Playing the gender card mires the discussion and introduces extraneous variables. Instead ask, "What makes one funny?" Under what circumstances and conditions do funny people emerge?
Like most activities that require skill and mental dexterity, there is no substitute for practice. Gladwell believes that ten thousand hours are necessary to achieve mastery in a given field. Anyone who's ever written comedy knows that sitting behind a computer is a lonely business. But, it is not at the keyboard where one logs the bulk of these hours.
Those who become successful at comedy are not bred at the keyboard. They have been unwittingly preparing their whole lives. Comedy is not an end in itself. Its ends are multifarious and manifest themselves in many ways.
Comedy is a defense mechanism. Faced with an awkward situation, the funny squirrel their way out with a clever line. They diffuse threatening situations with comedy, using it to break tension. Comedy is both a survival tactic and a demonstrable skill. For those who can't run fast, hit a baseball, wield a sword, write a sonnet, or found a company, it carves out a respectable life. It's a sledge hammer in your social toolbox.
Comedy is a sexual angle. Watching someone of any gender be hit on is a hard thing to watch. But with a joke here, a witty comment there, suddenly everyone is comfortable. Humor provides a social lubricant that disguises intentions and charms potential mates.
Like the ugly Socrates, he declares the beauty he lacks secondary to the virtue he possesses, knowledge. The plebeians become wielders of wit, cunning, and guile. Male or female, we find the socially unaccepted on the front lines of comedy. It is those who have adapted their deformities, anxieties, and awkwardness into a mighty strength we admire. If comedy were simply a defense mechanism, its proponents would largely consist of over or underweight mutants. A glance into any comedy club certainly bears out this hypothesis.
However, what drives more men to comedy than women is a primordial and fundamental drive. Sex. For men being funny increases the likelihood of a sexual encounter. This is a central conceit of this essay and a central premise. It is here where we see men really log their hours. They are biologically wired to desire sex above all else. Procreation is, from an evolutionary standpoint, the singular focus of existence. Humor is a central strategy employed by the beautiful and ugly alike. The awkward and the suave all traffic in comedy.
In short, men practice comedy in their pursuit of sex. They log a lifetime of training and honing these skills. For women, however, sex is a given (my second premise). With the exception of the tail end of the Bell Curve, women can procure sex at will. It is not biologically advantageous for them to pursue comedy and thus fewer achieve the ten thousand hours of training necessary to achieve mastery.
Neither sex is inherently funnier. Comedy doesn't care about chromosomes. It cares about practice. Men squeeze in a session every time they visit a bar, run drills every time they sit next to a beautiful women on the subway, and get their applause with every phone number they get. Comedy impacts men because it makes them more viable mates.