Letter to the Editor: Last Laker finalist: ‘Anything goes’ in comedy
Dear Editor,I recently found out that the Lanthorn has a “blog”. So I read on it why rape jokes are never, ever funny by the editor-in-chief. I completely agree that rape is a very searious and devistating act that any human being can do to another human being. Cancer is also very devistating, so is child abuse, and millions of other things. These subjects should be supported and awarness raised for people to know about them and to get help for those who need it. But there is a time and a place for humor, and that can be no other place than a comedy show. As a comedian I have another stance. Comedy is art, comedy is subjective, and as a general rule anything goes. Now when I say “anything goes” I mean that people can say whatever they want but it is not always funny, or at the right time, or for the right crowd. People who frequently attend comedy shows know that the comedians aren’t doing these jokes out of hate or malice but trying to make humor out of something, This is why you can’t take comedy seariously. If someone on the street is openly talking about rape then that’s one thing, but when a comedian is doing it he/she is doing one of multiple things. One: Trying to be funny. Two: The comedian is talking about something that happened to them, or to someone they know. They have the right to talk about what they want and maybe make a joke about it. The editor seemed to be very mad about the very few rape jokes/pedophile jokes that were used at last laker. That’s understandable. But people need to understand that someone is always offended by something. Her response just isn’t geared in the right direction, I respect what she says but I don’t think she has gone to enough comedy shows to know what she is talking about. If we aren’t allowed to do jokes about certain things then that’s just censorship, and everyone loves censorship (sarcasm). The editor-in-chief said, “ When it comes to humor, I’m not one who’s easily offended. As a general rule, I like comedy that’s vulgar, boundary-pushing and inappropriate. But rape jokes are different.” That is a very hipocritical statement. What is boundary-pushing for you is apparently rape jokes and pedophile jokes. While other people might find those jokes amusing. I want to make it clear that comedians should and do have a right to make any joke they want in a stand-up comedy atmosphere. Outside of that they are on their own. But in that comedy atmosphere people need to check their egos, and ideas, and just try to relax and have fun and to not take things seariously. Hence the name stand-up comedy. Tons of women comedians use material like that all the time and can be very vulgar. As I recall the female comedian that night used some jokes about her bowels. Her frieken bowels. Why the editor-in-chief isn’t offended by that is weird since that is not “lady-like” and blah blah blah. Comedy is therapy. Some comedian said that and I wish I knew who, but I don’t. But regardless it works for both the audience and the comedian. The comedian on stage usually talks about stuff in their life and makes fun of it and this kind of acts as therapy to them in a way. So to say that rape is never ever funny is not true. Many people in the audience that night were laughing and having a good time but didn’t take the joke very seariously.
If you don’t like the joke don’t laugh. But don’t try to say that we should censor certain jokes because that is never, ever going to happen. Writing is a process, and comedy writing is no different. Usually before shows comedians say that people in the crowd shouldn’t get offended by what they say and that like I said before they aren’t saying things out of hate or malice. They bring light to certain things that maybe we can’t/won’t talk about. As a general rule, people need to know that comedy is not searious. Also, in a comedic atmosphere, comedians should be able to say what they want without any backlash or censorship. They will know what jokes do and don’t work and if a majority of people are offended by a joke the comedian will know and (hopefully) never do that joke again.
President of the
Stand-Up Comedy Club