Add a face and a name, see how your attitude changes then.
Comedy has been the favorite genre of many individuals throughout the years. With famous comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Fluffy, and many more, the art of comedy has grown into an inclusive and diverse entertainment for all the performers and audience members. However, many of the skits that these popular comedians perform and the jokes they tell can sometimes be borderline offensive. So these acts can only beg the question, how far is "too far" in regards to what is classified as funny?
The most common areas that comedians poke fun with are usually involving economic classes, parenting, work stress, younger generations, and the list can only go on from there. Now I am no stranger to watching a few talented comedians perform, but it was not until recently that I noticed how the jokes have progressed over the years.
The first time I noticed these new set of comedy acts was when I was watching a new Netflix special from a comedian (who shall remain nameless throughout this article) who I had never seen do a comedy performance before. Halfway through the act, he brings up how his teenage daughter recently came out to him as a lesbian. Following this comment, the comedian makes many jokes about begging her to at least "try it before she quits" and not being his little girl anymore. Also proceeding these comments he takes jabs at the stereotypical representation of a lesbian woman, this meaning the seemingly more "masculine" appearance in style and behavior.
As a supporter and ally of the LGBTQ+ community, I recognized that he was only making a joke, but I couldn't help but think about how his daughter felt about the skit. Sure he could have asked her beforehand if the material was okay to use, but I found it hard to believe that after possibly years of struggling to find her identity and come clean to her family and friends, she allowed her dad to poke fun at something that was still fresh and sensitive to her. Making fun of anyone's sexuality is not only offensive to their character, but not funny to watch. You don't know how those jokes make someone feel. Sure there are the small handful of individuals who will cackle and snort, but at the end of the day, when you consider all the homeless teens that are on the streets after coming out or the ones we have lost to suicide after meeting an unforgiving world.
Another joke that always rubs me the wrong way when watching new comedy specials involves the jokes regarding race. The stereotypes of each race are always the first thing brought up and made fun of at almost every comedy show. No matter what race you are, no one wants to hear about their race being belittled and criticized. Especially in this day in age, with our current political environment, making fun of races will only drive our country farther and farther apart. Think about it, you might think that the comedian making fun of an Indian accent is funny, but the Indian mother who gets laughed at the grocery store and the Muslim man who gets shouted at to leave the country, they are not the ones laughing at your jokes.
Therefore, comedy is something special and entertaining that can bring a lot of people together through different forms of media. But let's all be on the same page when it comes to how far is too far with jokes and skits. And if you're a comedian and thinking up your next show or special act, think about how you are portraying the people in your jokes. Add a face and a name, see how your attitude changes then.