Masculine and Feminine style of comedy

Without generalizing too much and sounding misogynistic, I’ve been thinking how Male/female style of humor is very different, and just thinking about what each gender thinks is ‘funny’ varies. Not just the kind of humor they can create but the style of humor that each gender responds to. Not all jokes can appeal to everyone the same. you win different points with different gender depending on the joke/story/humor you create for them, based on their age, gender, childhood experiences, ethnic background, etc.

A perhaps more masculine style of humor that you commonly see from straight males is generally the below:

  • Edgy
  • Dominant
  • Strong attitudes
  • Angry and more raw, more frustration
  • Often directed toward targets other than oneself 
  • Purpose is to break down, to poke fun, to expose weakness, to satirize, target deprecation, also to impress and attract women, to tear somebody or something down, to make fun of.
  • Often tackles and breaks social convention and focuses on saying things that need to be said as a unique POV like Bill Hicks, Doug Stanhope, Pryor, Chris Rock on Race. 

Feminine style of humor

  • Often use of self-deprecation
  • Safer, makes people feel safe
  • Likable 
  • Receptive, sensitive,
  • Artistic, turning pain and trauma into comedy
  • Empathetic
  • Makes people feel secure. Brings us together. 
  • Purpose is to express, to relate, to bond
  • Ego-less, selfless attitude, perhaps less about proving a point but more about being authentic, vulnerable and bringing everybody in.

Saw a woman comic do her material in a very SAFE room where they frowned upon any kind of put-down humor. If they keep that material and did it in certain other stages, or even in tougher rooms, I had a feeling they’d bomb terribly. No way they would survive in some rooms i know … but that doesn’t mean that comic cannot kill in the rooms she can own. In fact, if a vulgar guy or a young guy finds himself in a more feminine-style room and starts leading out with more anger, attitude, and put-downs, he won’t be appreciated either, even if he can kill in younger guy rooms and rowdy bars.


  • In order to be a great comic, you need to be able to flow and turn on/off fluidly between both Masculine and Feminine style of comedy, and be able to calibrate which ROOM requires which style of behavior, humor, and artistic expression from you, just as depending on the PERSON, it requires a different style of behavior, humor, communication expression from you to succeed with that person’s relationship. 
    • Which room wants masculinity and strength … assertiveness and anger and courage and edginess?
    • Which room wants more understanding and self deprecation and empathy and listening ear? A relatable voice? A bonder? 

There’s great women comics who can do the masculine style very well (Ali Wong seems to be that type) and also great male comics who can do the feminine style very well (great self-deprecation). I seem to be in the middle, but definitely leaning towards the feminine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.