So me and Q were having a beer debate on favorite all time female comedians, and it was feeling every bit the same way as when you go shopping at Target. Yanno . . . you go in for a travel sized toiletries bag and some condoms, and you walk out with a High Def TV, a six month supply of cheesecake bites and Joanna Gaines’s cell number? You know exactly what I’m talking about . . unless you were born yesterday. In Canada.
The debate as per the funniest female on the planet runs longer than a red carpet show on the planet Venus. And truth be told, I’ve always been a fool for the the double X chromosome way of doing funny business. There is nothing quite like a dame who can steal the keys to your smile. And the double down comes when she cashes in your smile for a laugh that hurtles the planet Mars.
If you were wondering what a ‘beer debate’ is all about . . it’s really quite simple. Drink beers whilst texting a favorite comrade, and then throw a fun and sexy debate into the mix. I assure you, it beats the hell out of most any other debate you’re ever gonna involve yourself in.
So we debated our Mount Rushmore of female comedians as I was venturing into the first couple minutes of The Long, Long Trailer on TCM, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. If you’ve never seen it, get to stepping . . like right now. Because it’s an hour and forty three minutes worth of the most wonderful science experiment known to humankind. These two kids from different sides of a ninety mile train track worth of oceans, they were a brilliant complication whose arrangement nested into our hearts and stayed put.
So Lucille Ball is my George Washington of a Mount Rushmore arrangement of female comedians. Q had no problema with that assessment. What’s not to love? Lucy was sexy and beautiful with comedic timing that could have talked Dante Alighieri into writing the best Goddamn sitcom ever.
So from those heights, we chiseled out some more of this rock of funny sages and we came to an agreement on Carol Burnett (That was Q’s get). Burnett’s comedy skits were of an age that hasn’t even arrived here quite yet. She introduced me to the kind of drug I’ve been in the market for ever since.
We arrived at the intermezzo with one hell of a situation on our hands. Because the talent that was spilling out of our texts was akin to a garden hose inside the dog days of summer.
Next up, I went for Ellen. Because I remember some of her early stuff, before she got ABC. And lemme tell you, I would have been her groupie if that had been her thing. No questions asked. She hit me that way. Hard and sublimely. I still quiver, yeah . . it’s like that. But man, the brilliance of her stand up act was worth a mighty intoxicating platter.
So here we stood, ninety feet from home plate with a harem of laugh makers that had to be cut. Which is why you choose beer for such a debate, kids. For the hops it gifts you.
We had Joan Rivers, whose balls were mighty and whose sacred cows were always missing in action; because she spared no one and nothing, ever. And damn if that isn’t what comedy is supposed to feel like. There was Tina Fey, whose politics were so fucking smart that she made you feel as if she was swimming three olives inside a perfectly constructed martini. And so what if Amy Schumer can’t be political to save her life? She does everything else spot on, including vagina (pun intended).
Lily Tomlin is first ballot Hall of Fame, and if you go with her . . you gotta bring Bette Midler along, because she is mirror image (Big Business reference). And speaking of mirror besties, you can’t leave Vicki Lawrence out of the Carol Burnett discussion if you stayed up to watch those two light up the screen. And if you were of that certain age, you watched Betty White, Phyllis Diller and Mary Tyler Moore do the same damned bit of wonderful. And then you watched Goldie Hawn make fun of the armed services without so much as a trip to the President’s office.
And of that certain age, when Saturday night at home wasn’t a complete waste of time because of SNL . . you remember Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner. Mightily. After which Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kristin Wiig did the seats just fine.
And Whoopi did stand-up with the kind of hold you can’t teach, and then she doubled down on a cinematic career whose carom made Ghost one of the best movies. Ever. And there is Kathy Griffin, who seems a bit lost in space excepting for those NYE installments with her girlfriend Anderson (They are one of my favorite couples). But she is still all that, when she’s not beheading Trump. And speaking of women who don’t need a dude prop, Melissa McCarthy. Why she ever did that sitcom with the unfunny guy? I’ll never understand.
So me and Q debated ourselves into one last round as Lucy and Ricky gave way to Bing Crosby in Top ‘O The Morning before Q hit oil with a winner.
Wanda Sykes. Of course.
The gal throws the kind of heat that will leave you shuddering. She has worked with so many of the very biggest in the biz; from Larry David and Eddie Murphy, to Chris Rock and Homer Simpson. And her talent never played second fiddle, to any of ’em. You just can’t upstage a five alarm fire such as hers. And not for nothing, but she’s a masterful comedic writer to boot. Signed. Sealed and delivered.