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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Laughter begets laughter...

Our Funny Girls Away Day gave us a chance to celebrate female comediennes over the last 85 years, starting with that queen of swagger - Mae West - with her fabulous one-liners, and culminating with the equally swaggering Mo'nique, with her no-nonsense take on "skinny bitches." On the way, we sampled American and British comediennes from the sit-com, stand-up and comic sketch traditions: Lucille Ball, Patricia Routledge, Dawn French, Mary Tyler Moore, Joan Rivers, Ellen deGeneres, Fiona Allen, Doon Mackichin, Sally Phillips, Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, June Whitfield, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman, among others.
And after a full day of viewing, Christmas lunching (yes...we know...but we were exploring the idea of incongruity in humour...) and rigourously working (and challenging!) several traditional philosophical approaches to the realm of humour, we cobbled together our own philosophy of humour - and with it, some answers to what makes us laugh:

  • The sharing of a laugh
  • The unexpected twist or surprise that catches you off guard
  • A taboo or two...
  • Absurd, extreme and/or politically incorrect situations
  • The simple act of seeing another person laughing
  • Situations that you can see yourself getting into
  • Finding humour in our own mishaps
  • Just hearing the name of a comedian or sit-com that has made you laugh before
  • Shocking content that can only be delivered by a certain type of woman
  • Comfort of the known
  • Not so much a joke as a situation - usually a tense one - that you observe with another, and both see the funny side in.
By the end of the afternoon we were all laughed out...And equally questioning why certain things just don't make us laugh at all (even while the whole world laughs on without us). This was a fun and eye-opening day, and given the paucity of women in comedy we were delighted to find a way to highlight those who are out there making us laugh, and working the crowd. Funny Girls...We Salute You!!!

Thanks to all of you who made this such a good experience. We are already gathering names of other female comediennes in preparation for "Funny Girls, The Sequel."