Roseanne Barr has joined the new judges panel on NBC’s competition Last Comic Standing. In an industry still facing a bias from male comics saying “women aren’t funny,” Barr says such comments are irrelevant.
“It's just something that stupid people say,” Barr said on a panel for Last Comic. “It's totally irrelevant, and I don't pay any attention to it. There's a lot of great women standup comics in this competition. There's a lot of great women comics for many years. That's just something easy that people are allowed to get away with. If you were going to change the word ‘woman’ to an ethnic word, they would not be allowed to get away with saying stuff like that. But that's the thing that hasn't change and never will change, the attitude of the people who are invested in that kind of crap, but we don't pay attention to it.”
The new season of Last Comic Standing is also produced by comedian Wanda Sykes and her company PushIt Productions. She weighed in on the panel too.
“I whole heartedly agree with Roseanne,” Sykes said. “I think it's a ridiculous statement. I don't think it's true, and when we keep getting asked that question, all you're doing is just giving more credit to it, so it should not be said. There's a lot of men who aren't funny. “
Sykes suggested that perhaps 95% of all people are not funny, regardless of gender, so comedy is a special talent. “Look at the population,” Sykes said. “Look at number of men who are doing standup comedy and look at the number of women who are doing standup comedy, and I believe the percentage of who is funny out of those groups, it's the same if you look at the percentage. There's probably 5%t of men who are funny and 5% of women who are doing it who are funny.”
Last Comic Standing returns May 22 on NBC.