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Jane Lake and Humor!


Before I start this rant, I would like to say how thankful I am for the thwarting of the terrorist plot in London and I pray that plots continue to be uncovered before anyone is hurt.

Now on to humor. Kind of. Last night was the crowning of The Last Comic Standing - Josh Blue. Josh has Cerebral Palsy and most of his act pokes fun at the side effects of the disease including his speech and uncontrolled movement. I am glad he won, not because he was necessarily so funny. (I would give him a 7 out of 10), but because he seems like a nice guy. Now let's be clear. If I told the same jokes, I would be labeled as insensitive and cruel. That seems to be a pattern with stand up comics. Fat comics do fat jokes. Black comics revel in the hilarious (not really) fact that black folks are profiled for crimes.

My question becomes is this funny, or is it another way for people to "get away" with inappropriate humor. Most comics on The Last Comic Standing are bleeped at one point or another and that is after cleaning up 99% of their acts. If you go to see stand-up you will be barraged by swears, body parts, insults, and more.

Many years ago, Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes got caught telling a joke about a certain racial group and watermelons. (You are probably smiling already, you sick puppy!). He wrote it off as what happens to ideals as you get older and are exposed to the ugliness of everyday life. I was just disappointed.

Go to any joke site online and you will find categories such as lawyer jokes, dumb blonde jokes, etc. that ridicule people, professions, and even disabilities (mommy, mommy jokes). Not to mention a child falling off a chair and hurting himself can be Americas Funniest Video.

I think it is time we use more discrimination on what we call funny, and realize that there is a pool of humor out there (take Jerry Seinfeld, for example) that isn't insulting and derogoratory.

"Fat comics do fat jokes. Black comics revel in the hilarious (not really) fact that black folks are profiled for crimes."

I think you are forgetting that, often, a key component in what we find funny is unexpected irony in some form. A fat person telling a fat joke mixes the view from inside of another person that perhaps we hadn't considered with the unexpected irony of a fat person making fun of fat people... then there is the joke itself.
Also, a lot of the "hilarious" injury videos on AFV have the implication that everything ended ok. Would a family send in the video of their young son's permanent paralysis? We wince, we remember that everything ended ok, and we laugh 'cause it wasn't us and we don't know them. I bet no one that was present laughed when the child initially fell.

One last thing (I know this is a long comment, but bear with me). I never really cared for Seinfeld much, because I found his character to be quite shallow. I had tremendous disdain for the way he interacted with women on the show to create situationalist humor, and find him to be a very poor example of what is "safe funny." Some of the other things, like fighting for a parking spot or a money-eating vending machine were good in the "funny because it's true" way, though.

Josh had some great character assets, not the least of which was the ability to truly look at his problems and deal with them without beating the martyr drum as too many other people would have in his position.

Instead of, "Pity me, I have CP," it was, "This is the point in the program where I tell you all that you're going to Hell for laughing at me..."

Personally I think he deserved to win.

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