Jerry Seinfeld and the Progressive Comedy Pause

 

flukeRTell a joke to a liberal. Between your punchline and his laughter, there is a Progressive Comedy Pause. In this second or two, the liberal will process the joke to make sure he is allowed to laugh.

Is that joke racist? He mentioned Obama, but didn’t make light of him, so to speak. He also mentioned Michelle, but I didn’t notice sexism. Is it dismissive of the LGBTQIA community? Latinos? Muslims? Vegans? Will this joke hurt progressive causes? Will my laughter trivialize oppressed communities? Will I appear intolerant? I think it’s okay if I laugh. Yes, I’ll laugh now to signal my appreciation and to indicate that I’m not a joyless liberal scold.

“Ha ha.”

I first noticed the Progressive Comedy Pause while sharing my hilarity at office staff meetings. The majority would laugh but the committed lefties would stare blankly, each eye like that spinning wheel your smartphone shows while an app is loading. (The PCP might be why progressives just hoot and clap at Bill Maher’s jokes; the laughter reflex is considered problematic.)

What’s an annoyance in a business meeting is deadly to stand-up comedy. Social Justice Warriors regularly screech about thoughtcrime on Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and anywhere else jokes are told. Comedians are now afraid to set foot on campus — traditionally the preferred venue to test material and build a following — because political correctness has become so toxic.

Jerry Seinfeld told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd that his friends Chris Rock and Larry the Cable Guy have stopped performing at colleges:

”I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC,'” said Seinfeld.

He continued, “I’ll give you an example: My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ You know what my daughter says? She says, ‘That’s sexist.’”

Seinfeld said college students don’t understand racism and sexism. “They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice.’ [sic] They don’t even know what the [expletive] they’re talking about.”

It’s harder to laugh when you’re scared and much of the left is terrified. They know that an inappropriate chuckle, the wrong tweet, or last year’s term for an aggrieved minority can lessen their standing with progressive peers, if not get them fired from a job. Lefties also have turned the negative of humorlessness into the positive of moral superiority. Sniffing “That’s not funny!” at an inoffensive Caitlyn Jenner joke signals that you are more evolved than the average cis-het-white-oppressor. The same people who laughed at Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” now aspire to be her.

Unfortunately for Seinfeld, I expect this trend to get worse. Progressive conferences instruct their attendees about all the jokes that are off-limits. At last year’s Netroots Nation, professional “humorists” offered to review jokes to ensure they didn’t harm disenfranchised communities. At the three-day event, I rarely saw an attendee crack a smile, let alone laugh.

More and more, comedians are realizing that their progressive allies are the ones trying to silence them, not those unsophisticated conservatives comics love to mock. Perhaps comics should seize this opportunity to joke about humorless liberals before it’s too late.

Members have made 40 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Kim K. Member

     Is it dismissive of the LGBTQIA community? Latinos? Muslims? Vegans? 

    As I was glancing through this at first, I thought that last word was Vaginas. Which is pretty much what lefty feminists have reduced women down to.

    • #1
    • June 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm
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  2. Profile photo of 1967mustangman Member

    Kim K.: Is it dismissive of the LGBTQIA community? Latinos? Muslims? Vegans?

    As I was glancing through this at first, I thought that last word was Vaginas. Which is pretty much what lefty feminists have reduced women down to.

    The ironic thing about this is they used to say all the right saw women as was a life support system for a vagina. Then came a moment when a legislator in Michigan was disciplined for telling the speaker she was flattered they were all so interested in her vagina and the left went crazy and they said Republican men were afraid of the word vagina. So in their own lefty way they went around saying “vagina” all the time. The would slip it into tweets, they would randomly drop a #vagina into their posts, or (I think this was Amy Pohler and Tina Fey at some point ) just say vagina randomly while doing whatever comedy routine they were doing or whatever self-congratulatory award show they were presenting.

    See the left will laugh at things your grandmother would consider beyond the pale. Just as long as they are laughing at those horrible vagina hating right wingers. In the end most people agree the left’s “approved” brand of humor isn’t all that funny.

    • #2
    • June 8, 2015 at 4:50 pm
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  3. Profile photo of Seawriter Member

    As my niece would used to* say, “That’s so gay.”

    * She’s a liberal now.

    Seawriter

    • #3
    • June 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm
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  4. Profile photo of 1967mustangman Member

    Seawriter:As my niece would used to* say, “That’s so gay.”

    * She’s a liberal now.

    Seawriter

    So she will start saying “That’s so hetero-normative straight white cis-male.”

