Elizabeth Banks vs. Nikki Finke: 'Ugly or Pretty Has Nothing to Do with Funny'

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by Maggie Lange
September 28, 2012 11:47 AM
23 Comments
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Actress/comedian Elizabeth Banks ("30 Rock," "The Hunger Games") has blogged in response to Nikki Finke's comment at the Emmys that "beautiful actresses are not funny," with a post entitled "Ugly or pretty has nothing to do with funny." Finke made her comment about women in comedy in her "Live-Snarking The 64th Emmys" post just after Julie Bowen's "Modern Family" win.

According to Finke, comedy is "all about emotional pain and humiliation and rising above both by making people laugh with you instead of at you," thus suggesting that only "ugly" women have access to emotional pain and humiliation.  Not so, writes Banks, who "walked out of the bathroom with toilet paper on my shoe just this morning. And Sophia Vergara split her dress last night. And that really made me laugh."

Banks adds: "Wouldn't it be great if older, more experienced women like Ms. Finke were kinder to her fellow females in the entertainment business? She might do more for our cause."

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23 Comments

  • Kay Jack | November 14, 2012 6:05 PMReply

    So, beautiful women can't have pain, so are unqualified to be funny? First of all, you define 'beautiful' as a very narrow concept. And all pain can't be seen on one's outside...abused as a child, raped either emotionally or physically; loss of loved ones in tragic circumstances; extreme poverty or hardships...all these have nothing to do with how you look, but impact how you feel and think. So none of that constitute 'pain and humiliation'? What an idiot.

  • Jack Package | November 3, 2012 4:59 PMReply

    Aubrey Plaza, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Banks, Malin Ackerman, Zooey Deschenal, Courtney Cox, Sofia Vergera, Kristen Wiig, Kaley Cuoco, Emma Stone...

    That's just off the top of my head. All funny, all hot.

  • Norm | October 23, 2012 6:17 PMReply

    What "cause" is Elizabeth Banks referring to, the relief of Muslim women ?

  • TP | October 21, 2012 9:38 AMReply

    Toilet paper shoes and split dresses are neither all that funny, nor the kind of pain and humiliation Finke would have been talking about.

  • Jesse | November 16, 2012 10:54 AM

    I think the point is, it was a shitty joke, thereby proving Finke's point. And I gotta agree - with a few notable exceptions, weird-looking people tend to have a kind of deep, dark funny, while good looking people laugh at hack things like toilet paper on shoes and split dresses.

  • Addison Stoll | November 7, 2012 10:20 AM

    That was a joke. Lighten up a little, huh?

  • Bob | October 18, 2012 6:59 PMReply

    Elizabeth Banks. So many hot and sleepless nights...

  • Thor Melsted | October 10, 2012 2:06 PMReply

    I've been all too aware of Ms Finke's true character for 8 years now.
    She made it clear in an email response to me after I wrote to her asking that she not so blatantly post spoilers about Million Dollar Baby without warning, like she had in her mean spirited column in LA Weekly.
    Her response was to call me an asshole.

    So yeah, she's a wonderful person...

  • Chris | October 4, 2012 8:40 AMReply

    As idiotic as Finke can be with her aggressively expressed opinions(and this was no different) I'd like to think that in her own way she was making the vital point that we seem to be in an era where the majority of successful comediennes and comedy actresses possess the kinds of looks and bodies that would make them fitting men's magazine fodder compared to the majority of their male counterparts and this suggests a typical Hollywood double standard.

    Melissa McCarthy notwithstanding think back to the days of genuine oddballs such as Bette Midler (who became a successful movie star in her 40s), Whoopi Goldberg (at one point the biggest female movie star aside from Julia Roberts for a short period in the 1990s) or Roseanne Barr who succeeded as the biggest female tv star for a period despite being overweight when she emerged and a persona that wasn't conventionally likeable and ask if any of those women would get the opportunities today they did back then . Or what of sitcoms like THE GOLDEN GIRLS with it's cast of much older actresses? In this day and age would that even see a greenlight on a major network?

  • Vic | October 16, 2012 2:54 PM

    Ugghhh.... Whoopi Goldberg hasn't been funny a day in her life.

  • No | October 2, 2012 11:47 PMReply

    Then what about Amy Poehler?

  • Joe Pearson | October 2, 2012 5:32 PMReply

    Ms. Finke is an idiot. She's proven that repeatedly. Mean spirited too. I'll never forget how she snarkily predicted the failure of the Huffington Post as that site was launching. Guess Arianna is crying all the way to the bank on that one, eh Nikki?

  • Geoffrey Altrocchi | October 1, 2012 3:11 AMReply

    I think it's worth metioning how beautiful the very funny and talented Elizabeth Banks looks on that picture. I am going to review her on my blog www.cinegeoffs.blogspot.com.

  • Geoffrey Altrocchi | October 1, 2012 3:08 AMReply

    I can't wait to review all of this on my blog: www.cinegeoff.blogspot.com. Another thign to mention is that these women could be born with nice features, but I think being beautiful takes a lot of work, also, fat women could work harder at being beautiful.

  • Addison Stoll | November 7, 2012 10:22 AM

    Um... a lot of fat women are beautiful. This has nothing to due with the fact that they are fat. Skinny women can be ugly, too.

  • Omar | October 18, 2012 8:27 PM

    "...also, fat women could work harder at being beautiful." This is a joke, right? It has to be joke.

  • geoffrey.altrocchi | October 1, 2012 3:07 AMReply

    You know, it's interesting, cause as a guy in LA, it seems like the more pathetic you are, the more funny people think you are. And, as a person, if you chose to just try to be yourself, you're not as funny. If you start to hold down a good job and make money and date an attractive girl, there's nothing funny about that. Bruce Willis started out in an improv troupe, you know, in New York. It's like people have to be like Artie Lange or John Candy, totally out of control and on a path to self destruction, to enter the realm of funny. Going back to the females, look at how hot Elizabeth Banks is and then also, look at how hot Tina Fey is and still pretty funny, you know. I don't think there is any way to predict if peopel are going to be funny, but if they're jewish, then they should be funny or something's wrong with them. It's like a black Republican, never trust a Jew who isn't funny! Ha!

  • bilko | September 30, 2012 9:42 PMReply

    Finke is ugly and she's not funny. Banks is hot and she IS very funny when she wants to be.

  • Zinger | November 13, 2012 6:56 PM

    Agree totally. I'm donating to Banks for whatever cause she says. Loved her work on Scrubs.

  • Geoffrey Altrocchi | October 1, 2012 3:12 AM

    I agree with your comments aobut Banks. I think people should look at girl fail compilations on youtube when they say women aren't funny!

  • Batman | September 30, 2012 9:37 PMReply

    Not true -- I find Rebel Wilson neither funny nor attractive.

  • smarf | September 29, 2012 9:48 AMReply

    I agree she is a lunkhead and her successes are muddied by her obnoxiousness. But as a separate discussion, not discrediting Ms. Banks' talent, but it would be nice if being attractive were even LESS of a prerequisite for ladies getting comedy opportunities.

  • Myk | September 29, 2012 6:34 AMReply

    I really dislike Finke, I don't know a person who supports her self-serving, megalomania. Even if her site breaks a lot of news. This is the same woman who actually tried to turn the news she was breaking about the Aurora shooting into promoting her site the news it was breaking about it. never missing a chance to say she did something first, or how she needs credit for something. I feel for Mike Fleming. Too good for her.

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