Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the mane attraction

See what I did there? Instead of "main", I put "mane". That's because I talk about hair in this post. Don't worry, you'll get it...

I've been thinking a lot lately about gendered humour. I know I posted a while ago re: whether or not women are funny (conclusion: they ARE, but not as easily, or as widely expected to be), but because I'm feeling like the phase of "try comedy" is edging closer and closer, I've been really preoccupied with why funny women are funny, and why some women who try to be funny aren't.

This is the thought that struck me as I tried to lay my sweet sweet head to sleep tonight: Hair.

I mean, as far as having an "I'm a relaxed and awesome person who's gonna make you laugh" kind of look, hair goes a long way. Most men have short hair, so the male comedians with a regular short hair cut are kind of like an aesthetic blank slate as far as humour-potential appearance goes. Clothes don't really play into it either, as most guys stick to the shirt 'n' jeans fashion agenda. Some male comedians do a little "personality swoosh" in the front (ala Conan O'Brien: Joke train comin'! Lllookkout!) or have really curly hair and take advantage of the inherent zaniness that curly hair brings (Weird Al, you so WEIRD!). But then what about the ladies? I'm curious how much a gal's hair might play into how funny she is (publicly, as a performer)...

Like, short hair might just say, "I'm going to emulate a masculine kinda humour now" OR if she is skinny and cute, "I am a silly little sprite who will charm your cutey cute face." Then there's cookie cutter salon styles that kinda just say, "I'm like most girls you probably know and I might also be boring." Medium length bobs or super curls would probably go a long way towards enhancing an on-stage character... (this is kind of a thinking out loud on my computer on the internet thing right now)

Then there's long hair. Is it possible for long hair to be funny? Like would a lady comedian want all the fellas in the audience to be overly preoccupied with the luxuriousness of her hair (or as it translated in their brains: "penis go there")? Can you play a smart hilarious girl if you have ditzy bar-star hair? Hmmm... unless the long hair was super curly (going back to Weird Al)... curls = fun. That'd work.

I think that my conclusion is that developing a character and playing that character well is what must work best for on-stage performing. Hair just tops off the whole package. I wonder what the most universally likeable hairstyle is? Like the hair that most says, "you like me. We're gonna have a great time."

I'm gonna make my own chart with how I think it might work. Points for each different aspect of the lady's hair. More points combined equals more likeability. I'm like a scientist!

Brown - I'm sensible and smart. I'll talk about shoelaces in a very funny way. 1 pt.
Blond - I'm fun and bubbly! I'll chatter about silly things in an adorable manner! If I want to throw you off, I'll be super serious and it will seem funny! 2 pts.
Black - I'm have anger inside of me and I want to bitch about things! LIKE PERIODS! 2 pts.
Red - I'm totally crazy on the inside but I reveal it in clever and hilarious ways! WILD CARD MOTHERF*CKERS. 3 pts.

Super short - You probably think I'm gay! No sexual tension between me and the male audience members makes things more relaxed and therefore more potentially funny probably! 1 pt.
Chin length - I'm cute! Look at my cute neck! I'm really cute! 2 pts.
Shoulder length - Damn in between stage! This does NOTHING for me. 1 pt.
Past shoulders - My comedic versatility is as extensive as my hair! Sassy? Smart? Whatevs! 2 pts.
Waist length - Sex! Sex sex sex sex sex. SEX! 1 pt.
Crazy long - I'm crazy! Don't heckle me or I will shoot blood from my fingers at you. 0 pts.

Straight - I've got my shit under control. You will enjoy yourself because I have your shit under control as well. 2 pts.
Wavy - I either spent too much time on this, or I just rolled outta bed. Hair? Bed? Now I'm sexy. Laugh and, if you're lucky, I will love you. Wait, stop thinking about the bed thing. Stop! Argh, everyone is confused! 1 pt.
Curly - I'm spunky! When I move my head I seem more animated because of all the bouncing, and that makes me funner! 3 pts.
Super curly - I'm a strong, independent lady and I don't even NEED your laughs. Seriously couldn't care less about this shit. 2 pts.

Add up yer points ladies. This here is the true, ultimate scientific breakdown of how strangers grade your funniness potential. I could get into 'dos too (like down vs. ponytail), but I'm getting sleepy. I think I've exorcised this theory well enough that it won't keep me awake any longer. I've also graded the hair so that it weighs slightly in favour of my current hairdo. Wow, what were the odds of THAT?