So the question is: Are women REALLY not funny? I think the answer is: Yes. And no. Don't worry, I'll explain.
When people say that women aren't funny, they're generalizing. Yes, there are some very unfunny women out there just like there's a lot of very unfunny men as well. The problem isn't gender. The problem is the person doing the work.
One of the problems I've had with stand-up comedy is that it's a job that anyone can do. Meaning that anyone can call themselves a comic. If you're repeating jokes you read from the internet you can call yourself a comic and there will be people that believe you. It's not necessarily about being funny either.
There has been a wave of people moving into stand-up that start doing it because it's easy money for them, not because they love doing it. They've booked a TV show or movie and now have fans because they're a recognizable face so what do they do? They book themselves at comedy clubs across the country, getting billed as "THAT STAR OF THAT THING!"
It reminds me of this one night when I was doing a set at a comedy club, months ago. On the lineup was a guy that was most famous from a TV show in the 90's. It was his second time onstage doing stand-up; most of it was brutal. All he did was go up on stage and talk about his time on this 90's show and about how he gets laid because of the show, blah blah. What's funny is that for the first couple of minutes, the audience was SOOO ecstatic to see him...until they realized that he didn't have material. This guy was so new that he didn't know that in stand-up, the club will give you a light in the back telling you that it's time to end your set and get off the stage. He was supposed to do 7 minutes (which for the second time on stage, seven minutes is a REALLY long time) and ended up doing twenty. When the management told him he did twenty minutes, this guy said, "Wow! I can feature now!"
He stayed at the club for a while longer. I was emceeing the show and I found myself sitting at the same table he was sitting at. He started telling the people at the table that he needed to learn how to write jokes and didn't know how to start. I told him, "Well, you're recognizable. Why don't you get a Facebook/Twitter page and throw out ideas so that you can start getting an idea of what you like talking about? You'll probably get a lot of feedback from people." The guy says, "But that's a lot of work."
Um yes, I know.
He then says, "I think that I'm more of a storytelling comic like Bill Cosby." With that, he and his young girlfriend leave the room. It's at this moment that I look at my boyfriend and say, "You watch. That guy will be headlining clubs in a couple months."
I was right. He travels all over the country now.
The reason I tell this story is to prove my point: it's not that women are incapable of being funny and men are hilarious. It's about the specific person you're talking about.
So if you ask me if women are funny, I can honestly say, "Yes, SOME of them are, some of them aren't. Just like SOME men are funny and some men are not."
Today, the Twitter world is talking about Adam Carolla's remarks about women not being funny but also think of this: As a Latina, I deal with people that not only think women aren't funny but that think that Latinos aren't funny as well. That's a totally different, yet same, exact discussion I could have about almost the same thing.
I think the most important thing to rememember is this: comedy in general is a VERY hard thing to succeed at.
Yes, maybe you can name a hundred successful people in comedy but remember that for those hundred names you can remember, there are thousands and thousands that you'll never know.
Yes, sometimes seemingly undeserving, shitty people slip through the cracks and have careers but for the most part, the ones that succeed and have an everlasting career are the people that are geniune, work hard and try their best to not be dicks.
And yes, some of them are women.
By the way, if you don't think women are funny, check this video out. It's one of my favorite jokes ever....by Wanda Sykes.