The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

VIEWPOINT – Stop being offended about smart comedy

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By Juan Ibarra/editor-in-chief

In 2019, comedy is difficult to tie down, but people should learn some common sense.

A few weeks ago, Dave Chappelle got scrutinized by many outlets for what many reviewers called an “offensive” stand-up special. Chappelle’s take on subjects such as the LGBT community was often times at the expense of the community as a whole, but never personally insulting to individuals.

This is a distinct difference in comparison to Shane Gillis, a comedian who was hired to be on “Saturday Night Live” only to be fired shortly after a video of Gillis using racial slurs towards the Asian community and mimicking Chinese accents was seen online.

Comedy can be a fine line, and sometimes it can be insulting. That’s where the danger lies. But just because something is offensive, it doesn’t mean that is inherently bad. There are layers behind this.

Chappelle uses his platform to make fun of all demographics and has made jokes at the expense of everyone, while also providing context to the reason behind what he does. And that’s OK.

I don’t get offended when jokes are made about the Mexican community that play off stereotypes in a clever way. But if someone thinks it is funny to just throw a racial slur out there and hope that is a strong enough joke on its own, then they need to go back and think about their routine.

It is in poor taste to just insult a demographic and hope to get some laughs. It’s also a tricky situation because one might garner the support of people who are actually bigoted or racist.

Comedy is about trying things out and seeing what works, and sometimes a joke may not pan out. That is fine, but the comedian should acknowledge his  failure with sincerity and keep moving with a different angle.

Comedians shouldn’t change their act to appeal to the popular crowd. Comedy is about having a unique voice. However, having a unique set of jokes and just making blanket racist statements are two different things.

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