Premise: Women, Comedy & Plastic Surgery

A 55-minute TV documentary (now in production) about an odd couple – comedy and plastic surgery – a pair whose long-standing relationship began when Fanny Brice, the original Funny Girl, had a very public nose job – in 1923.

The film is a seriously-funny and wickedly-subversive look at nearly a century of comedy and the role it has played in exposing the pressures on women to be attractive and society’s desire/shame relationship with plastic surgery.

More than 15 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2014 – 90 percent of them on women. Yet, for those who elect to tinker with Mother Nature, especially individuals in the public eye, plastic surgery is still top secret. Most celebrities would sooner discuss their addictions and post a sex tape than admit to cosmetic surgery.

Funny women are the exception. From Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers, to Kathy Griffin and other comics working today, women who tell jokes and perform comedy for a living have been unashamed to talk about their perceived flaws and shortcomings – and the steps taken to remedy them. For these dames, cosmetic surgery isn’t vanity, it’s affirmative action to compensate for the inequitable distribution of youthfulness and beauty – and to reap their benefits.

These women boldly disregard the taboos, brave the ridicule, and admit what their sisters in drama continue to deny. And in the process, they speak to women in their audience who feel the same pressures, giving them permis- sion to pursue change (or reasons to hold out), absolving them of guilt and shame . . . while making us laugh.