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/strange-death-comedy
  • Source: https://youtu.be/JFIBNwrEl_0
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Comment

  • Malacki 655

     (Jul 31, 2018)

    What is a Mexicans favourite sport?Cross country

  • Keith Petersen

     (3 days ago)

    +molon labe HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Keith Petersen

     (3 days ago)

    +Lord Death Me too.

  • Malacki 655

     (Jul 31, 2018)

    Why can’t women drive?Because there is no road between the bedroom and the kitchen.

  • Scott McCoy

     (Mar 13, 2019)

    Malacki 655 XD

  • sara✨

     (Mar 6, 2019)

    Jeffrey Mullikin omg😒😒😒SaMeeEee😫😫🤬🤬🤬😤😤😤😤😱😱😱😱🤭🤭🤭🤭😞😞☹️🙁😕😕😫😩😫😖😔😔😟😖

  • Acearo Ghoul

     (Aug 9, 2018)

    Did you hear about that new Muslim band "Suicide Vest"?I really think its going to blow up.

  • Instant

     (2 days ago)

    I’m hungry, Ima go get an allahu snackbar

  • Cameron

     (3 days ago)

    So many variations of this joke. It kinda sets the aluaha akBAR low

  • Owen Benjamin

     (Jul 31, 2018)

    Thanks for the love y’all!

  • Wicked 180

     (Mar 13, 2019)

    Those actors conveniently forgot about one of the longest running movie groupsMadea

  • Maria Smith

     (Feb 25, 2019)

    Thank you!

  • Malacki 655

     (Jul 31, 2018)

    Why are Mexicans big fans of Uno?Because they love getting the green card

  • mephistopheles

     (Aug 24, 2018)

    Why do they drive lowriders?Because it's easier to pick the crops.Why does Mexico always suck at the Olympics?Because all the Mexicans that can run, jump, and swim are already in the US

  • Persian Mapper

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    I wanted to craft a good joke about chemistry,But I guess all the good jokes Argon

  • Franjo Kristof

     (Mar 5, 2019)

    No.

  • Bob the builder Flextape

     (Jan 23, 2019)

    I have a joke about absolute zero it was 0K.

  • Persian Mapper

     (Aug 1, 2018)

    Shrodingers cat walks into a barand doesn't

  • Gerard Jones

     (Nov 21, 2018)

    A baby seal walked into a club.

  • Gerard Jones

     (Nov 21, 2018)

    Descartes walks imto a bar.Bartender asks himWanna drink?He replies I think notAnd he vanishes.

  • robert lawrence

     (Jul 31, 2018)

    Well, in the Black Panther movie they did throw in the "Token White Guy..." ;)

  • Maria Smith

     (Feb 25, 2019)

    true

  • Linda Dawson

     (Feb 11, 2019)

    They had someone from the Hobbit in there too so it was actually two Tolkien white guys

  • Poisonedblade

     (Jul 30, 2018)

    "Steven Colbert is just Rachael Maddow with punch lines." - Owen Benjamin. Damn, that was funny (because it is true.)

  • Retro Mammoth

     (Feb 6, 2019)

    you should see his episode of whose line it is anyway to see what happens when no one writes his material

  • Joaquin Augusto

     (Aug 4, 2018)

    An american soldier in a war with China,Kills a guy and says:I have killed this one 3 times already

  • La Dame en Rose

     (Mar 7, 2019)

    That's hilarious 😂😂😂😂😂

  • Maria Smith

     (Feb 25, 2019)

    LOL!!!!