5 times online comedy instruction was sexist

There are lots of comedy resources online: how to be funnier, how to write a joke, how to effectively use the rule of three (SEE HOW I DID THAT?) That’s great.

Less great: In many instances, you are not so much the target customer as…the target of the joke. Like, the sample jokes they are presenting and analyzing—and I don’t mean “analyzing” in a bell hooks way—are straight up garden-variety dumb and sexist.

Whatever, brah. It’s not worth my comedy outrage. (And I’m not here to slam the particular instructors below; they’re just the ones I happened across, and their basic comedy guidance is sound.) For me the most telling thing is the obvious assumption that ONLY OTHER DUDES are reading/watching, which is not only THE WHOLE ENTIRE PROBLEM, but also questionable customer acquisition strategy.

See what I mean…

  1. To explain basic joke structure, this guy says: “Consider this joke from Jimmy Carr: My girlfriend said she wanted me to tease her. I said “alright, fatty”. Carr creates an assumption (that his girlfriend wants to be teased playfully) then subverts it (by teasing her maliciously.) It’s a classic setup/punch joke; the first sentence (setup) leads us in one direction, the next sentence (punch) reframes the setup revealing an unexpected twist.”
  2. Of ALL THE JOKES in the world that he could possibly deconstruct, this guy picks a blonde joke.
  3. Describing the vital comedy tool of surprise, this guy offers this example: “I woke up in the hotel this morning and the housekeeper was banging on the door, just banging. Finally, I had to get up and let her out.” In a later joke, he calls his ex a “chick,” which is not altogether surprising.
  4. This guy teaches the rule of threes with a dose of hacky transphobia: “Expected Trait/Expected Trait/Unexpected Trait (She was pretty, she was shapely, she was a man).”
  5. This guy, who is an adult, refers to the women he dates as “girls.”
  6. Same guy, explaining the logic of a Seinfeld joke, says, “You’d think more women wouldn’t wax their legs, but since they need to in order to look attractive to men, they do it anyway.”
  7. Comedy articles and lectures are full of examples. Almost every single sample joke? Written by a dude. Almost every single example of a comedian with a particular style? A dude. Often they’re great jokes/comics! But come on. Google harder.

Find an example like the above? Tweet it at @goldcmdy!

Read Lynn’s bio here.

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