“Since there have been men and women, there have been funny women,” he said to Glamour magazine, when posed with comments made by fellow comedian Jerry Lewis where Lewis states that he does not like any female comedians. Lewis has since backtracked on the comments, but he has not completely negated them.
“Seeing a woman project the kind of aggression that you have to project as a comic just rubs me wrong. And they’re funny — I mean you got some very, very funny people that do beautiful work — but I have a problem with the lady up there that’s going to give birth to a child — which is a miracle,” he said in a TIME article.
Lewis also mentioned that he thinks of women as “a producing machine that brings babies into the world,” which makes him unable to fully enjoy their comedy. While a woman’s reproductivity is her choice, Samberg rightfully believes it is ridiculous that men in comedy still believe women cannot be funny.
“It’s crazy…Idiot-ass men keep saying that women aren’t funny. It makes me crazy. I find it disgusting and offensive every time.”
Samberg has since poked fun at such comments made by male comedians, introducing Amy Schumer in previous years at the Emmys by saying, “Amy Schumer is nominated tonight, and I got to say, Schumer is really, really funny. You know…for a person.” His satire is hilarious and pointedly mocks the people who still believe that a woman cannot flourish in comedy.
In contrast, John Belushi, star of SNL from 1975 to 1979, was known for his indifference towards female comedians. He thought “women [were] just fundamentally not funny” and felt it was “his duty to sabotage women-written skits.”
It is comforting and encouraging to know that from Belushi to Samberg, the shift in attitudes towards women in comedy have progressed dramatically. Men like Samberg understand that archaic regards for women in the comedy world are not only offensive, they also could not be further from the truth.
Comments like Lewis’ and Belushi’s may unfortunately always exist, but luckily, men like Samberg remain present in combatting them within the modern day’s open-minded comedy world.
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