping N-bombs”.  He’s say things like “I don’t understand what the deal is with n*****s and their n***** music”, and “Jay-Z is one of those n*****s who just doesn’t appreciate how good he’s got it, being with Beyonce and all”.  Most Indians are pretty racist, but to their credit, the very warm and forgiving audience sort of quietly booed him as he kept dropping n-bombs.  It’s almost as if the guy came from 1930’s Alabama, and had never heard of “black” or “African-American” as preferential racial epithets.  I wonder if his fondness for hate speech might be why he failed as a rapper.

I went on after another guy who’s name was Harshit, who had a joke about how his name is “shitty” (which I saw coming a mile away).  Harshit kept trying to hit on women in the audience, asking one woman in the audience to hold his hand.  When she did he said, “Does that feel like boyfriend material?”  I sort of enjoyed that joke, even though it was a street joke. It always amuses me to watch new standups try to use the fact that they do comedy to get laid.  While my act has never gotten me laid (as they go part-and-parcel with my self-hatred), a homeless guy who used to attend the Sally O’Brien’s open mic told me he used my Pakistani jokes to get laid all the time.  So, I guess there’s that…

I then was on next, and I was very looking forward to have my name pronounced correctly for the first time, and was completely disheartened to hear the host say, instead of “\`raj\  \`shiv-a-rā-mā\” she said “\`raj\  \shīv-`ā-ra-mān\”.  My apologies, I don’t know how to write pronunciations, but hopefully it’s clear that she didn’t pronounce my name right.  And she’s Indian.  WTF?

I started off my set apologizing for my accent, which got a pretty good response, then tried out a new bit about how I don’t speak Hindi, but everybody expects that I do.  My joke about racism in America, and the metaphysical reality of nachos went over pretty well, then I got the red light, so I just got off after that.  I realized I don’t have a joke that is under 30 seconds that I would want to close my act with.  Which is unfortunate.

After me, there was a guy who was doing one-liners while playing a ukelele.  He destroyed.

Then there was a 15 minute intermission, where I got some food and a Pepsi.  I don’t know what it is, but soft drinks in India are so much better than in America.  I don’t think it’s the sugar vs. high-fructose corn syrup, either; I’ll take Indian Coke over Mexican Coke any day.  During the break, I was feeling pretty good, I had a couple of people come up to me saying I did well.  Then two women were talking to me, and the following exchange happened:

Woman 1: “My friend is doing this in August” (points to friend) “Do you have any advice?”

Me: “Has she ever done this before?”

Woman 1: “No.”

I thought about it for a moment, scratching my chin.

Me: “I’ll give you the best advice I’ve ever heard about standup comedy.”

Woman 1 and 2 are excited.

Me: “It’s two pieces of advice.  Number one, don’t listen to anything anyone tells you…”

Woman 1: (to Woman 2) “You can listen to me”

Me: “Number two. Quit comedy.”

Woman 1 and 2 look at me with disgust.

Woman 1: “It’s that bad, huh?”

Me: “No, you’ve got to put the two pieces of advice together, it makes sense…”

Woman 1 and 2 walk away angrily.

If there was any doubt I was going to come off not being an asshole that evening, that advice eradicated it.

Are Women Funny? Pt. 2

This debate never seems to disappear for some reason among the comedian discourse.  A recent article from the National Post in Canada commenting AGAIN about how women are not funny, this time emphasizing that funny women are considered sexually undesirable.  I’ve already commented about this citing previous literature showing that women ARE funny, we just don’t want them to be as a society (for whatever reasons).  I really am tired of this whole “women are evolved to not be funny” argument, so hopefully this will put it to rest.

One of the papers cited from the article is from Sigal Balshine’s group at MacMaster University (incorrectly cited as being from Eric Bressler.  Even though the graduate student (Eric) probably did all the work, you have to cite the last author, as they’re responsible for conducting the study).  In this study they ask the question “do you prefer to mate with individuals who are funny, or who find you funny?”  Based upon this study, they report that women prefer men who are funny (and also laugh at them), while men only prefer women who laugh at them.

This can be interpreted two ways:

  1. Men don’t like women who are funny.
  2. Men prefer to dominate the humor in a relationship.

So, does this paper answer the question: “Are funny women unattractive?” NO.

The problem with this study is that it creates two realities: one where you (male or female) are dominated by the opposite sex’s humor, and one where you dominate humor over the opposite sex.  What this study says is that women who dominate men by humor are perceived unattractive.

To underline the point I made previously (supported by this paper):

While men want to be funny and not be dominated by a funny woman, women are OK with (if not prefer) being dominated by a funny man.

So, why are there so few female comedians? Because men who think they are funny try to enhance their sexual fitness by performing on stage.  Women don’t see any sexual fitness benefit in performing comedy, so there is less of a desire to do so.  The problem with this argument that funny women are unattractive implies that women who perform comedy are unattractive.  So, I’ve taken a randomly selected list of comedians to see if indeed there is a sexual selection on being a male vs. female comedian:

I took all comedians who lived over 40 years of age and then plotted male vs. female against the percentage of the population (that I examined) that had children.  I then compared that to the national average (these numbers are a little off, but still accurate).

From this chart, we see:

  • Being a comedian REDUCES your sexual selective advantage (based upon percentage with children) compared to the average American.
  • Female comedians have considerably less likelihood of having children than their male counterparts.

Together, I think it makes it pretty clear why there are not many female comedians.  It’s detrimental to their sexual selection.  Women have reduced chances of having children if they’re comedians compared to men or compared to doing anything else. So, it’s really evolutionary biology 101:

  1. All people (in theory) want to have offspring.
  2. Women who perform standup comedy are handicapped from doing so.
  3. Therefore, very few women will perform standup comedy.

Even still, this doesn’t resolve the debate over whether women are funny.  I would argue that appreciation of humor is equivalent to making humor.  So it doesn’t make any sense to say women aren’t funny.  They’re appreciation of humor is equivalent (or proportional) to the quality of the humor that’s generated.  It’s like the old saying “If a guy tells a joke and nobody laughs, is it a joke?”

I’ll give an anecdotal example.  I was talking with a woman (living the dream, guys), and we were complaining about this Moldovan guy who was supposed to meet up with our group, but was wanting to us to go meet him somewhere else.  I said to her “Typical Moldovan”, using a comedic trope of “Typical ________” where you fill in the blank of that racial/ethnic group, for simple racial humor.  She then starts laughing hysterically, and I’m shocked because I didn’t think the joke was that funny (or that she was that racist).  She then says, “I was laughing because Moldova always wanted to be separate from Russia, and he’s acting like that, being separate from the group.”

This is why it’s important to really understand what humor is before we even say which gender is better at it.

So, in conclusion:

  • Women and men are both equally funny (though there is greater expectation on men to be funny). 
  • There is a sexual disadvantage for women to perform live comedy.
  • People need to stop writing stupid articles about the evolutionary biology of female comedy.