'SNL' Highlights How Women In Comedy Films Are Too One-Dimensional & That Needs To Change
Lots of attention has been paid to women in comedy recently. Female-led shows like Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City are killing it. Jessica Delfino gathered a group of 200 female comedians for a powerful visual image of how many women there are in comedy. But there's still a long way to go for comedy parity. Of all places, Saturday Night Live commented on the short shrift women get in comedies during a "Weekend Update" segment in its April 16 episode.
The segment started with an unfortunate stat introduced by Colin Jost: He claimed that, even in female-led movies, men get most of the lines. To comment on it, he introduced Cecily Strong, who played the "One-Dimensional Female Character from a Male Driven Comedy." (It's a character she's done before.) She describes everything that poor, beleaguered love interests are subjected to in comedies, like the indignity of disappearing from the movie for long stretches at a time, or getting her part cut because it tested poorly with audiences who didn't know who she was or what she was doing in the movie. It's enough to make anyone angry, but she didn't get angry, she explained, because being really angry makes her an un-sexy nag.
It's interesting that she did this character on the episode hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Louis-Dreyfus didn't appear on "Weekend Update," but she's been vocal about having her own under-written comedic moments — on SNL. But we all know how that turned out: Louis-Dreyfus went on to become Elaine Benes, one of the best comedic characters on television (man or woman), and she's now rocking it over on Veep. I only hope that Strong's poor One-Dimensional Female Character from a Male Driven Comedy will one day get her day in the spotlight — and maybe a real name, too.
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