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(Guardian)   Is it ever okay for comedians to joke about sexual assault?   ( theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, Rape, James Corden, Doug Stanhope, Margaret Cho, alleged sexual assaults, Harvey Weinstein, people, sexual abuse  
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339 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 03 Nov 2017 at 11:07 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-11-03 03:52:21 PM  
Only if it's funny.

Case in point: George Carlin and his jokes about clown rape were funny, because he was saying that anything CAN be funny if it is approached right. C. K. Lewis, on the other hand, making pedophilia jokes were NOT funny, simply because he was trying to turn someone who rapes children into a sympathetic character via joke, and it didn't work.

It's not just time, it's approach, and it's necessary to not demean the victim while making a joke.
 
2017-11-03 03:55:03 PM  
timing* I meant, not time. Something of which I have little sense of, not being a stand up comic myself.

But I've heard it's everything in the comedy business.
 
2017-11-03 03:59:59 PM  
Comedians should only do non-offensive material.  And by "non-offensive", I mean things that I personally don't find offensive.
 
2017-11-03 04:02:04 PM  
Only if the joke is about two peanuts walking down the street.
 
2017-11-03 04:02:36 PM  
It's absolutely inappropriate for comedians to joke about sexual assault, masturbation, war, rape, religion, politics, children, old people, mentally handicapped people, animals, black people, women, and airline food.
 
2017-11-03 04:03:10 PM  
I liked Harmon's take on it regarding Rick & Morty.

Jokes are fine. Actual depictions are played completely serious. Like the Meeseeks episode. Rick makes a joke about prison rape ("Oh, great adventure, buddy. Rick and Morty go to giant prison. You know, if somebody drops the soap, it's gonna land on our heads and crush our spines, Morty. You know, I-I-I-It'll be really easy to rape us after that."). But when it came to the bathroom scene with King Jellybean, it was 100% serious. There was no humor from it, Rick gives a 100% death glare when he realizes what almost happened, and ensures that the King will never be able to do it again.
 
2017-11-03 04:08:34 PM  
As with everything, go ahead, but you better be funny. Otherwise you'll be an asshole.
 
2017-11-03 04:09:33 PM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Only if the joke is about two peanuts walking down the street.


Und von vas assaulted... peanut.

Uh huh uhuh huh.
 
2017-11-03 04:10:29 PM  

Kirablue42: Only if it's funny.

Case in point: George Carlin and his jokes about clown rape were funny, because he was saying that anything CAN be funny if it is approached right. C. K. Lewis, on the other hand, making pedophilia jokes were NOT funny, simply because he was trying to turn someone who rapes children into a sympathetic character via joke, and it didn't work.

It's not just time, it's approach, and it's necessary to not demean the victim while making a joke.


His SNL monologue?  I hadn't heard about it until now, just watched it, I think it's pretty funny, and the audience seemed to respond well.  The whole premise was absurd enough that it worked.
 
2017-11-03 04:41:55 PM  

Kirablue42: Only if it's funny.

Case in point: George Carlin and his jokes about clown rape were funny, because he was saying that anything CAN be funny if it is approached right. C. K. Lewis, on the other hand, making pedophilia jokes were NOT funny, simply because he was trying to turn someone who rapes children into a sympathetic character via joke, and it didn't work.

It's not just time, it's approach, and it's necessary to not demean the victim while making a joke.


Comedy, satire in particular, is a means for the powerless to strike back at the powerful.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2017-11-03 04:46:31 PM  
What if it's Sam Kinison and necrophilia, Subby?
 
2017-11-03 06:35:43 PM  
I remember seeing a set by Buddy Hackett. He was doing some really blue material and there was a lady up front who seemed to be a bit embarrassed. Of course he took advantage of the situation...It went something along the lines of "Oh, I'm sorry. Is this a bit much for you? Here, let me try one that might not bother you so much...

There were these two gay guys farking an alligator" (to which the reaction from the lady was shock...she was laughing but it was obvious she wasn't expecting something like that). He looked at her for a second and said, "What? You don't like alligator jokes?" The lady and the rest of the audience fell apart.

