This is a comment by Nick, mostly on the post “Daniel Tosh Apologizes for Rape Jokes“.
“It’s strange to me that so many people are unaware of the traditional role of comedy as social commentary. Comics have always spoken ‘truth to power,’ which is as true today as it was in the days of court jesters and Greek plays. Comedy is a tool we use to talk about subjects that make us uncomfortable; in many cases it’s the only acceptable outlet. And so jokes about racism, sexism, rape, murder, corruption—all of these have their place because they are all important or taboo subjects. Louis CK’s bit was less about rape as much as it was about female agency and communication (although using the word ‘rape’ certainly highlights the absurdity). Some comics take it a bit far – Sarah Silverman pushed the line too far for some in her classic rendition of The Aristocrats.
“That’s not to suggest that this is what Tosh was doing. I suspect two things were going on here. First, given my limited knowledge of his comedy, I imagine he was trying to be edgy. Second, in this day of YouTube clips as promotional material, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was trying to ‘take down’ or ‘destroy’ the heckler. Heckling is rude and disruptive. If I go to a concert to hear someone sing, I don’t want the person three seats over from me belting out the tunes. Likewise, I go to a comedy club to hear the comedian, not someone in the audience. Some comedians are quite skillful at silencing hecklers – others (Michael Richards, anyone?) not so much.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Doug Pimentel