Women in Slapstick

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 7:11am
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts

Hi all...

I was discussing the roles female characters can take in slapstick with a fellow performer/writer the other day. The comedy that I am writing has a mixed cast and I would likem to involve the women in the slapstick - not only giving but recieving.
We were discussing how it is funny for a woman to hit a man, but not a man a woman. Women, I think, can hit women - that's fine (so to speak!). What can a man do to a woman in slapstick without crossing the boundaries of taste?

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sootyj

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 8:54am
  • England
  • 51,287 posts

I believe Miranda Hart and the Carry On films have all the answers you're looking for.

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 9:03am
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts
Quote: sootyj @ March 30 2011, 8:54 AM BST

I believe Miranda Hart and the Carry On films have all the answers you're looking for.

I'm not entirely sure about that... they do hve some good stuff as far a pratfalls et cetera - but not as much on the comical violence side. That's the really difficult bit to get right without crossing boundaries of taste. What can women get away with doing in those situatuations? What is acceptable for a man to do to a woman? What are acceptable forms of violence/injury/embarrassment for a female character?

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Matthew Stott

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 9:23am
  • Yemen
  • 19,296 posts
Quote: ToddB @ March 30 2011, 7:11 AM BST

We were discussing how it is funny for a woman to hit a man, but not a man a woman.

It depends on the show and the style/tone. In a show like, for example, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, a man could definitely hit a woman and it would be funny. Probably less so in Birds Of A Feather.

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Trabs

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 9:36am
  • England
  • 486 posts
Quote: Matthew Stott @ March 30 2011, 9:23 AM BST

It depends on the show and the style/tone. In a show like, for example, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, a man could definitely hit a woman and it would be funny. Probably less so in Birds Of A Feather.

Indeed. It's all in context.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WNxrZRhdPE

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ToddB

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 9:56am
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts

What about a slightly less alternative sitcom - I'm not talking "Birds of a Feather" cosiness here - but just not going as far out as Gareth Marenghi. What are some alternative slapstick batterings that coiuld be dealt to a female character (particularly by a male aggressor) rather than hitting. Perhaps she has instigated it and he is retaliating.
For those who say it is alright - in what situation - how?

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David Bussell

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 10:02am
  • London, England
  • 9,943 posts

Pauline McLynn does a wonderful line in physical comedy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_AiM0zzEIM

Quote: ToddB @ March 30 2011, 9:56 AM BST

For those who say it is alright - in what situation - how?

She didn't fetch his slippers?

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zooo

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 12:49pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 69,158 posts

In Not Going Out Lee jumps on Miranda (the acupuncturist) as if to give her a good beating.

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Baumski

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 12:59pm
  • England
  • 1,583 posts

It might be worth going further back and looking at actresses like Lucy Ball. Although she never got struck she would be at the receiving end of messy foodstuffs. The comedy was in the action and reaction and was funny.

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zooo

  • Wednesday 30th March 2011, 1:07pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 69,158 posts

There's probably quite a lot in Smack The Pony.

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ToddB

  • Tuesday 5th April 2011, 12:45am [Edited]
  • Townsville, Australia
  • 563 posts

I see... clever.:D

I didn't think it was really an argument, more of a series of observations on the subject.

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Chappers

  • Tuesday 5th April 2011, 4:22pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 29,739 posts
Quote: AngieBaby @ April 5 2011, 12:33 AM BST

There wasn;t much argument there, unless I missed it.

Personally, I think the only 'Slap' a woman needs is Lip'Stick', and a bit of mascara.

(Did you see what I did there?)

No. what did you doi there?

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Rigid Bones

  • Wednesday 6th April 2011, 9:13pm
  • Paphos, Cyprus
  • 202 posts
Quote: Baumski @ March 30 2011, 12:59 PM BST

It might be worth going further back and looking at actresses like Lucy Ball. Although she never got struck she would be at the receiving end of messy foodstuffs. The comedy was in the action and reaction and was funny.

Yes - and Doris Day in roles like Calamity Jane.