because creative women aren’t funny. they’re bloody herlarious*

“I MEAN IT LOOKS AMAZING, BUT

I JUST FEAR I’M NOT VERY FUNNY.

I’D BE SO INTIMIDATED. I DON’T HAVE A FUNNY BONE IN MY BODY.

WHAT IF I DON’T MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH?”

I MEAN THIS SAYS IT ALL, REALLY. WHEN SUGGESTING TO SOME OF THE UTTERLY BRILLIANT CREATIVE WOMEN I KNOW THAT THEY COME ALONG TO THE SECOND EVER HERLARIOUS NIGHT. “I MEAN IT LOOKS AMAZING, BUT I JUST DON’T THINK I’M FUNNY”.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I WAS EXACTLY THE SAME. I REMEMBER PROFESSING JUST HOW NOT FUNNY. I REMEMBER CONTEMPLATING - GENUINELY CONTEMPLATING - LIVE TWEETING MY ATTENDANCE.

WHY DO WE (WHY DO WOMEN - BECAUSE I’M REFERRING SPECIFICALLY TO WOMEN HERE) DO THIS?


IT’S ALMOST LIKE WE’RE SCARED TO THINK WE’RE FUNNY. OF ALL THE THINGS THAT INCITE IMPOSTER SYNDROME IN WOMEN, THE PROSPECT OF OPENLY ADMITTING THAT WE MIGHT BE SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL TRIGGERS. I MEAN, WHAT IF WE MAKE A JOKE AND SOMEONE DOESN’T LAUGH? IT’S ALMOST AS IF WE’RE AFRAID TO BE ‘CAUGHT OUT’. THAT WE BELIEVE BEING FUNNY AS A WOMAN REQUIRES US TO BE FUNNY ALL THE TIME. FUNNY ON CUE. “OH, YOU THINK YOU’RE FUNNY? COME ON THEN: BE FUNNY. NOW. DANCE FOR ME MONKEY!”

IF YOU WERE TO SAY TO A COMEDIAN: “GO ON THEN, TELL US A JOKE!”, THEY’D SHIT THEMSELVES (LIKELY BEFORE PUNCHING YOU IN THE FACE). BECAUSE THAT’S NOT WHAT BEING A COMEDIAN IS. THAT’S NOT WHAT BEING FUNNY IS. IT’S JUST SOMETHING YOU ARE. AND WOMEN? WOMEN ARE SERIOUSLY FUNNY.

AND YET IT REMAINS TABOO. IT REMAINS A TERRIFYING THING FOR A WOMAN TO CLAIM.

WHY? BECAUSE FOR SO LONG WE’VE BEEN TOLD WE’RE NOT MEANT TO BE FUNNY. WE’VE BEEN TOLD WE’RE NOT MEANT TO BE EMOTIONAL. AND IT’S BULLSHIT.

THE FACT THAT ONLY 1% ADS SHOW WOMEN HAVING A SENSE OF HUMOUR IS BULLSHIT. WE KNOW IT’S BULLSHIT. WE’VE ALWAYS KNOWN IT’S BULLSHIT. AND YET OVER THE YEARS IT’S BARELY CHANGED.

AND I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER IF IN PART IT HASN’T CHANGED BECAUSE, WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, WE DON’T ACTUALLY TRUST WE COULD BE FUNNY.

I MEAN, WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE:

“EVERYONE’S LAUGHING, BUT I DON’T FIND THAT FUNNY. IT MUST BE ME. IT MUST BE THAT I DON’T HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR. IT COULDN’T POSSIBLY BE THAT IT’S NOT ACTUALLY FUNNY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

PERHAPS IF WE HAD THE CONFIDENCE TO NOT ONLY THINK WE’RE FUNNY, BUT TO OWN THE RIGHT TO BE, THINGS MIGHT START TO CHANGE.

