Funny Girl: Marilyn as Sugar Kane

Film critic Saul Austerlitz salutes Hollywood’s greatest female comics today on WowOwow

Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
“A deliriously gender-bending exercise in over-the-top comic mania, Billy Wilder’s masterpiece features the best-ever performance from that underrated comedic master, Marilyn Monroe. Monroe sparkles as a romantic heroine with a self-deprecating streak, and Lemmon and Curtis are an ideal odd couple, years before Lemmon starred in The Odd Couple. ‘Nobody’s perfect, as the film deliciously reminds us, but Some Like It Hot comes close.”

Marilyn and Mae: Great Film Comics

Marilyn mimics Mae West in a deleted scene from ‘The Seven Year Itch’

“Austerlitz notes that his biographical chapters are intended to create a conversation among comedy’s most influential practitioners. Arranged in rough chronological order, the effect is cumulative. Mae West’s brazen sexuality primps the pillow for Marilyn Monroe’s bombshell self-awareness; unlikely bedfellows Jerry Lewis and Richard Pryor somehow manage to conceive Eddie Murphy.”

Another Fine Mess: A History of American Film Comedy by Saul Austerlitz, reviewed at the Boston Globe