The first time I really got introduced to stand up comedy was when I watched Eddie Murphy’s ‘Delirious’. I instantly became a fan of stand up (I was already an Eddie Murphy fan) and started watching more and I decided I wanted to become a stand up comedian. Even as a small kid I realized it’s not easy to make it big in showbiz but I also knew never to lose hope. My classmates in elementary school always told me I should become a stand up comedian, in high school I was the class clown as well (or at least one of them) but in college it kinda died off. It’s probably because college is a lot more serious. I’d be the last person to tell you to grow up and become an “adult” but people in college are different. They think they’re adults and try to act like it. I’ve always really enjoyed making people laugh though, even if I’m the only one laughing.
Comedy can be as simple as a video of a cat getting punched in the face by the family dog. It can, however, also be a lot more complicated. Sometimes awesome comedy requires a great deal of thought and can in turn be really thought-provoking. Both simple and “smart” comedy can be great and one is not better than the other. Some of the pioneers in comedy used very simple slapstick that was extremely effective.
I’m a big fan of dark humour. I went to see Louis CK perform live a few weeks ago and I’m personally a big fan of the man and his jokes. He’s a great example of a comedian that’s excellent at dark humour. Problem with dark humour is there’s always people who want to ruin the fun. There’s always the butthurt, easily offended social justice warriors that think too much. Of course there is a line and bullying is never okay, even if the bully is “just joking” (which is bullshit). There is a big difference however between being an offensive, ignorant, bullying bigot and between being a jokester. And unless you’re a terrible jokester that difference is usually very clear.
Still, there are people who find it necessary to complain about a joke made in that one show by that one comedian. And hey, of course those people have all the right to complain since they’re perfect and are totally experts. That’s sarcasm, another form of comedy.
I’m not saying to go out there and look for the line, push it and make offensive jokes. Not everybody can pull it off in every situation. I’m saying: stop being so easily offended. Those easily offended by jokes do the exact opposite of what you should be doing with a joke: take it too seriously. Before you think: “but guys, there actually are offensive jokes that go too far and should not be made”. That’s true, we said that when we told you that there’s a line and that joking should never become bullying.
The intent behind a joke is extremely important. Intent isn’t everything. If you hurt somebody with a messed up comment it doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to hurt them, you’re just inconsiderate. However, jokes are meant to entertain people. It’s clear what a joke is and what isn’t. The real offensive and bad jokes get picked up by everybody and the one making them will get scolded by many, potentially ruining his career if he’s making jokes for a living. The jokes that only offend a small group of social justice warriors aren’t even worth getting upset about, they’re the good jokes and they’re the ones that work.
Sure, those jokes might push the line but never too far that the person would get scolded by everybody. There’s an extremely thin line between being scolded by everybody for taking a joke too far or for getting a standing ovation for being bold enough to push the line. A good jokester will know this line and he won’t cross it. He will push it but never break it.
I definitely pissed off some teachers in elementary and high school. I wasn’t a troublemaker at all, I just love making jokes, still do. I always studied hard but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, I knew which teachers were cool and which weren’t. Of course the ones that weren’t were all the more fun to “entertain” with our jokes. It was all the more satisfying if those salty teachers had to give you an awesome grade later on. That’s the thing. The minority of butthurt people who can’t take a joke, the super sensitive social justice warriors will only get more shit if they let themselves be bothered by jokes. That’s all the more hilarious and statisfying.
Comedians and jokesters alike will keep on making jokes unless they do go too far and they’re exiled like Kramer for example. Know when to shut up, know when to stop and know that there are some jokes you can’t pull off. I’m not a comedy expert (if there’s even such a thing), it’s really just common sense. If you really, really can’t take a joke, no matter how dark or light I suggest you do everything you can to avoid it. If you let yourself be bothered by so many things either don’t go looking for them or find a real hobby. Just don’t bother the ones that actually enjoy the humour by trying to criticize everything that could be considered remotely offensive.
Let’s just appreciate comedy for what it is. Appreciate those who try to make us laugh and not try to approach everything pessimisticly. It’s important for people to see the difference between a joke and between a personal offense. Usually it’s really simple to see and usually even those social justice warriors see it, they’re just too pedantic to admit they don’t. I actually believe that even if you take a joke very far, it can take the negative power out of something. The fact that people can laugh at things that would normally make them cry for example is actually a very cool thing, I think. It’s like laughing problems away for a minute.
Jokes are meant to make us laugh and make us happy. That’s a beautiful thing, I think. If you know you can’t handle a joke, just ignore it. There’s no use in being upset and there’s no use in you scolding somebody for making the joke. Just be happy with yourself and enjoy your life. Do you, do what works for you and laugh at the things that make you laugh.