Props are due to Bust magazine for an arresting October cover that is stylish, sleek, and very very cool (and totally commandeered ETP's attention at the newsstand this weekend). We snatched up the mag to see if there was any new dirt on SNL — as rumored, it's been officially confirmed that Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell and Finesse Mitchell are off the show — but sadly, there was none. What we got, though, was better, if somewhat explicit for a family blog: Somehow during the conversation between Poehler and interviewer/fellow comedian Jil Soloway, it became a perfectly natural to compare the paucity of successful mainstream female comedians to the paucity of female pubic hair as compared to the fuller styles of the 1970s. Except they say it more baldly (which was just a totally uniintentional pun that we are leaving in to be saucy).
Since Bust doesn't have their stuff online, we'll bring you a few of Poehler's pearls, because there are parallels between her experience and what we've been witnessing lately in media: The intense scrutiny of Katie Couric (and the notion of qualities men ostensibly have more than women, like gravitas, or being funny) as well as the experiences of ABC's Lynn Sherr rising through the network ranks, who shared some of them last week on "Reliable Sources" (like those times when "girls" just weren't hired), which provides an interesting counterpoint to Paul Farhi's WaPo article this summer about the so-called "crisis" of more women than men in TV newsrooms. Here's an interesting comment about her experience on SNL, which Poehler is quick to point out was under Tina Fey as head writer in an environment where women were very much part of the team. (In fact, she notes that between Fey and Maya Rudolph both balancing first babies with the sketch sked, "I don't think there has ever been more breastfeeding on SNL.") Despite all that, this observation:
I do think it's interesting that that show produces single male stars a lot of the time, but the story about the women on the show always seems to be, "All these girls, aren't they great?" It usually takes three or four of us to make up one male star.
Poehler also makes reference to John Belushi's assertion that women weren't funny (despite the fact that a bee suit is pretty asexual), saying: "When people say "women aren't funny," to me it just feels like they're saying, "the earth is flat." Replace "aren't funny" with "don't have gravitas" and you get our point. (Incidentally, Poehler gets to combine the two as "Weekend Update" anchor for her third season, joined this year by Seth Myers who replaces Fey).
Poehler did not discuss presidential politics but after reading the article we stand by our headline nonetheless.
Saucy not-ready-for-prime-time excerpts after the jump.
Other gems from Bust's Poehler piece (Soloway's questions in bold):
Considering you love BUST, do you have any sort of a feminist agenda?
That's a good question. What I would like to see right now are some female comedy stars over 30. You know, when we were growing up, there were female leads in comedies over 30 who actually looked like they could live in your apartment building. Like, Terri Garr, Lily Tomlin, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton —
...So what do you think happened?
I don't know. I mean, I was watching the MTV Movie Awards, and when they announced the nominees for Best Comedic Performance, I don't think there was one chick in there.
Right. It was probably Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Jack Black--
Right. And they are deserving of their success, but it felt a little thin, if you will. It felt a little--
Like a tiny pubic mustache?
[laughs] Right! I want female comedies to be like, full, giant '70s bushes right now, not tiny little pubic mustaches.
On American Apparel ads:
They're fucking gross, man. Look, I love beautiful girls too. I think everyone should be free to have their knee socks and their sweaty shorts, but I'm over it. I'm over this weird, exhausted girl. I'm over the girl that's tired and freezing and hungry. I like bossy girls, I always have. I like people filled with life. I'm over this weird media thing with all this, like, hollow-eyed, empty, party crap.
On the movie she is currently shooting, which sounds awesome:
It's called Spring Breakdown, and it stars myself, Parker Posey, and Rachel Dratch. Dratch is actually co-writer and producer on it, too. And it's about these three ladies that never quite got it together in college and go back and try to do spring break one last time. It's been really supergreat having a lot of lady energy on the set. I know BUST loves the ladies, as do I.
And this practical advice:
What I've been doing now is getting my agents to send me scripts that are written for guys. Because sometimes when guys write for women, they freeze up. I had this friend who said he had trouble writing for women, and I said, "Here's my advice: call the guy Larry the whole time, and at the end change it to Susan. 'Cause there's no difference, really."
And, words to live by, at least metaphorically:
Grow your bush out wide, tall, and proud.
NB: That also applies to guys named Larry.