Why It’s Perfectly Reasonable to “Make a Big Deal” About “One Little Joke”
Mention Tosh or Cook’s outbursts to most comedians, and you’ll be told – quite rightly – that most good comics aren’t like that, or that, sure, there’s a little of that but a lot of jokes about other things, and, really, what’s the big deal?
Eh. I mean, if you were on a date with someone and he called you a “fat cunt”, that date would be over, right? No matter what other awesomely witty things the guy had to say? And if this happened at a speed dating event and the guy who said that were just one of many guys you’d be seeing that evening – sure, you’d obviously be in a fabulous mood to meet another (perfectly innocent!) guy ten minutes after being called a fat cunt, right?
Well, that’s a bad night at a comedy club for me and plenty of other people. I once performed in a benefit show for a YWCA that worked with victims of domestic violence. All the comics were women, and the show was attended almost entirely by the staff at the YWCA, all of whom were women, and mostly women of color. And we, the comics, heard repeatedly: “I didn’t think I could ever go see comedy,” or “I didn’t know comedy could be like this.” That is, funny to women who don’t think violence against women is funny. By which I mean: funny.