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The Female Funny: Is It Different For Girls?

Are men funnier than women? That question is one of the stupider distractions to derail female writers, actors, directors and filmmakers in recent years, because it puts women on the defensive and forces them to "prove" they are funny/write funny/know funny/can make funny. Within the wider challenges of the film industry, this has set up different challenges for women in getting specifically comedic film projects off the ground, from script to directing to funny roles for women to the practicalities of getting funded. Is it because, as NYT film critic Manolha Dargis has said, "It's all guys making deals with other guys?" Is it that women are hidden behind-the-scenes, as was debated in the "Daily Show vs. Jezebel" controversy? Are things changing thanks to trailblazers like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig? How present are women in the surging Judd Apatow/Jonah Hill/Paul Rudd/David Wain canons - as stars, or supporting roles? And is it harder to get to the audience before the audience - the gatekeepers of the industry (and it's money) - who are those gatekeepers, what does their gender tend to be, and is there a humor divide? Or is funny funny, and can women make dick jokes as well as any guy? Finally, consider this comment: "It is incredibly difficult to find beautiful, talented, funny women over 35.” Every heard that about a dude? That was said by Colette Burson, co-creator of Hung. There's probably a dick joke in there.



MODERATOR Rachel Sklar Founder Change The Ratio

Editor-at-Large of, Co-Founder of, advisor for I will hash you.

Stuart Blumberg Blumberg Productions

Stuart Blumberg is a screenwriter and producer whose credits include Keeping The Faith starring Edward Norton and Ben Stiller, The Girl Next Door starring Emile Hirsch and Elisa Cuthbert and The Kids Are All Right starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Jamie Denbo Writer Writer/Comedian

Jamie Denbo is a writer/comedian living in Los Angeles.

Irin Carmon Reporter Jezebel

Irin Carmon is a journalist, blogger, and commentator. She is currently a reporter for, a site published by Gawker Media with two million monthly readers. There, she published a series of pieces in 2010 on women in comedy, including a reported piece on The Daily Show's women that launched a national conversation. She has also written for The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, The Boston Globe, The Jerusalem Post, The Village Voice, and others.


Monday March 14



Austin Convention Center

Room 16AB

500 E Cesar Chavez St


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