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Fat Comedians Slimming Down – Are They Still Funny?

Fat Comedians Slimming Down - Are They Still Funny
Fat Comedians Slimming Down - Are They Still Funny?
Fat Comedians Slimming Down – Are They Still Funny?

This is a transcript from a TV interview between Joyce Evans from WXTF Fox News Philadephia and Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis PhD.

JOYCE EVANS: Here’s another question about celebrities. When comedians lose weight, do they lose their sense of humor, too? Jonah hill is a perfect example of this. He lost 30 pounds and some people would argue losing weight is the ultimate comedic curse.

Joining me now to talk about this from Los Angeles is Human Behavior Expert Patrick Wanis PhD.  Hey, Patrick, how you doing? Is it True that fat is funnier?

WANIS: It’s not necessarily that fat is funnier; we perceive it to be funnier. Once the celebrity sheds pounds, they tend to shed their Notoriety and the amount of attention they’re going to get.

JOYCE: but why, though? Ricky Gervais was, you know, he got slammed after the golden globes that he was nicer and funnier when he was fat. Has he really changed? He was always pretty snarky?

WANIS: Ricky is a unique comedian. If you look at the other comedians, John Candy, John Goodman, Drew Carey, Cedric the Entertainer, John Belushi, they’re all overweight because we tend to associate with that sort of body type a personality that’s warm and cuddly; you know, like the big bear; almost like the image of Santa Claus that dates back to the 19th century – the big jolly sort of barrel-of-fun kind of guy. We want to go up and hug them; they’re warm; they’re affectionate. When they lose that, they also lose our image of them and so we tend to see them differently. It doesn’t mean that you have to be fat to be funny. If you start out that way though, don’t change it because you’ll probably lose us in the process.

JOYCE: Seth Rogen lost a lot of weight for The Green Hornet and you don’t think he was as funny or do people not perceive him as funny because he was thinner? He looks better.

WANIS: Well, Seth Rogen is very smart or whoever is guiding him.  He’s shifting and shedding his old image. Seth doesn’t want to be type cast like John Candy and John Goodman because Seth wants to be a leading man which is what’s happening right now. So he decided very early in his career to start shedding the pounds and also shed the image. Once you get locked into that image, you get locked into that image.

JOYCE: is this typical Hollywood? There are thin comedians out there now but they did start out that way. A lot of them, our floor director pointed it, Chris Farley, John Candy, overweight and they’re dead now. They weren’t healthy.

WANIS: Well, we’re assuming maybe part of their motivation was to get healthy. We’re not a hundred percent sure that’s the reason.

JOYCE: True.

WANIS: There is a double standard in Hollywood. If you’re a man, it’s okay to be overweight because we don’t see you as threatening.

But when a woman is overweight we don’t see her as funny we see her as unhealthy and part of that is our sense and our belief that a woman that is overweight isn’t healthy and she wouldn’t be good terms of reproduction. So we do have a different perception of men versus women.

JOYCE: And that is not fair. Patrick Wanis thank you so much for joining us tonight.

WANIS: You’re welcome.

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