11/11/10

Tina Fey Wins Humor Prize and why you should love more funny women

Thank GOD for Tina Fey. Literally. Sometimes when I'm feeling like a gigantic nerd in my office or I'm just out of energy, I'll find some 30 ROCK clip on YouTube and just watch her as lovable loser Liz Lemon. (Though most would argue that Lemon is actually quite a success professionally, but you take my meaning.) Funny women are everywhere, and I've argued that before. But there's a special kind of classic quality to Fey, one that I connect with. Something that just makes me feel like it's okay to be a dorky brunette. Men get a lot of "loser" characters on television, but it's rare to see that same kind of embarrassment-tinged humor for women. Which is changing now thanks to Fey, but has been around since the dawn of comedy and felt like it saw it's last peak in the 80's with the fierce wit of Gilda Radner and the genius of Madeline Kahn. (Lest we forget earler role models of Lucille Ball, Katharine Hepburn, Carol Burnett, etc.)





But she also serves up constant reminders never to dumb yourself down, that comedy doesn't have to be "nice", and that it's good to know how to take your bra off without removing your shirt. She's the latest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor, and they made this video in honor of the occasion. (You'll feel cool when she mentions what makes her laugh, because odds are, they're the same things that make you laugh.)


Watch the full episode. See more Mark Twain Prize.

When I think of the most appealing qualities that come from Fey's humor, I think they're the same qualities from classic comedians of my childhood. Like Steve Martin and Chevy Chase. I think that's all "women" really want, though I cringe playing the gender card. We don't want "women's comedy", we just want to see other women doing good comedy. In mainstream entertainment, funny is definitely valued below looks today, usually for both men and women.

I just have a special place in my heart for character actors, male or female. Catherine O'Hara is classic in everything she's ever been in, Lily Tomlin was a favorite of mine also and Teri Garr always blew my mind growing up with anything she did and the way she could just play unhinged so well.

Hmm, this may be a future list...

Either way, I love funny women. Plain and simple, and thanks to Tina Fey, I think (and hope) that a lot more people will love them now too. By the way, she's the youngest person ever to win this award.

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