I'm not sure that he could get away with something like that today.
 
2017-11-03 06:57:48 PM  

Kirablue42: Case in point: George Carlin and his jokes about clown rape were funny, because he was saying that anything CAN be funny if it is approached right.


"Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd."
 
2017-11-03 06:58:07 PM  
Yes.
 
2017-11-03 07:07:33 PM  
I thought you just need to say "the aristocrats" at the end
 
2017-11-03 07:20:05 PM  
Comedians or Comediennes?
 
2017-11-03 08:06:23 PM  

sirrerun: Kirablue42: Case in point: George Carlin and his jokes about clown rape were funny, because he was saying that anything CAN be funny if it is approached right.

"Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd."


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-03 08:18:31 PM  
Andrew Dice Clay had a bit that was a lot funnier 25ish years ago than it is now.
 
2017-11-03 08:23:09 PM  
Two days later, after a barrage of criticism, Corden apologised.

For not being funny?

/still miss Craigy Ferg
 
2017-11-03 08:39:52 PM  
Ah, the rare exception to Betteridges Law. Yes. Yes it is sometimes ok to joke about rape.
 
2017-11-03 08:40:43 PM  
If it isn't funny, you're not a good comedian
 
2017-11-03 10:12:49 PM  
Lay it on thick.

/phrasing?
 
2017-11-03 10:31:01 PM  
Here's the thing. Let's say you tell a bad joke about spaghetti. No big deal, right? The joke didn't land, you move on to the next one, and if you've got a halfway decent patter, by the time you get to the end of the next bit, nobody'll remember the spaghetti part.

Let's say we change out spaghetti for rape. People are going to remember the rape joke that didn't land. This is because people are definitely going to have a strong emotional reaction to discussions of rape, while only a small minority of people are going to have a similar reaction about spaghetti.

So yes, you can make a funny rape joke. But no joke is funny all the time, to every audience, which means if you start building rape jokes into your act, you are eventually going to bomb, and bomb big. Worse, you are likely to actually hurt someone, and specifically someone who may be a victim of sexual assault.

Which brings us back to the ol' "punching up vs. punching down" discussion. Trump is a rich sack of shiat who has fumbled his way into the most powerful position on Earth, and you can fire at will on Trump, because he is just the farking worst, but also, no matter what you do, he's got more power than you, so he can farking take it. You can't hurt him, and if you do deal him emotional harm, he has the resources and support system to recover.

Somebody who just dropped by an open mic night, hoping to have a few drinks and a couple of laughs? Somebody who's been a victim of sexual assault? Somebody who hasn't talked about their assault, because it's too raw a subject? Somebody who is, more or less, like you, but with a different hand dealt?

You shouldn't hurt them, just because you can.

That doesn't mean all jokes have to be about spaghetti, or other meaningless topics. It means that, when you joke about something with some gravity to it, know what you're doing, and don't fark it up.
 
2017-11-03 10:38:46 PM  
George Carlin's got this one:

"If the comedian prepares the context properly, the audience with go with him... as long as it's not said cold."

And he would know.

Quote is here:

George Carlin - National Press Club [complete]
Youtube Pc0ZHsoHAlE
 
2017-11-03 11:10:28 PM  

Bith Set Me Up: Comedy, satire in particular, is a means for the powerless to strike back at the powerful.


or maybe ur mum wants my d1ck

maybe u didnt think abuot that
 
2017-11-03 11:11:49 PM  
Is it ever okay for comedians to joke about sexual assault?

It would have to be a really funny observation but I wouldn't open with it or anything.
 
2017-11-03 11:38:11 PM  
Anyone remember Anthony Jeselnik from Comedy Central? Me neither, except that he made a few rape jokes and his entire routine depended on appearing sociopathic. It may have worked for Daniel Tosh, but there's only so much of a niche audience for that.

And yeah, there's an audience for everything out there.
 
2017-11-03 11:38:12 PM  

PirateKing: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: Only if the joke is about two peanuts walking down the street.

Und von vas assaulted... peanut.

