Tag: Jerry Seinfeld

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Big, New Feature Documentary Asks: “Can We Take A Joke?”

 

i-Co2a06Way back when I was promoting my first book, Unlearning Liberty, I did a podcast at the Comedy Cellar in which the most liberal member of the panel of comedians I was talking to said that he didn’t like playing campuses anymore. Really, given the kind of things that can get you in trouble on the modern college campus, I was not surprised. Satire and parody are risky business in higher education and have been throughout my entire career at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

A few years ago FIRE started working with director Ted Balaker on a small video about the censorship of comedy on campus. Now, with the help of the DKT Liberty Project, Ted is completing a new major feature documentary titled Can We Take a Joke? The documentary already features interviews with Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Jim Norton, Lisa Lampanelli, Heather McDonald, Karith Foster, me, Jon Ronson, Chris Lee, Ron Collins, Bob Corn-Revere, and Jonathan Rauch.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. College-aged Narcissism, Distilled

 

For those of you who missed Jerry Seinfeld’s recent comments about the state of comedy, Seinfeld remarked that the politically correct atmosphere on most college campuses dissuades top comedians from even playing them. This is a view he shares with other major stand-up stars, including Chris Rock. Specifically, Seinfeld says that today’s young people throw around words like “racism” for the sake of saying them, without even understanding fully what those concepts mean. He even uses his own daughter as an example.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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.