The latest on books and the arts


Words in Pictures: Christopher Hitchens

The polemicist tries to explain why women aren’t funny.

This week's magazine features an acerbic review of Christopher Hitchens's memoirs by his one-time comrade Terry Eagleton.

Readers unfamiliar with the iconoclastic journalist might find the piece a little harsh -- so this week's Words in Pictures clip features the "Oedipal child of the establishment" himself, as Eagleton puts it, in typically provocative mode:


The video relates to a piece that Hitchens wrote for Vanity Fair magazine in January 2007, entitled "Why women aren't funny". If the title is not a clear enough clue to his argument, here is an excerpt:

My argument doesn't say that there are no decent women comedians. There are more terrible female comedians than there are terrible male comedians, but there are some impressive ladies out there.

Most of them, though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three.

In April 2008, some of America's top female comedians, including Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman and Amy Poehler, hit back with an article of their own.

Next Article