~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
Origin of the Blond Joke
I think this was done on purpose by some Hollywood Blond ladies who were actually quite bright. Actors and actresses playing dumb roles since it was funnier and paid more are not new or gender dependent. Charlie Chaplin, the three stooges, Jerry Lewis and Jim Carrey were some of the guys doing it. But I do believe that a number of smart women in a row playing dumb blondes created a myth that lived on. I would include in those smart women at the very least: Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Goldie Hawn, Suzanne Somers, and Christina Applegate (daughter of Married with Children). And I would also include in that list Lucille Ball who claimed to be a redhead, but to me looked blonde on some of her black and white stuff.
What these women had in common is that they were / are far brighter than the parts they played. And sometimes that was good, and sometimes not so good. I do believe that Marilyn Monroe was a far different person than the role she played, and perhaps even "thought too much." I believe that led to her depression and a bit of a dark side and then directly or indirectly to her death. We will argue endlessly what really happened to Marilyn Monroe, but it is clear to me that if she were the simple person she claimed to be, she would not have died so young. And then there was Lucille Ball, whose name was often in the credits in those years as owning or having interest in several entertainment companies. This is a far different image than the part she played. But I think the one that stands out the most for me was Goldie Hawn. There was always something about the reactions and facial expressions of Goldie Hawn that showed her to be far smarter than the parts that she played. While she got the audience to laugh, there was always a part of her that I felt was laughing at how gullible we are at the same time, and I am fine with that. She was also smart as was Marilyn Monroe on how easily men can be manipulated. There is no need for the total nudity so common now in Hollywood. Goldie Hawn and Marilyn Monroe both seemed to know that if they flashed a quick image of their underwear from time to time that men will go crazy and fall all over the floor. Nudity was never required. And in the middle of that they mostly keep their cuteness and innocence. Yes, some women learn how easily men can be manipulated, and I think these blond actresses were indeed some of the best at that.
And so I believe the myth of the dumb blond was created - on purpose. And I think the jokes followed, showing just how gullible we all are.
But Hollywood can be either a good or bad influence on society. Some think today that Hollywood sit coms are now pushing the image of the dumb husband too far. And I have mostly or all heard that complaint from female commentators on TV who seem worried and concerned about that. Well, Hollywood is in the myth business. It is up to us whether we buy into all this or not. But I do think somewhere, some blond actresses are laughing at our blond jokes knowing that they created this myth and that we fell for it - and still do.