    • #4
    • June 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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  5. Profile photo of Basil Fawlty Inactive

    I just had a minor jape redacted on Ricochet because I suggested that the fraudulent study of door-to-door opinion research about gay marriage might have been affected by the pollsters going to the back door. Ricochet, heal thyself.

    • #5
    • June 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm
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  6. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Kim K.: Is it dismissive of the LGBTQIA community? Latinos? Muslims? Vegans?

    As I was glancing through this at first, I thought that last word was Vaginas. Which is pretty much what lefty feminists have reduced women down to.

    Actually, according to them not all women have vaginas.

    • #6
    • June 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm
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  7. Profile photo of Richard Fulmer Member

    So, a progressive walks into a bar…, and there was nothing funny about it.

    • #7
    • June 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm
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  8. Profile photo of Knotwise the Poet Member

    So, a progressive walks into a bar…, and there was nothing funny about it.

    Reminds me of the joke (and I don’t remember where I read it; quite possibly here on Ricochet):

    Q: “How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?”

    A: “That’s not funny!”

    • #8
    • June 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm
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  9. Profile photo of Eeyore Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Sniffing “That’s not funny!” at an inoffensive Caitlyn Jenner joke…

    There are no inoffensive Caitlyn Jenner “jokes,” Mr. Gabriel.

    • #9
    • June 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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  10. Profile photo of Steven Jones Inactive

    All jokes are offensive to someone. Thus, humor is no longer permitted.

    • #10
    • June 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm
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  11. Profile photo of Matt Balzer Member

    Richard Fulmer:So, a progressive walks into a bar…, and there was nothing funny about it.

    An atheist, a vegan and a feminist walk into a bar…I know because they told everyone within two minutes.

    • #11
    • June 8, 2015 at 5:56 pm
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  12. Profile photo of Richard Fulmer Member

    This is a bit reminiscent of the old Soviet days in which people led two very separate lives. One was internal – what they thought to themselves. The other external – what they said to others, often even to members of their own families. A very terrible existence.

    So, a customer walks into a bar and the bartender asks, “What’ll ya have?” Then a leftist walks in and the bartender asks, “What’ll I think?”

    • #12
    • June 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm
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  13. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    I’m still shocked by the use of “teabagger” on the major news neyworks. Anything is fair game if the target deserves it.

    The Left has no consistent limiting principles. That’s why America’s future will be uglier than most pundits are willing to imagine.

    • #13
    • June 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm
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  14. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    So here was the Caitlyn Jenner joke that Clint Eastwood told that is so shocking that Spike TV is cutting it out of the broadcast of the Guys’ Choice Awards.

    The “American Sniper” director reportedly made the joke when introducing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the 2015 Guys’ Choice Awards Saturday night. He compared Johnson to former athletes who turn to acting like “Jim Brown and Caitlyn Somebody…”

    • #14
    • June 8, 2015 at 6:31 pm
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  15. Profile photo of David Deeble Member

    Hoo boy, where to start. I recently wrote a faux-headline on Facebook which, admittedly, wasn’t that much funnier or cleverer than it was inoffensive: “Caintlyn Jennifer Complains Of Feeling Like Woman Trapped In Man’s Body”. A liberal Facebook friend wrote me a message informing me that normally my material makes her laugh but that she (drumroll) took offense. She included a column from a website called Distractify titled 5 Ways Not To Be A Dick About Caitlyn Jenner, which I have not read but can easily surmise.

    Needless to say she did not say what was offensive about my admittedly weak effort – it was clearly that jokes as such about her new favorite Republican were out of bounds.

    I also posted to FB the story referencing the rumors Seinfeld had heard about colleges. One college entertainer commented “I performed colleges and once got accused after the show of being prejudice (sic) because I didn’t choose any black volunteers.” He concluded “People looking to start controversy (sic) over nothing sometimes…”

    So here we have another problem: desperately apolitical people Jerry Seinfeld and the entertainer above writing off liberal fascism as political correctness or people looking to start a controversy. 

    • #15
    • June 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm
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  16. Profile photo of Vance Richards Member

    David Deeble:Hoo boy, where to start. I recently wrote a faux-headline on Facebook which, admittedly, wasn’t that much funnier or cleverer than it was inoffensive: “Caintlyn Jennifer Complains Of Feeling Like Woman Trapped In Man’s Body”. A liberal Facebook friend wrote me a message informing me that normally my material makes her laugh but that she (drumroll) took offense. She included a column from a website called Distractify titled 5 Ways Not To Be A Dick About Caitlyn Jenner, which I have not read but can easily surmise.

