She’s a Slob: Funnywomen and My Very Limited Experience with Gross-Out Comedy

Bridesmaids (2011) pic from around the web. What's going on? I dunno, I think she's shitting?

Maybe I should watch a Melissa McCarthy movie soon, eh?

I know that one reason I’ve seen many many more disgusting comedy-men than disgusting comedy-women in fiction is because of my own darn self, because of my limits on what I actively seek out. Before I started typing this post, I had zero interest in watching, say, Bridesmaids. But now, while the question of “how many women do gross-out humor?” fresh on my mind, I suddenly have to add it to my to-watch list.

I very rarely think about comedy films, let alone watch them. American sitcoms, however, I have some foothold in. I have an idea, for example, of the building blocks that constitute your average sitcom mom: the dingbat, the tyrant, the mama bear, the sweetness and light. I sense there mmmight be an element of “slacker mom” in shows like Married…with Children and Roseanne, but I’ve never seen a full episode of those. Slacker mom, maybe—but disgusting mom? No, that territory is Dads Only.

Screenshot of SNL skit "Bunny" from around the web

Let me move away from TV moms and toward my (incredibly limited) knowledge of general TV recently. I’m a college kid in the year of 2019, so it’s all NBC comedies like The Office, where you’ve got Meredith. Once I saw a sketch on Saturday Night Live—approx. every five months I somehow end up watching an episode of Saturday Night Live, and I’m never sure why or how—with this brusque wino-beero lady named Bunny, so we got her. I also think of Eleanor from The Good Place, but…but she’s not just a slob, she’s a young, conventionally-attractive slob! So if what I’m looking for is not exactly “female slob” but more like “distaff counterpart to Homer Simpson,” I guess I’d better watch Bridesmaids after all. Still, Eleanor is noted and appreciated.

An officially-sanctioned-by-NBC profile pic of Meredith from The Office
Hasty screencap of an Eleanor Shellstrop from NBC's list of streaming episodes. Don't you love how thorough this alt text is? What a TREAT, am I right?

All that writing was fun, but here’s what I really wanted to talk about: comedy online. Podcasts and YouTube. I’m hip and young; I want my content free (or mostly free) and now (after buffering). I don’t listen or watch as frequently anymore, but in high school and some of undergrad they were my lifeblood.

The media we consume says a lot about us, so you can take this paragraph as a confessional or autobiography. I was there for the dawn of Game Grumps. I listened to the Pizza Party Podcast religiously. I would play the Sleepycabin podcast with friends as a bonding exercise, which, as you’ll realize if you know anything about the bizarre and seriously off-color stuff they discuss, should only be attempted by experts.

(Disclaimer: how are the Sleepycabin guys anyway? I haven’t heard about any through the grapevine lately about more than a couple of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re actually awful people. But I don’t really have the will/energy to dig for any sordid histories right now. YES this is me covering my ass in case someone finds this post to support the claim “Joi Loves Sleepycabin—Therefore Also Loves Murder”)

And I often said to myself, “All of these gross dudebro jokes are well and good, but what about the gross dudettesis ones?” It seemed like whenever these podcasts or video series had The Ladies on as guest stars, those guests were so soft and sanitary. It was like inviting the girl with the long frilly dress to play with the boys in the kickball field. I want her to get dirty, but she’s just not that type of person. She’s in no way obligated to be that person—hopefully she’s being herself, or in some comedic persona she likes—but she disappoints me and my very specific, very gnarly tastes.

The Season 2-era logo of Womp It Up

So the podcast Womp It Up! is a breath of fresh air…I mean, a breath of air that smells like DiGiorno’s pizza with more than a hint of other secretions. Marissa Wompler (disclaimer: she’s a totally fictional character, so I’m not insulting a real person) is freaking disgusting. In a world of comedic gold ripe for the unearthing, she and her pals from Marina Del Rey are a treasure horde.

In one episode, Marissa is afraid to discuss her (absurdly disgusting) periods because it might turn listeners away, especially the male audience. But her co-host Listler reassures her that women should be able to talk about these gross things too. And, she adds, “Sometimes the truth can turn people on.”

I’d buy that for a dollar.

Thank you for reading, and Patrons, thank you for Patreonning.

For more introspective media fun, check out my views on pretentiousness, the YA fantasy novel Elatsoe, and the cable-TV schlock movie The Cowboy Way!

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