Uh huh uhuh huh.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-03 11:42:49 PM  
Everything is fair game or nothing is once you have a sacred cow everything is off limits.

But as expressed many times in this thread, you better do it right.
 
2017-11-03 11:49:30 PM  

cyberspacedout: Anyone remember Anthony Jeselnik from Comedy Central? Me neither, except that he made a few rape jokes and his entire routine depended on appearing sociopathic. It may have worked for Daniel Tosh, but there's only so much of a niche audience for that.


Actually his act was much more than that, he has a net worth of over a million dollars and he is still touring on the stand-up circuit. You probably don't know that he nominated for an Emmy as a writer. Sure he isn't a household name but anyone who really knows stand-up knows him. He is coming here in May and I will go see him.
 
2017-11-03 11:57:35 PM  
I have a copy of Milton Bearle's Private Joke File, which is an enormous book of jokes spanning Mr. Bearle's entire career.  During much of his career, it was socially acceptable to make all sorts of racist and sexist jokes, and even jokes about rape and spousal abuse.  And many of those jokes are in the book.  The "punch up" rule didn't apply to the subjects of those jokes, because for the most part society denied them a voice.

I like to think that we've become a more civilized society in the years since.

/the offensive jokes weren't even that funny
 
2017-11-04 12:00:47 AM  

anfrind: I have a copy of Milton Bearle's Private Joke File, which is an enormous book of jokes spanning Mr. Bearle's entire career.  During much of his career, it was socially acceptable to make all sorts of racist and sexist jokes, and even jokes about rape and spousal abuse.  And many of those jokes are in the book.  The "punch up" rule didn't apply to the subjects of those jokes, because for the most part society denied them a voice.

I like to think that we've become a more civilized society in the years since.

/the offensive jokes weren't even that funny


I listen to a local radio station that does stand up 24/7 and every hour or so they do some "oldies" comedy. I have come to the conclusion that stand-up is not a medium that stands the test of time. Listening to some early Bob Newhart or Mel Brooks has taught me that what "killed" then just doesn't deliver today, the art has changed too much.
 
2017-11-04 12:04:24 AM  

Mike_LowELL: Bith Set Me Up: Comedy, satire in particular, is a means for the powerless to strike back at the powerful.

or maybe ur mum wants my d1ck

maybe u didnt think abuot that


She was cremated 2 years ago, but have at it.

That's what I call a dry hump.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-04 12:07:02 AM  

jst3p: anfrind: I have a copy of Milton Bearle's Private Joke File, which is an enormous book of jokes spanning Mr. Bearle's entire career.  During much of his career, it was socially acceptable to make all sorts of racist and sexist jokes, and even jokes about rape and spousal abuse.  And many of those jokes are in the book.  The "punch up" rule didn't apply to the subjects of those jokes, because for the most part society denied them a voice.

I like to think that we've become a more civilized society in the years since.

/the offensive jokes weren't even that funny

I listen to a local radio station that does stand up 24/7 and every hour or so they do some "oldies" comedy. I have come to the conclusion that stand-up is not a medium that stands the test of time. Listening to some early Bob Newhart or Mel Brooks has taught me that what "killed" then just doesn't deliver today, the art has changed too much.


That's why it's preposterous that comedians blame "political correctness" for their humor failing. The values of the time and place always influences humor.
 
2017-11-04 12:08:06 AM  

ZMugg: Mike_LowELL: Bith Set Me Up: Comedy, satire in particular, is a means for the powerless to strike back at the powerful.

or maybe ur mum wants my d1ck

maybe u didnt think abuot that

She was cremated 2 years ago, but have at it.

That's what I call a dry hump.
[img.fark.net image 500x281]


Are you insinuating Mike is 'all about that ash'?
 
2017-11-04 12:16:50 AM  
It's objectively ok.  Whether or not it's a good idea depends on what sort of comedian you are and the demographics of any given audience.

