Fox News makes dumb points about female comedians; we respond

By | October 17, 2011 at 11:11 am | 12 comments | feature slider, Opinion | Tags: , , , ,

With the nature of beauty being so subjective, it’s not surprising to a see a story like this from a news network that approaches nothing objectively. On Oct.12, published an article that laid claim to an increase in “sexiness” among the newest crop of female comedians. Singled out for focus were Olivia Munn, Carrie Keagan, Anna Faris, and Mila Kunis, whose sexy presence graced the cover of GQ back in July – the first woman to represent the venerable mag’s Comedy issue.

What’s interesting about the Fox News take on this emerging breed of hot bodied lady comics is not the obviously narrow-minded objectification, but rather the article’s curious exclusion of comedy movers and shakers who might not necessarily conform to a rigid notion of attractiveness. If the trend is toward tight buns and flat abs, how does the gasping think-tank over at Rupert Murdoch HQ account for the recent successes of Melissa McCarthy (pictured above), an Emmy winner, scene stealer, and ample beauty in her own right? What about Tina Fey, whose frumpy and awkward Liz Lemon would never now dominate the pages of Maxim as she continues to dominate the prime time ratings board?

Surely, one could argue that actresses like Kunis and Faris are comedy stars without even the assistance of high, tight thighs – each earning millions at the box office for her considerable comic chops and helping to represent women in a field that more often than not actively marginalizes the fairer sex. Between them, I for one have no trouble visualizing a highly successful buddy picture; and as we’ve seen this year in the box office juggernaut Bridesmaids, there’s nothing to the idea that a female-centric cast can’t carry the premise of a wacky, slap-stick comedy.

So why, then are we discussing these ladies’ breasts and asses, not their wit and wry delivery? I think perhaps Carrie Keagan herself says it best in the Fox News piece of contention: “At the end of the day, funny is funny, and the antiquated boys’ club mentality is sooo last year’s Prada. People are realizing that you don’t have to have a penis to tell a joke about one.”

Indeed, funny is funny – so what’s hot got to do with it? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

About the Author

Emma Kat Richardson

Emma Kat Richardson is a Detroit native and freelance writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in, Bitch, Alternative Press, Real Detroit Weekly, 944, and She’s enough of a comedy nerd and cat lady to have named her Maine Coon Michael Ian Cat. Follow her on twitter: @emmakat.

  • Finnferg

    What’s hot got to do with it? Everything.
    I’m kidding. It was a pathetic attempt at content by Fox that went nowhere and enlightened none.

  • Cinque Powell

    Melissa McCarthy isn’t a beauty.  There’s no denying she’s talented but don’t sit there and prop her up as a beauty when she’s just not.  Ask a few men and get a real answer. Do you think Chris Farley was handsome?  I doubt it, so don’t be PC and toss out the word beauty when it doesn’t apply. Being overweight isn’t attractive no matter how you want to spin it.

    Also, let’s not get worked up about about this topic.  Face facts that the world likes to look at and be associated with attractive people.  We won’t even go into the fact that the people they mentioned aren’t even comediennes, which should be the focus of any critique of the article.

    • Emma Kat Richardson

      Man, I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier, but yes, I do think Chris Farley is very handsome! Also, might I suggest renting a copy of the great Farrelly brothers classic Shallow Hal?

    • Jo

      I always thought Chris Farley was hot.  Just sayin.

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  • Clarkgotjokes

    my only objection is the hotness of Tina Fey, but you had to know that already

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  • Adam Holwerda


    • Emma Richardson

      Ack, good catch! I’m so ashamed. :(

    • Emma Richardson

      Ack, good catch! I’m so ashamed. :(

  • Doug Wiley Comedian

    I’m a little confused. Why are we worried about what GQ (a magazine which makes it’s money with physical attractiveness as it’s sole focal point) and FoxNews (a website/channel with less journalistic integrity than satirical news shows) think about comedy? They write about things like this because it’s what their viewers pay for (with cash and clicks), and they know it will work. If you want them to go away, ignore them. Writing an article linking to their site won’t help, they’ve dealt with levels of outrage magnitudes of order greater than what this will generate. Or as many wise people on the internet have said way before me: “Don’t feed the trolls”.

  • Erin Tiesman

    Excellent point! Also, Kunis and Faris (who somehow has been compared to Lucille Ball, which makes me gag) are comedic actresses. So are comediennes in the viewpoint of Fox News only those in comedy movies, while stand-up is ignored? And yes, it’s offensive on so many levels, though not surprising coming from that channel of biased turds. And what about Sarah Silverman? Samantha Bee, or even Whitney Cummings (who is getting some sexy-comedy attention of her own at the Daily Beast).

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