|CLASS: Men, Women & Humor|
What does gender have to do with what’s funny? “Take my wife. Please.” As Henny Youngman’s famous line points out, it’s a common theory of comedy (thank you, Freud) that one way we use humor is to exploit the anxiety, tension or anger we have about different things. Men making jokes about women, women making jokes about men, and both making jokes about marriage and sex, have been a staple of our comedy diet since the beginning. Take Aristophanes, please. Over 2400 years ago, his plays were filled with comedy about the genders. And those cave drawings in France? What do you think they were talking about? How he won’t take out the garbage and how she put on a couple of extra pounds. Beginning with a short history of how gender has played out in humor, we will discuss the following questions: In what ways do the genders continue to battle out their differences through humor? What is the difference between women’s humor and men’s humor? Why does comedy tend to be so dominated by men? How do things change when a male or female say the same joke? How does “gendered” comedy challenge or uphold the values of the status quo? Employing audio and video examples and lots of jokes, this workshop, promises a lively, provocative and fun discussion.