PERHAPS IF THERE’D BEEN A WOMAN IN THE ROOM, OR A WOMAN WITH THE CONFIDENCE TO CALL BULLSHIT ON AN ENTIRELY MISFIRED ATTEMPT AT “HUMOUR”, THIS CAMPAIGN COULD HAVE BEEN FUNNY RATHER THAN LAUGHABLE (NOT TO MENTION CONTRIVED, INSULTING, IGNORANT OF THE TARGET AUDIENCE - I COULD GO ON…).

AND THAT’S WHY WE CREATED HERLARIOUS.

TO GIVE WOMEN THE CONFIDENCE TO MAKE THINGS CHANGE.

TO STICK TWO FINGERS UP TO THE 1% AND SHOW JUST HOW DAMN FUNNY WOMEN REALLY ARE.

TO GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO EXPRESS THEIR IDEAS MORE CONFIDENTLY AND FREELY USING SOME OF THE TRICKS OF THE COMEDY TRADE.

TO PUT BRILLIANT CREATIVE WOMEN IN A ROOM WITH BRILLIANT COMEDY PROFESSIONALS WHO CAN SHARE ADVICE ON HOW TO ‘PERFORM’, WRITE GREAT COPY, BRING IDEAS TO LIFE AND DEVELOP TECHNIQUES THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO COMMUNICATE MORE EFFECTIVELY.

YOU CHOOSE THE WORKSHOPS THAT SUIT YOU, HOW YOU PARTICIPATE IN THEM, HOW INVOLVED YOU’RE COMFORTABLE TO BE. IF YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR IDEAS AND TEST YOUR MATERIAL, YOU CAN DO THAT. IF YOU WANT TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT ISSUES YOU’RE FACING AT WORK THAT YOU THINK THE FACILITATORS CAN HELP YOU ADDRESS, YOU CAN DO THAT. IF YOU WANT TO SIT QUIETLY IN THE CORNER AND OBSERVE IN SILENCE, YOU CAN DO THAT. I JUST DON’T THINK YOU’LL WANT TO.

I THINK, WHEN YOU’RE IN THE ROOM WITH A LOAD OF AMAZING CREATIVE WOMEN (WHO, BY THE WAY, ALSO WORRIED ABOUT COMING BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T THINK THEY WERE FUNNY), YOU’LL FIND YOURSELF FORGETTING WHY YOU WERE SCARED TO COME AND REMEMBERING WHY YOU DAMN WELL CAME ANYWAY: BECAUSE YOU KNEW IT WOULD BE AMAZING.

THAT THE WOMEN WHO SHOWED UP WOULD BE AMAZING. THAT THE Q&A PANEL WOULD HAVE A KICK-ASS CREATIVE LINE UP. THAT THE LIVE COMEDY PERFORMANCES WOULD PROVE THAT WOMEN ARE FUNNY. AND THAT THERE WOULD BE WINE AND BEER (BECAUSE WE’RE NOT MEANT TO DRINK THAT EITHER BUT WE DO) AND DELICIOUS NIBBLES...I MEAN, IT NEVER HURTS, RIGHT?

LOOK, I GET IT - I GET THAT THE FIRST THOUGHT THAT ENTERS YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU SEE ‘COMEDY’ YOUR INSTINCT IS TO GO “BUT I’M NOT FUNNY”. I JUST KNOW YOU’LL REGRET NOT COMING FOR THAT REASON, THAT “BUT…”.

BECAUSE WHILE I BUY THAT YOU’RE NOT A COMEDIAN, I DON’T BUY THAT YOU’RE NOT A CREATIVE. AND I DEFINITELY DON’T BUY THAT YOU’RE NOT FUNNY.

AND THIS IS COMEDY FOR CREATIVES, NOT CREATIVITY FOR COMEDIANS.

WE’RE NOT EXPECTING YOU TO PROVIDE THE COMEDY. BUT WHO KNOWS, MAYBE YOU’RE FUNNIER THAN YOU THOUGHT…

*A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FUNNYWOMEN.COM.