    So, why didn’t they call it “5 Ways Not To Be A Jerk About Caitlyn Jenner”? Did their word choice have anything to with the fact that they were writing about a man with a . . . never mind.

    Anyway, you should stick to safe stuff like,”Hey, that George W Bush is he stupid or what?” College crowds love that sort of clever humor.

    • #16
    • June 8, 2015 at 6:41 pm
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  17. Profile photo of Richard Fulmer Member

    David Deeble

    … She included a column from a website called Distractify titled 5 Ways Not To Be A Dick About Caitlyn Jenner, which I have not read but can easily surmise.

    Ahem. Speaking as a “Richard,” her use of the word “Dick” is decidedly offensive. We are not amused.

    • #17
    • June 8, 2015 at 6:45 pm
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  18. Profile photo of Destructozach Member

    These pretzels are making me thirsty.

    • #18
    • June 8, 2015 at 7:08 pm
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  19. Profile photo of The Reticulator Member

    Aaron Miller:The Left has no consistent limiting principles. That’s why America’s future will be uglier than most pundits are willing to imagine.

    Yes, it has a consistent limiting principle: Power to the Left.

    • #19
    • June 8, 2015 at 7:40 pm
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  20. Profile photo of Songwriter Member

    There is only one subject the Left always finds funny – the Right. They are incapable of laughing at themselves. And they only laugh at the Right with the derisive laughter of people who believe themselves to be superior.

    • #20
    • June 8, 2015 at 7:44 pm
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  21. Profile photo of Podkayne of Israel Member

    &@₪ ’em if they can’t take a joke.

    • #21
    • June 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm
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  22. Profile photo of Lumimies Inactive

    It’s a ironic sign of how far we’ve come that the greatest remaining source of absolutely non-PC humor in the media is old MASH reruns. Most of the humor on that milestone of progressive entertainment would get you fired today.

    • #22
    • June 8, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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  23. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    That’s basically my attitude, Podkayne.

    The way to break political correctness is open defiance. Individual conservatives have much to lose from such defiance: their jobs, their public reputations, etc. But the more we cower, the more intolerant liberals become.

    Freedom ain’t cheap. We will have to suffer for it. The longer we wait to fight for it, the higher the costs will be to regain ground.

    • #23
    • June 8, 2015 at 8:19 pm
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  24. Profile photo of Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Interesting to see how Joel McHale tried to thread the needle, getting humor from the “touchy” situation. It’s amazing how we now aren’t supposed to make jokes about a Kardashian.

    Soup - Jenner

    • #24
    • June 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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  25. Profile photo of Caleb J. Jones Member

    Aaron Miller:I’m still shocked by the use of “teabagger” on the major news neyworks. Anything is fair game if the target deserves it.

    The Left has no consistent limiting principles. That’s why America’s future will be uglier than most pundits are willing to imagine.

    As the saying goes, “Thank goodness for double standards. If there weren’t any double standards, the left wouldn’t have any standards at all.”

    • #25
    • June 8, 2015 at 10:33 pm
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  26. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    At times like this, I am reminded of scene from a classic movie, “The Mortal Storm” where a formerly beloved professor is confronted by his now-Nazi students about whether his beliefs line up with the regimes views on different races. I wish there was a clip of it online. It seems as timely as ever.

    • #26
    • June 9, 2015 at 5:11 am
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  27. Profile photo of Brad2971 Inactive

    Aaron Miller:That’s basically my attitude, Podkayne.

    The way to break political correctness is open defiance. Individual conservatives have much to lose from such defiance: their jobs, their public reputations, etc. But the more we cower, the more intolerant liberals become.

    Freedom ain’t cheap. We will have to suffer for it. The longer we wait to fight for it, the higher the costs will be to regain ground.

    Do you ever think progressive can bury knives in each other’s backs over stuff like this?

    • #27
    • June 9, 2015 at 6:46 am
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  28. Profile photo of The Reticulator Member

    Brad2971:Do you ever think progressive can bury knives in each other’s backs over stuff like this?

    I predict they will take it out on conservatives.

    • #28
    • June 9, 2015 at 6:51 am
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  29. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    Brad2971:Do you ever think progressive can bury knives in each other’s backs over stuff like this?

    In a way, they do. That’s why colleges get crazier and crazier. Colleges are already progressive institutions and the students treat them like reactionaries. That’s the problem.

    • #29
    • June 9, 2015 at 6:57 am
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  30. Profile photo of The Great Adventure! Inactive

    shesaguy

    • #30
    • June 9, 2015 at 1:57 pm
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