Women or rape: Which is the less funny?

Mike Sheer on comedy's big debates

Unless you've been living under a rock, or are interesting, you're aware of the ongoing ‘Are women funny?’ debate. Lately, there's been another element tossed into the ‘funny?’ quandary: rape. We just can't seem to put our finger on whether or not rape and women are funny! But can we ascertain which is less funny?

Rape is essentially raw brutality. Okay, so far so funny. Anything violent has the capacity to be hilarious. I believe it's called ‘slapstick’ However, rape is also a devastatingly personal tragedy and loss. That's not funny - to those of us who can empathise and probably the victim. As to whether or not the rapist finds it funny is inconsequential. They've already had their fun.

Many find it abhorrent that rape would be something to be censored in comedy - and quite right.

Stand up comedy is only kept aloft by the thousands upon thousands of hopefuls who step onstage every night - whether it be actual stage or simply a nest of broken glass and spilt beer. Each time these newcomers direct their fear-befouled breath toward the microphone, comedy history is re-written. They boldly press on with their gags, sometimes taken from the TV and sometimes not, or lovely anecdotes about something.

If no one laughs, everyone loses, audience and comedian alike. For comedy is a medium that demands a certain reaction, or it becomes simply an awkward gathering. This is where rape comes in. How else to nail down the ever elusive element of humour in a piece and elevate the speaker from zero to hero? ‘Take away our rape and you take away our strength!’ is the cry from within all shores of the comedy world.

The British isles are crammed with gigs in villages, towns, cities, hamlets, and fields. On the live circuit, the most reliable money is in these smaller hamlets - entertaining those who are, of course, the backbone of this great country. It's a healthy industry (although from time to time gigs may shut down due to budgeting problems or landlords wary of the presence of ‘urban’ comedians in their establishments). But these people need to laugh and rape jokes work. Everyone can enjoy themselves, and it's only at the expense of some distant suffering. It's no different to sitting down for a fine traditional Sunday carvery at Wetherspoons and dining on the flesh of a tortured, murdered beast. And don't you dare come after our carveries!

Now, women is an interesting one. Do I hate women? The short answer is ‘no’. The long answer is ‘no but yes’. I have a rather macrocosmic perception in regards to women: I don't hate them personally, of course, but I hate them as a whole. I hate how they manipulate me with their sultriness and crumble my directives. I hate how they receive better treatment from society just because they are weak and soft. I hate how they appear to like me and then rarely do. So when one steps behind that microphone, can you blame me for reeling?

Do women make me laugh? Of course! In individual cases. But as a whole, are they funny?

Let me put it like this: it's a proven fact that men have had to develop iron-clad senses of humour just to mate with women. Since our penises and body hair are disgusting, women are naturally drawn to lesbianism (hence why female homosexuals aren't as bad as male ones, it's less unnatural). This is why men are so able to throw out off-the-cuff witticisms, puns, anecdotes. And all women can do is imitate us if they want to be funny, by copying our method of telling jokes to get laughs. They have never come up with an original method because they never had to. We are drawn to their silken skin, heaving breasts, etc, etc., not their senses of humour.

To enjoy a comedian you have to like them. Either immediately, or after they insult themselves to the point where you no longer feel threatened. Some women are capable of doing this, but only when I didn't really want to fuck them anyway. Like Christopher Hitchens said: ‘Most of them [funny women], though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three.’ No-one wants to fuck a hefty, dykey and/or Jewish woman! So we can feel comfortable enough in their presence to enjoy a laugh.

Which leads us to conclude: women are less funny than rape.

But this presents us with a second question: does the fact it's a woman being raped skew the results? Is it not even more hilarious when it's male homosexual rape (ideally featuring a ‘big black guy’ in some kind of prison scenario)?

Philosophical questions in comedy are endless, so the proof shall just have to be in the pudding. Simply trawl the wealth of comedy nights in your local area!

Support live comedy. It needs it, especially the shitty kind.

  • This article provoked a storm of protest, and Mike subsequently wrote this piece explaining his intentions.

Published: 2 Oct 2012

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