Funny is Sexy, Again!

Tina Fey

Are you funny or quirky? When you’re posing for a picture, are you likely to pull a silly face or stick out your tongue? Is it impossible for you to take yourself seriously? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, your time has come.

Funny is sexy.

Remember back in junior high when all the other girls were identifying themselves with Cher or Dionne from Clueless, complete with plastic miniskirts and pens with fluffy pom-poms attached, and you, appropriately clueless, dressed in your uniform of cut off shorts and over-sized t-shirt, just sheepishly smiled along all the while reliving in your head the latest Ms Swan skit from the MADtv?

Yeah, those years were awkward … Happily, those days are over and now you can have the best of both worlds. You can be funny, beautiful, confident, sexy, and completely bonkers. You can have it all!

Comedians like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristin Wiig, and Mindy Kaling have taken hold of comedy with their manicured french tips and unapologetic witticisms and are not letting go. No longer are they debasing themselves and their gender just to get a laugh, but are using comedy as a platform to get across a very specific point: women have a voice, an intelligent, thoughtful, important, and often extremely funny voice.

In the 30s and 40s, women were astoundingly humorous onscreen, crippling men with impeccable delivery of some of the best comedic lines ever written. They were sophisticated, intelligent, often goofy, and never considered unfeminine for their humor. In fact, it made them even more feminine. Just watch ladies like Rosalind Russell or Myrna Loy and you’ll see. They’re funny and ooze sexiness. Almost nobody is goofier than Lucille Ball, and she is among the best of the best.

Sadly, those days didn’t last. For so long, women in comedy haven’t looked or acted much different from their male counterparts. I don’t know if it was their personal choices, or a casualty of 90s fashion, but growing up, it seemed all female comedians wanted to wear grungy, over-sized man-pants, some version of lumber jack plaid, and blurt obscenities like an entire submarine full of sailors. Decidedly a male-driven field, was it because they felt that they had to deny their very essence in order to get ahead in comedy? Did they feel like they had to attune their jokes to the male-mindset or they wouldn’t even get on stage? Most likely, unfortunately.

Thankfully, the times they are a-changin’. Because of the previous status quo, to be funny was to be manly, and therefore not attractive. It made you “just one of the guys” if you could make a boy laugh with your ribald jokes or witty banter, pretty much the worst place to be, second only to “she’s like a sister to me.”

The past ten years, the past 5 especially, have seen an abundance of female-driven comedy, from awesome shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and New Girl, to films like Bridesmaids, touting an all female cast of comedians, who not only carry their own, they carry it all the way to the Oscars (Melissa McCarthy was nominated for an Academy Award for Bridesmaids, for crying out loud!). Hilarious memoirs written by our favorite funny gals are New York Times bestsellers (, , ) – clearly, funny has a voice, and it sounds less like Seinfeld and more like Silverman. (Sidenote: recently was informed by our own that Amy Poehler has a book in the works, set for a 2014 release. And the people rejoiced!)

Now that we funny girls have the world’s attention, what do we do? Easy. Don’t hold back – make those jokes! Be funny, and without apology. Wear red lipstick and stick out your tongue in your Instagram selfies. Wryly challenge your boyfriend on a preconceived notion of gender equality. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from an ex of mine, who called me one of the funniest people he’d ever met (he must not have known very many people); I’m still getting mileage out of that one.

So go on, be bold, be daring, be hilarious, and be yourself. Nothing is sexier than that.


ComedyKristen WiigTina Fey
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1 Comment

  • Reply February 2, 2013


    If funny is sexy, I am absolutely smoldering! I hear your battle cry and I love it! Keep the awesome advice coming Nikkinik!