The Strange Death of Comedy

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  • Published on:  Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Tell a joke now and who knows who you might offend? Identity politics is taking the fun out of just about everything. This is – no fooling – a very serious problem. Actor/Comedian Owen Benjamin explains why and what needs to be done about it.
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    Script:

    Three white men walk into a bar. You’re a racist!

    Is that a joke?

    In today’s hyper-sensitive world, it’s hard to know what’s funny anymore. And as someone who makes his living as a comedian, that’s a big problem.

    Ask Jerry Seinfeld. He’s announced he won’t play college campuses. He doesn’t want to deal with all the political correctness. And he’s not exactly edgy.

    Comedy is important. Why? Because it’s a pressure valve that allows us to discuss uncomfortable truths in a friendly way—laughs are better than punches.

    But identity politics is killing the gag. How many times have you heard someone say something like this:

    “You’re not black, so you don’t know what it’s like to be me.”

    “You’re a man, so you can’t have an opinion about any issues affecting women."

    “As a left-handed, pansexual leprechaun, only I really know about elevator safety.”

    Comedy only works when we agree on certain realities.

    Take this joke. “Why do you always go fishing with at least two Baptists? Because if you only take one, he’ll drink all your beer.”

    The reason this gets a laugh is because most of us recognize that many religious people are a little more religious around other religious people. That hypocrisy is funny because everybody can relate to it on some level. We’re all a little hypocritical now and then. The problem is that today, fewer and fewer people seem to agree on the basics. You know—shared assumptions.

    I recently did a joke on stage: “People keep comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. He’s nothing like Hitler… Hitler would’ve never let CNN talk like that. Anderson Cooper wouldn’t have made it through the Night of Long Knives.”

    There are people that don’t understand that joke. And the reason is, that joke requires us all to agree—and, stick with me here—that Hitler was a bad, bad man, and that the Night of Long Knives was a bad, bad thing, and that President Trump—whether you like him or not—isn’t anything like that bad, bad man who did that bad, bad thing. And I wouldn’t want him to be!

    But, since we now live in a world where some stupid people like Hitler, and some other stupid people think Trump is Hitler—well, we just can’t agree that this obviously absurd joke is funny. We can’t even agree that it’s obviously absurd.

    How about this: “Why did the chicken cross the road? Why is the rooster being paid more for crossing the same road?” Is that absurd enough for you?

    During the run-up to the release of the movie Black Panther, all of the marketing push was about how—finally!—there was a black movie made by black people with black people for black people. I found this to be fairly hilarious, so I simply took any statement about the film and responded as a white person that actually had that insane way of viewing the world:

    “I just saw the trailer for Black Panther. Ugh. No white people. Looks terrible. Hard pass! Who am I supposed to relate to? No one’s white.”

    Not one, but two prominent black actors—Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright—started tweeting me about how it’s time black people had a movie and how I should be more sensitive to their situation. Keep in mind, both of these black actors are already rich and famous.

    I figured this was such an obviously satirical take on identity politics that no one could miss the joke. Nope! I was releasing a little social stress through satire. That’s what comedians are supposed to do.

    For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/videos/strang...
  • Source: https://youtu.be/JFIBNwrEl_0
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Comment

  • Will Tomasini

    Will Tomasini

     2 days ago

    Why did God give men penises? It’s one way to shut a woman up.

  • mytruepower2

    mytruepower2

     5 days ago

    3:10
    Time black people had a movie, huh? What was the Meteor Man, then?

  • Roman Corey

    Roman Corey

     6 days ago

    One of my friends told this joke a bad Asian driver joke and she got detention for being racist against an entire race. I’m not even joking

  • Matthew McCoy

    Matthew McCoy

     6 days ago

    Is this hack famous?

  • Matthew McCoy

    Matthew McCoy

     6 days ago

    He makes his living as a comedian? He must be homeless.

  • Anthony C

    Anthony C

     7 days ago

    I don't watch late night TV anymore....No SNL either....Sad.

  • Philscbx

    Philscbx

     8 days ago

    If you see anything related to safe space,, these people have less than 3iQ left to manage where to go to the bathroom.

  • Ron Raducanu

    Ron Raducanu

     8 days ago

    Awesome!

  • AndyDPhelps

    AndyDPhelps

     8 days ago

    I really don’t see that. I mean Dave chapel makes race based jokes all the time and I think he released a Netflix special a couple years ago

  • Darktrooper98 1

    Darktrooper98 1

     9 days ago

    I met some pro gun people who said “You have no experience with guns, so you can’t have an opinion on gun control.”
    *Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm*

  • Xenishka

    Xenishka

     9 days ago

    Tooo subtle for a real satire)))

  • James Cn

    James Cn

     10 days ago

    Very good !!!!

  • Dylan Fiore

    Dylan Fiore

     10 days ago

    Obama did not need to win the white house, he just ran fast and than broke in

  • Dylan Fiore

    Dylan Fiore

     10 days ago

    the reason why blacks are so good at basketball is because they can steal shoot and toss!

  • Dylan Fiore

    Dylan Fiore

     10 days ago

    Why feel the Bern when you can ride the bull!

  • Dylan Fiore

    Dylan Fiore

     10 days ago

    Eh, you ever notice how Don Lemon speaks so sour of Don Orange, but Don Orange is more sweeter.

  • Dylan Fiore

    Dylan Fiore

     10 days ago

    Barack Obama is the Black Jesus of the Border Jury, getting high with Ruth Bader Ginsburg on some over the conunter vitamin supplements, of course the doctors cant have rulings question that in which are rules of the Border Jury.

  • Dylan Fiore

    Dylan Fiore

     10 days ago

    Why did the infidel isreali cross the road. Because he knew if he crossed the red sea, he would get a jihad!

  • Fred Garvin

    Fred Garvin

     12 days ago +1

    What's the difference between a Jew and a pizza?
    A pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven!
    Waka-waka-waka!

  • Khepri

    Khepri

     13 days ago

    Where traditional comedy fails, r/deepfriedmemes takes its place.