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Published November 24, 2013 More Info »
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To All The Amazing and Talented Women
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Published November 24, 2013

Can Women be Funny? by Sir Jamal Patchman IV of Santa Monica

Jerry Lewis and Adam Carolla both recently talk about how they didn’t think woman match up to men in the, “comedy department of entertainment”. That had Sir Jamal Patchman IV of Santa Monica thinking: could there be something to what Jerry and Adam were saying? Quickly, I abandoned their comments as being egotistical and insensitive to the numerous great and amazing comical woman we seen in the early Cinema until modern day television and movies.

First, let us start off with one of my favorite movies from 1934, “It Happened One Night”, starring Clark Gable and a little old funny girl named Claudette Colbert. Watching Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable in the movie is similar to watching a tennis match, the jokes go back and forth non-stop and can last a long time. Personally, Jamal thinks Claudette Colbert wins the match, game and set against her rival and costar Clark Gable. The film, “It Happened One Night” is a brilliant romantic comedy shot in black and white and directed by the legendary Frank Capra. (The film was the first to win all five major Academy Awards, Best Picture, Director, Actress, actor and Screenplay)

Take us into the 40’s, we see a slew of screwball comedies with the diversity of actress Katherine Hepburn, who has movie watcher’s laughing their pants off with hysteria because of her great physical comedy and unique voice. Katherine Hepburn brings the first big screen presence of a strong and independent woman with a spirited personality who surely can do any role from drama (Africa Queen, On Golden Pond) to comedy (Bringing Up Baby, Adam’s Rib). Katherine Hepburn leading lady spanned more than 60 years, playing along with Hollywood greats such as Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and husband Spencer Tracy by well know directors, as George Cukor and Howard Hawks.

We then see TV take to the air in America in the 50’s and two woman who stars shine bright are Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance. Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance played the Characters of Lucy and Ethel on the show, “I love Lucy” a black-and-white series which ran from October 15, 1951 to May 6, 1957. Who can forget the, “I Love Lucy” classic episode when Lucy and Ethel work at the candy factory and lose control of packing the chocolate as it speedily goes by on the conveyor belt as they try puting the candy in a small box.

As we enter the 60’s, appearing is stand-up comic, Phillis Diller along with the girls who hit a variety of television shows, Goldie Hawn (Laugh-In), Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched), Barbara Eden (I dream of Jennie) and Barbara Feldon (Get Smart). The transition continued into the 70’s, with the best TV Sitcom comedy,“The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Not one funny woman, but five talented ,independent and strong gals, Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Georgia Engel would make up, “The Mary Tyler Moore show. Also, in 1976 a little know show makes its debut on NBC, “Saturday Night Live” with three strong lead female cast members, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain and Lorrain Newman. Along for the ride on, “Saturday Night Live” are male cast members Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and John Adam Belushi.

Hmm, let Jamal think about the late 80’s for a minute, oh yea, now I remember: The birth of the Super Strong Independent Mega Woman and her name would be Ms. Janeane Garofalo, from stand-up to T.V. to the big screen movies. Ms. Jeananne Garofalo is risky, radical, opinionated and surely ahead of her time, a quick wit and gruff with a bold type of harsh humor.

In 1989, the movie, “When Harry Met Sally” Meg Ryan teams up with Billy Crystal to deliver a beautiful romantic comedy written by a fantastic woman named Nora Ephron. Nora Ephron showed the perspective from the woman point of view while giving Meg Ryan super dialogue to show off her quick snap at comedy. Meg blows us away with her amazing comedic timing during a restaurant scene where she fake an orgasm in front of a group of strangers while a distant woman comments, "I will have what she is having".

From the 90’s into the 21st century the field is wide open as we see a large group of woman enter into comedy starting with the cutting edge of Sarah Silverman to the remarkable Tina Fey onto the incredible Amy Poehler. Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have set the bar higher for all lady comedians as the three of them continue to deliver new and inventive humor while reminding while us that woman are our equals, and here to stay! So get used to it boys and like that famous bumper-sticker: Girls Kick Ass!!

Finally, we have Ellen Lee DeGeneres, a woman who would make Katherine Hepburn extremely happy of her accomplishments. Ellen is a successful Stand-up, T.V. Sitcom and Talk Show host who is proud to be a gay woman in 2013.

In Closing, I put together a list of my all-time 60 favorite funniest females in comedy:

1. Joan Rivers

2. Roseanne Barr

3. Sarah Silverman

4. Tina Fey

5. Amy Poehler

6. Whoopi Goldberg

7. Kathy Bates

8. Maya Rudolph

9. Melissa McCarthey

10. Ellen DeGeneres

11. Courtney Thorne-Smith

12. Joy Behar

13. Kristen Wig

14. Whitney Cummings

15. Christina Applegate

16. Amy Schumer

17. Kathy Madigan

18. Mindy Kaling

19. Kathy Griffin

20. Porta Di Rossi

21. Wanda Sykes

22. Kaley Cuoco

23. Katey Sagal

24. Vivica A. Fox

25. Julie Louis-Dreyfus

26. Meg Ryan

27. Victoria Jackson

28. Sandra Bullock

29. Julia Roberts

30. Lisa Lampanelli

31. Fran Drescher

32. Janeane Garofalo

33. Melissa Joan Hart

34. Margaret Cho

35. Kim Wayans

36. Kirstie Alley

37. Shelly Long

38. Rhea Perlman

39. Justine Bateman

40. Gilda Radner

41. Jane Curtain

42. Laraine Newman

43. Mary Tyler Moore

44. Georgia Engel

45. Betty White

46. Cloris Leachman

47. Valerie Harper

48. Vivian Vance

49. Lily Tomlin

50. Rose Marie

51. Barbara Felton

52. Elizabeth Montgomery

53. Barbara Eden

54. Goldie Hawn

55. Phyllis Diller

56. Lucille Ball

57. Gracie Allen

58. Katherine Hepburn

59. Carole Lombard

60. Claudette Colbert
 

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