My wife and I have been rewatching one of our favorite comedy TV shows, 3rd Rock from the Sun.
The premise is that a group of outer space aliens assumes human bodies in order research life on planet Earth. The “politically incorrect” jokes that were allowed to air back in the late ’90s is a testament to how much our culture has changed in such a short time.
Here are a few of the classic zingers on gender:
Dick: Sally, I want you to observe her, find out what women on this planet do.
Sally: Why can’t Harry do it?
Dick: Because you’re the woman.
Sally: That brings up a very good question: why am I the woman?
Dick: Because you lost.
Sally: Dick, women are trouble. I should know! I’ve been one for two weeks!
Dick: I know, which brings up another point. I command you to shave under your arms.
Sally: Doable. I’m sorry you find me so offensive (tears up)
Dick: Dammit! Pull yourself together, man! We’re going out.
Sally: Ok, give me an hour.
Dick: An hour?
Sally: I got to rotate these (indicating breasts). It’s a party!
Harry: Women. You can’t live with ’em, and yet they’re everywhere.
Tommy: Sally, you’re amazing. As sick as you are, you keep taking care of us.
Sally: Yeah, I know. I don’t understand. All I want to do is curl up into a ball, and yet somehow I feel compelled to nurture you. God, what a cruel disease!
Sally: You just can’t imagine what it feels like, Dick. It’s like he reached in… and pulled all the bones out of my body… [starts crying]
Dick: My God, what are you doing?
Sally: [wipes her tears] Apparently I’m leaking!
Dick: Well, stop!
Nina: I knew you had a thing for her.
Dick: Yes, but I understand I’m not allowed to show it to her without her permission.
Gender comedy has changed. It used to be about poking fun at the difficulties of being (and living with) a woman. Nowadays, it’s about the difficulty women face dealing with their idiot husbands.