Meeting a staged accusation of sexism with a phony admission of much deeper ingrained sexism is exactly in keeping with the tone of the series. Part of the brilliance of Mr. Show was its encyclopedic hyper-awareness of seemingly everything its predecessors had done — essentially it was a sketch comedy show about sketch comedy — and the lack of good comedic roles for women is something its creators wouldn’t have missed. Bob Odenkirk and David Cross were well aware of the venerable Saturday Night Live’s reputation as a misogynistic institution where men flourished and women floundered. While SNL specifically bore the brunt of this criticism, other sketch shows were said to be unfriendly to women as well. Mr. Show refuted the accusation, though, by continually getting great performances out of its female comedians.
Frankly, I’m totally surprised at the way even the most “progressive” men view women in comedy. I once had a friend say to me in complete seriousness “I just don’t think women are as funny as men.” I was completely blown away by his universal blanket assertion. To me that statement is akin what an otherwise-rational segregation supporter would say in the 1960′s. I’m fairly confident those people now deny their prejudice, because they realize they’re wrong and are ashamed of their ignorance. I truly believe comedy sexists will feel the same way soon. Of course, my perspective is heavily-influenced by the fact that my wife is absolutely hilarious and the most talented comedian I’ve ever come across.
So why do so many men think this way? So much of comedy is about perspective and most men either lack the ability to consider the female point of view altogether or over-emphasize the point of view and obscure something that’s simply funny. What do you think?