Colleges' Awkward Relationship With Comedy
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Arts Entertainment

Colleges' Struggling Relationship With Comedy Shows

An Opinion Article

Colleges' Struggling Relationship With Comedy Shows

Colleges struggling relationship with comedy is no new subject matter. Comedians like Jerry Seinfeld have been quoted saying that they won't play college campus because they believe college students can't take a joke. When colleges look for acts to book for their students they go through college bookers

These people bring in acts and entertainment for their college students. Vice did a video that outlined this strained relationship between comedians and these college bookers. One of the bookers was quoted saying that the set a comedian would put on at a bar would be different than the one they would put on at a campus because a student would respond. With both sides comes the debate: Should comedians jokes affect if comedians are hired by college campuses. I personally believe they should not.

On one hand, college campus bookers are just trying to do their jobs. They act as extensions of these college students and if the students don't want a comedian they won't hire them. But some comedians argue that the very notion that a college can not pay or hire a comedian because one group of people was offended is hurtful to the art form.

This idea that college students can control what comedians say, I believe, is very dangerous. That's not to say there isn't a line between freedom of expression and causing people trauma. I don't believe any group or individual should be singled out by comedians or other entertainment artists. This mindset also puts tremendous pressure on comedians. Comedian Bill Burr said on Conan that comedy in this era is like "a walk-in closet as to what can be funny."

But if people get offended by a joke and determine that something isn't funny then that can usher in the death of comedy. Comedy allows us to push past boundaries and talk about things that make us uncomfortable. Without it, we lose the ability to speak freely and empathize with one another.

I personally think that bashing comedians are a common phenomenon because we fail to recognize it as an art form in our society. Yes, we are allowed to criticize art, but people don't generally tell a painter they can't paint something because they don't agree with it. It's especially more prevalent on college campuses because of something called mob mentality. Mob mentality is the idea that people in a group become influenced and develop behaviors based on mostly emotional reasons, rather than rational ones. So if one person gets offended on a college campus, the people around them are more likely to become offended than to listen to the comedian who tries to explain the joke itself.

The attack on comedy as an art form I think points out a bigger problem on many college campuses: The lack of open-mindedness on both sides. Regardless of political standpoints or opinions when someone gets offended on a college or high school campus there's a whole lot of yelling and not a lot of compromise or progress. It's so easy to fall into a habit of going on the offensive when offended, but if we can start by being more open-minded towards comedy I believe we can become more united as college students.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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