Scottish comedy’s plight is no laughing matter

Amid the coronavirus crisis, grassroots comedy in Scotland faces potential ‘extinction’ without a lifeline from the government, writes Brian Ferguson.

Can you remember the first time you saw yourself reflected back from a television screen or at the cinema?

It’s quite vivid in my memory as an awkward, hapless schoolboy, watching Gregory’s Girl at home in the mid-1980s. I was agog at not how achingly funny it was, from almost the first frame to the last, but also how true to life it felt to the harsh realities of teenage years when almost everything feels like a total mystery.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Gregory’s Girl recently, partly because it is 40 years old next year. It is undoubtedly a touchstone for my generation, but is still seen as one of the greatest Scottish films of all-time. Director Bill Forsyth is revered as one of the nation’s leading filmmakers, not just for Gregory’s Girl, which was famously honoured in the opening ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012, but for his two other best-known movies, Local Hero and Comfort and Joy. All three comfortably fit into the category of comedy.

Yet 40 years on, the current crop of Scottish comics have had to go into battle to try to secure official recognition for their art form for the first time and a share of the £107m lifeline funding to secure the future of arts and culture north of the border. I’ve come across some bizarre scenarios, but the sight of Scottish stand-ups pleading for fair treatment from the government of a country of Billy Connolly, Frankie Boyle, Still Game, Chewin’ the Fat, Elaine C Smith and Karen Dunbar is right up there.

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6 reasons why women aren’t funny

Women can’t possibly be funnier than men and here’s why.

1. Being funny is the main way men attract women; we can’t take that away from them.

There’s nothing better then a man who makes you laugh – it’s a quality women value highly and one used to describe every successful date and suggested set up. If women were funny it would be unfair, I mean we already have the gloriousness that is breasts, what more do we want! It’s why male peacocks have colourful feathers, why lions have manes. Women have to tone it down because, without the upper hand in the humour stakes, what do the unfairer sex have?

2. There’s nothing funnier than a man’s appendage

There’s a reason we don’t spend our adolescence covering notebooks with sketches of vaginas and why we were all accidental members of the Pen 15 club  (if you don’t know you weren’t bullied enough in school). Women are lacking the one body part that is guaranteed to crack a smile out of any male in the vicinity.

3. Gross is funny

The most knee slapping, head rolling, chuckle making moments involve disgusting, unappealing, dirty anecdotes and women just aren’t gross. Women are pretty and delicate. Their number twos smell of Chanel No. 5, their sweat makes them glow, and they only ever break wind odourlessly in hidden corners of empty rooms.

4. If you’re funny, you’re funny for a girl

Being funny is like being good at sport or good at acting: it’s split by the genders, so no matter how hilarious you are, you’re still only FFG (funny for a girl). This way there’s no need to directly compare and no egos need to be hurt. Be glad – it’s really impressive to be funny for a girl (just not as impressive as being actually funny obviously).

5. Name five funny women

No not her, she doesn’t count, or her, she’s a lesbian so obviously not representative. No that one died, that’s unfair. I personally don’t find that other one funny. Yes that film may be the highest rated comedy on Rotten Tomatoes, but I bet there were a ton of men involved. And I cant judge that new one because I don’t plan on watching it. Anyway, the point is there’s way more funny men, so they’re the funny sex.

6. This article

This article was clearly written by a woman, and while it was trying to be a funny satire, it bombed miserably. By looking at the failure of one woman to make you laugh, you can accurately deduce the capabilities of the rest of the gender. Don’t argue with me, it’s science. There you have it, definitive proof that you’re not a raging sexist if you think all women aren’t funny, you’re right.

Source: 6 reasons why women aren’t funny | Spectator Life