Buzz has been building around Tina Fey's Oprah appearance for a while now, but on last night's episode, which featured several former Saturday Night Live cast members, it was Jane Curtin who ended up bringing major revelations to the table.

Talking about the difficulty female writers and cast members faced in the show's earlier days, Curtin singled out John Belushi for attempting to block female work.

"It was a misogynistic environment, and in 1975, it was a very different time... [Female writers] were working against John, who said, 'Women are just fundamentally not funny.' You'd go to a table read, and if a female writer had written a piece for John, he would not read it in his full voice, he would whisper it. He felt as though it was his duty to sabotage pieces that were written by women."

Sadly, this story isn't too hard to believe. Check out the full clip above as Chevy Chase tries to diplomatically disagree with Jane, Tracy Morgan steers the conversation back to his boss Tina Fey, and Fey puts in her two cents on the issue.

Tags SNL Tina Fey

Commentarium (8 Comments)

Apr 13 11 - 10:54am

Although "women aren't funny" isn't a particularly articulate or original sentiment, it's one that pops up first in Google's search recommendations for a reason: it's popular fodder for everyone from Daniel Tosh to Christopher Hitchens, who even wrote a pretty long-winded argument about it in Vanity Fair. That he referred to "most impressive female comedians" as "hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three," though, is something else entirely.

Apr 13 11 - 11:20am

What I find laughable about the "women aren't funny" sentiment is that it's like arguing that the world is flat. There are so many successful women comedians/comic writers, etc.; just open your goddamn eyes.

What humor chauvinists probably mean is that "women aren't funny to me, ergo they are not funny to men...". Which, even if it were true, means that women are only funny to 50% of the human population; 3.5 billion people is not to shabby.

Apr 13 11 - 12:36pm

True, but that argument is pre-supposing that women find all women comics funnier than men or just plain funny as a rule, which I don't think, if they're being honest, is true. And I don't think gender allegiance plays that large of a role, for example, I think Tina Fey is funnier than any number of male comics.

Apr 13 11 - 3:00pm

I totally agree... but that was the best I could think of since its starting from bullshitty assumptions. The capitalist in my also says "if women comics aren't funny, then how come people pay money to see them?"

Apr 13 11 - 4:39pm

I remember reading about those issues at SNL in the '70s. Michael O'Donoghue, who was a brilliant comedic writer, had a thing about women writers, and it was always an uphill fight for ones like Rosie Schuster to get their stuff on air. That's part of why Tina Fey becoming head writer was such a big deal.

Apr 14 11 - 8:47am

I feel like people don't expect women to be able to make jokes. I'll say something that will be largely ignored or get confused looks, my boyfriend will steal it later on and everyone thinks it's the funniest thing they've ever heard. Pisses me off.

Apr 14 11 - 3:37pm

I think that's largely true... it's not so much that "women aren't funny" as "women are humorless." I don't mean they ARE, I certainly am hugely humorful, but I think that's the essence of what's going on. Women are the ones to get offended. Women are the ones to be sensitive about certain sacred cows. Plus there's all that moon-cycle-bleeding stuff that is just so terrifying.

May 11 11 - 12:57pm