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There May Be Cracks, But The Comedy Glass Ceiling Still Exists For Women

Starpulse.com - Branford, CT, USA - In this town (Los Angeles) and this industry (entertainment), there are a handful of strong, intelligent, funny women who - once they finally broke onto the radar - have worked consistently in equally strong, intelligent, funny roles.

After reading this month's "Who Says Women Aren't Funny" issue of Vanity Fair, it is impossible not to notice just how many beyond the current "it" girls of comedy were left off that list (which included funnygirls such as Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman and Amy Poehler). This is an attempt to rectify that and garner them the recognition they so rightly deserve.

Christopher Guest comedies always employ the same talents time and again, with Catherine O'Hara leading the pack for the women. There is something about her overtly animated eyes and voice that just elicits laugh-out-loud moments (notably in Home Alone but even in the trashtastic Surviving Christmas when she read aloud from a script within the script and couldn't find the right way to emote; there's something chuckle-worthy about acting ingénues who have to pretend to be dumb in that respect).

O'Hara is fearless in her performances - from teasing her frizzy hair out to an almost electric Afro in Best in Show to manipulating her facial muscles to appear Botoxed beyond salvation (For Your Consideration). O'Hara has mastered adult comedy and will finally cross over for new generations, next being heard in the classic Where The Wild Things Are.

As little as O'Hara might be written up in the press, her recurring Guest co-stars, Parker Posey and Jennifer Coolidge, grace the insides of magazines and entertainment news sites even less. Both steal any scene they are in with the oxymoronic nature of their inherent acerbic wit yet soft baby voices. Though she is most commonly known as "Stifler's Mom," Coolidge has mastered simple one-liners, bringing a third dimension to some otherwise flat characters. Who can forget her turn as faux-Brit Amanda on Friends, where eye-rollers like "I feel like a perfect arse" and "It's not perfume; it's my natural scent" caused guffaws so hard they were interspersed with snorts? With three films in post, Coolidge just signed onto Soul Men with Samuel L. Jackson, in which she will undoubtedly be relegated to a supporting role once again, but in which she will also undoubtedly add a whole lot of comedy cred.

Posey, on the other hand, is finally starring (no more supporting roles for her!) in Amy Sherman-Palladino's sophomore series, The Return of Jezebel James, so the gripe that she doesn't get celebrated enough might become moot in a few weeks. Posey is such a natural talent that she comes across as the girl-next-door despite the shrill, bundle of nerves she portrays (see past performances in Best In Show, Scream 3, and Will & Grace as examples of variations on the type). Her big, bright smile offsets any oddities that fly out of her mouth and the tenseness at which they do, creating a well rounded - if slightly neurotic - woman. It is in those flaws and complications that make her real.

Like another underrated funny girl, Judy Greer, Lizzy Caplan has also unfortunately had to take a backseat to bigger names (Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls) and too-many-to-know-what-to-do-with ensembles (Related and The Class). Caplan's raw talent is sophisticated, but she is unafraid to appear imperfect, taking on roles that often require some very unladylike outbursts - something for which she is unapologetic. These semi-flawed women make her seem that much more accessible, like she could easily be your childhood best friend all grown-up. Caplan is branching into multiple genres lately, with the upcoming "Crossing Over" about immigration; "The Pitts," a satirical look at the world's unluckiest family; and My Best Friend's Girl, yet another romantic comedy in which a plan to win an ex back goes awry.
Source : Originally Published Starpulse.com - Branford, CT, USA, Mar 14, 2008
Celebrities : Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Catherine O'Hara, Tina Fey
Categories : TV Actors, TV Personalities, Comedian News
Posted 3/14/2008 12:03:07 AM | Permalink
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