"Listen to some of this funny stuff I'm going to tell you"  and  "Come with me down this road where I'll prove to you anything can be joked about"  are two very different kind of shows.  Honing the former is usually enough for most aspiring comedians.  The ones who get into the latter are usually either established acts who can afford to mess around with taboo, or lesser knowns who are wrestling with internal issues at the same time they're trying to do comedy on a stage.  Resonance can turn to disaster in a blink...but then, that's comedy for you.
 
2017-11-04 12:31:30 AM  
I like CK. Don't like some if his stuff, including the SNL monologue.  But I'll live. Watched Jeselnik till I saw his Netflix special with the Clapton joke. I enjoy Bill Maher but wouldn't wish to hang out with him.
I would rather let stupid people say stupid things, or anyone say something I don't like than prohibit smart people from using words in new ways.
Art over reaches on occasion and the edge is a moving target.
 
2017-11-04 12:31:40 AM  
"Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd"

George Carlin.


Context is everything.
 
2017-11-04 12:31:52 AM  

Nofun: George Carlin's got this one:

"If the comedian prepares the context properly, the audience with go with him... as long as it's not said cold."

And he would know.

Quote is here:

[Youtube Pc0ZHsoHAlE image 480x360][Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pc0ZHsoH​AlE]


Agreed. And I don't know who Larry Lipman is, but the guy was not comfortable being on camera.
 
2017-11-04 12:38:26 AM  

6nome: ZMugg: Mike_LowELL: Bith Set Me Up: Comedy, satire in particular, is a means for the powerless to strike back at the powerful.

or maybe ur mum wants my d1ck

maybe u didnt think abuot that

She was cremated 2 years ago, but have at it.

That's what I call a dry hump.
[img.fark.net image 500x281]

Are you insinuating Mike is 'all about that ash'?


Yeah, let's go with that.
 
2017-11-04 01:02:30 AM  

shabu: Art over reaches on occasion and the edge is a moving target.


Well said.
 
2017-11-04 02:12:41 AM  
What if that's how they get a "thank you Masked Man?"
 
2017-11-04 02:17:19 AM  
"It makes you sound like a PERVERT! BUT EVERY SCOTSMAN DOES IT!"
 
2017-11-04 02:42:32 AM  

Dancin_In_Anson: Buddy Hackett


A woman has a terrible tooth ache and goes to see a dentist.

The dentist says, "That tooth is going to have to come out".

The woman says, "Oh, no! I'd rather have a baby".

The dentist says, "Make up your mind. I gotta adjust the chair".
 
2017-11-04 03:05:12 AM  
I don't care what anybody says, "I like rape" is one of the funniest punchlines in Blazing Saddles.
 
2017-11-04 03:41:09 AM  
My Harvey Weinstein mask stole the show on Halloween .
 
2017-11-04 04:11:00 AM  
A Nazi commander orders his men to find French peasant girls with blonde hair and blue eyes, to rape them and afterwards inform them 'in nine months you will have a baby. Name him Adolf. Heil Hitler!'

Most are hesitant but one approaches the assignment with gusto. He goes out into the field, grabs the first blonde peasant woman he sees, throws her to the ground, rapes her and says 'in nine months you will have a baby. Name him Adolf. Heil Hitler!'

She looks up at him defiantly. 'In six weeks you will have a disease. Name it syphilis. Vive la France!'
 
2017-11-04 05:33:01 AM  
I guess jokes about sexual assault are ok, however vagina jokes are never funny.  Period.
 
2017-11-04 05:37:14 AM  
The fact that the question is being asked means the answer is yes, it can be funny.  "Very funny," if done right, often goes just a tad bit over the line where people are slightly uncomfortable but the comedy outweighs the uncomfortable feelings.  Then you've taken the audience "there" but not too far "there" and you made the audience somewhat ok being "there" because of the good comedy.

Again, there has to be an underlying joke that is not ONLY about that line you crossed slightly.

That package works and is ok.  There are myriad ways this can go wrong.  But the answer to the question is, yes, any subject CAN be constructed into a joke.
 
2017-11-04 08:52:29 AM  
Did you ever see "The Aristocrats"? That is the definitive and complete lesson on comedy and speech. Seriously. It should be taught in colleges.

It's also really funny.
 
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