World Premiere! ‘Can We Take a Joke?’


can-we-take-a-jokeI am psyched to announce that Can We Take a Joke? – a FIRE-supported feature documentary about the threats outrage culture poses to comedy and free speech — will be premiering next month at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival. The world premiere will take place on Nov. 13 at NYC’s IFC Center, with an additional screening on Nov. 16.

As FIRE announced:

In Can We Take A Joke?, comedians Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli, Jim Norton, Adam Carolla, Heather McDonald, Karith Foster, and more come together with narrator Christina Pazsitzky to explore what happens when comedy, censorship, and outrage culture collide. […]

Also featured in the film are So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed author Jon Ronson, free speech expert and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Jonathan Rauch, and First Amendment attorneys Bob Corn-Revere and Ron Collins, who together in 2003 successfully petitioned the governor of New York to posthumously pardon Lenny Bruce of his 1964 New York state obscenity conviction.

Can We Take A Joke? is directed by Ted Balaker of Korchula Productions in partnership with the DKT Liberty Project and in association with Reason TV. To learn more, visit the film’s Facebook page, follow its Twitter account, and sign up for email updates at its website. To purchase tickets to the premiere, visit DOC NYC’s website, and to support FIRE’s effort to defend comedy and free speech on campus, visit

I hope you can be there! It’s going to be a fun night.

And, if you want to know more, check out this exclusive video outtake of Penn Jillette discussing free speech:

There are 4 comments.

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  1. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller

    Greg Lukianoff: And, if you want to know more, check out this exclusive video outtake of Penn Jillette discussing free speech

    Very well stated… and not just because he borrowed my hat to look distinguished.

    • #1
  2. lesserson Member


    (I couldn’t resist…)

    • #2
  3. Greg Lukianoff Contributor
    Greg Lukianoff


    (I couldn’t resist…)

    Well I did not think I would ever say this but awesome use of Grumpy Cat!

    • #3
  4. barbara lydick Inactive
    barbara lydick

    Daniel Henninger in a piece he wrote nearly 14 years ago for the Wall Street Journal, “Wascally Wabbit Made us Laugh When It Was Legal,” said that

    Anyone between the ages of 20 and 100 knows what happened to a lot of the laughter in America.  It went down a wabbit hole addressed Political Correctness. Whatever its intent, PC, so deadly serious, was bad for humor. PC channels behavior; humor wants to blow it up.  PC is punctilious; humor is spontaneous.

    There’s still a lot of laughter in the air, but anyone who wants to be funny nowadays, at a dinner party or onstage, works with a six-second delay attached to the tongue, lest one offend. Our politics has stripped itself of humor, and in turn politicians have become the one safe butt for comedians to mock mercilessly.

     There is in fact a bumper sticker-like theory beneath the PC movement: “The personal is political.” This phrase, generally traced to radical feminism in the 1970s, suggested that personal problems and cultural grievances should be elevated into public politics, and from there into legal or regulatory prohibitions on certain behaviors. Once you accept that the personal is political, virtually any beef can present itself as deserving official redress…

    A personal favorite, tho, was the description of a course offered in Women’s Studies:  How to be Funny…

    • #4
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