On Saturday Bridget Christie won the Foster’s award for best comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe, which is an impressive achievement when one considers she was at a distinct disadvantage, being a woman – a gender empirically proven to be unfunny.
Scientists in Geneva have been running a series of experiments to find out whether or not women are funny, using the Large Hadron Collider, and their conclusions are pretty conclusive.
Dr James Davidson, head scientist in charge of the experiments, gave me a summary his findings:
“We started off by asking a female comedienne to tell a joke, which was then fired around the 17 mile tunnel at close to the speed of light, while a human laugh (generated by a joke that was written and performed by a male comedian, obviously) was fired around the tunnel in the opposite direction. The results from the collision of the woman’s joke, or ‘fem-joke,’ with the human laughter, were apparently ‘inconclusive.’ Linguists pointed out that language is an abstract concept, invented by humans in order to aid communication, and then they said something else but I wasn’t really listening. Blah blah blah. Linguists.
“While I was convinced by the results of our first experiment, my colleagues insisted that we push for more conclusive data. That was when we decided to fire actual living female comediennes through the tubing of the Large Hadron Collider, and in the opposite direction we fired a comedy audience of eighty people, all travelling slightly slower than the speed of light. Dozens of people died upon impact, their skulls smashing together and covering the Large Hadron Collider in blood and chunks of brain – nobody laughed. It was without a shadow of a doubt the least funny thing I have ever seen. My colleagues agreed with me (about the whole situation being unfunny – one or two of them did disagree with my practices on ‘ethical grounds’).
“Some people have expressed their criticisms of the experiments. They argue that instead of performing a series of dangerous and offensive experiments, resulting in the deaths of dozens of innocent people, I should just look at the hundreds of working female comedians in the United Kingdom whose sole source of income relies on making a room full of people laugh on a regular basis. I don’t subscribe to this flawed logic – you can’t just use facts and evidence and make conclusions based on that information; you could equally look at a statistical analysis of the records of car crashes and insurance claims and deduce that women are better drivers than men, but we all know that isn’t true. Besides, the two or three female comediennes I have seen on television aren’t really to my taste, and I don’t feel like doing the appropriate research – I don’t want to have to listen to women going on about tampons and vaginas or whatever it is that women are banging on about these days.”
“But surely the fact that female comedians exist and earn a living by making people laugh is the only evidence necessary for determining that women are funny,” I tentatively replied.
“Ooh look at Mr Liberal, cycling along in his environmentally-friendly bicycle of politically correct opinion,” and Dr Davidson started to mime the act of cycling, pedalling in circles around the room and ringing his imaginary bicycle bell and occasionally popping a wheelie. Every time I tried to interrupt Dr Davidson he rang his bell even louder and said things like “gender pay gap” and “no more page three,” only he said them in a high-pitched falsetto voice, like a lady might say them, so I could tell he was being sarcastic.