Are women becoming more ribald and bawdy? Is there some planetary Mars/Venus alignment going on when it comes to comedy? VH1 has research suggesting females are embracing humor styles traditionally enjoyed by males.
With a new group of female comedians such as Zooey Deschanel and Amy Schumer -- Melissa McCarthy should not be overlooked – the network found female adultsters (millennials, ages 25-plus) are increasingly attracted to gags in the following veins:
--Put down/humiliation (example Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer”)
--Cringe/gross out (“Bridesmaids,” McCarthy was a co-star)
--Pantomime/physical (“New Girl,” starring Deschanel)
--Sex (VH1 cites “Sex and the City,” though that had its heyday a while ago)
This is not to say men and women will always be chuckling in concert while co-viewing. A female might, yes, still find a male counterpart laughing uncontrollably and wonder why -- and vice versa.
In a blog post detailing the “Finding Funny” research based on female adultster emotions, VH1’s Michael Desmarais suggests in part women may be more layered than men in the humor realm:
“Women appreciate drama balanced with humor, while men prefer ‘just the jokes.’”
“Women may determine that something is funny based on whether they were entertained more broadly, while men base it on whether or not they laughed.”
VH1 found indications that women can hardly be described as mean girls when it comes to humor. Research shows 92% “believe that humor can cross the line and no longer be funny and 72% believe that making fun of someone at their lowest is not funny.”
Having said that, 63% indicate they watch reality TV to laugh at the characters.
While the research may be used to inform VH1 programmers, there’s also some encouragement for advertisers to focus on humor as 90% of females indicated they’re more likely to remember funny ads.
MTV Networks is legendary for its attention to research and “Finding Funny” seems to fit with the diligence so often pursued. Among its tactics, VH1 conducted interviews and a roundtable discussion with adultster female comedians, while in the consumer arena, the network turned to “conflict groups pitting men against women.”