A week ago, Variety threw up an editorial called "Can girls out-gross guys at box office?" I felt naive thinking: "Is that really a question anymore?" The mere fact that this is being asked shows that it still holds relevance. But it shouldn't. If women have proved one thing over the years, it's that comedy doesn't require a penis and testosterone.
Whether women get the chance to prove their gross-out talents, however, is another story.
But first: What is this thing called "gross-out comedy"? Isn't it when gross or shocking things come into play? The sweaty, hairy wrassling match from Borat, the spermy hair gel from There's Something About Mary, the arse-tacular baseball from Squeeze Play -- these are scenes that make you squirm, gasp, gape, and laugh. Now, however,"gross-out" is becoming a catch-all phrase for any comedy that gets an R. CBS News even used Sex and the City in its "Rise of the Gross-Out Comedy" because it includes sex humor and an R rating.
Isn't there a big difference between frank and humorous references of sex and the shock factor? Alyson Hannigan didn't become the Band Dork Queen by talking about slipping into a boy's sleeping bag after dark. She reigned for taking it to the over-the-top and illogical step of using a flute in a new way.