Feature

Why Delpy keeps ’em laughing

Ever since she was the class clown in school, Julie Delpy has always been the funniest person in the room. Women love her for it, but men find her keen wit . . . off-putting. “It’s true: Some men can feel threatened by funny women and therefore not attrac

Ever since she was the class clown in school, Julie Delpy has always been the funniest person in the room. Women love her for it, but men find her keen wit . . . off-putting. “It’s true: Some men can feel threatened by funny women and therefore not attracted to them,” the French comedienne and actress tells British Harper’s Bazaar. Delpy cites a study in the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behavior, which found that more than half of the men surveyed didn’t relish the prospect of a funny long-term partner. “They might like the odd joke. Apparently, being funny is ‘a male thing.’” Men, she says, view humor as a form of performance that establishes intelligence and dominance, and thus would rather that women serve as an audience for their own jokes. “Being a funny woman can be something of a power struggle. After a while, if you’re funnier than he is, then it starts getting competitive.” As a result, Delpy used to suppress her humor with most men she dated. “Me being funny made them feel like they were tiny.” Today, she’d rather be with a man who appreciates who she really is—a woman who finds the world a little ridiculous. “I’m not a lot of work. I think my humor means I’m easy to be with. I’m not showing off with it; mainly, I’m just entertaining myself.”

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