Eat your heart out, John Belushi.
I once dated a theater major who firmly believed women aren't as funny as men. I'd stomp my foot and declare that I was not only funny, but far funnier than he was. Every time the argument came up, he'd reference John Belushi, who despite his sexism was indeed a comedic genius, and how Belushi, "didn't think women writers were funny enough."
This ridiculous "insight" came from his days on Saturday Night Live, days that included such other comedic geniuses as Gilda Radner who was the type of funny that could bring a grown man to tears from laughing.
Belushi, according to fellow SNL co-star Jane Curtin, was so certain that women were "fundamentally not funny," that he would go so far as to sabotage sketches that were written by the women writers on the show, by whispering his lines, as opposed to using his normal voice. If only he had lived long enough to see the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Melissa McCarthy.
This study would also have proven him wrong.
The study showed that despite our society's perception of men being the funnier gender, the difference really isn't that big after all. The study examined the caption-writing abilities of 16 men and 16 women, and in the "gender-blind" test, the men did only slightly better, the amount being so slight in fact, that it's not even worth delving into or throwing a parade in their honor. So there, gentlemen.
However, because we have it so ingrained in our skulls that women are the less funny of the sexes thanks to stereotypes, the subjects of the study "misinterpreted their own rankings." Seriously, ladies? We're funny, so let's give ourselves some credit, shall we?
There's also the double standard that funny women are unladylike. You tell a dirty joke in a room of mixed company and you're liable to seem offensive or straight-up gross. A man telling the same joke is going to get the room roaring and doubled over in laughter. Why? Because it's more acceptable for a man to have the foul mouth of drunken sailor — women don't have this pleasure. But you know what? I don't give a damn.
And you know what's actually funny? The thought that men are funnier than women; the thought that Ben, the theatre major, is funnier than me — that's the real joke, in my mind. Granted, like a lot of things, a sense of humor is somewhat subjective.
But if we're comparing notes, then it should be noted that the study also found that men laugh at each others' jokes more than women laugh at men's jokes. Maybe they're just trying to support their bros. Either way, if John Belushi were still alive, I'd love to go head-to-head with him on the subject — with Kristen Wiig having my back, of course.