This past week, comedian Daniel Tosh was blasted for using material having to do with rape. A member of the audience interrupted Daniel’s set to say, “Rape is not funny!” Daniel Tosh then began his rebuttal of the heckler. He went on to say something to the effect of, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this lady got ganged raped right now? Like, right now?”
Upon reading that, you may feel the Daniel went too far. I personally don’t. He attempted to deal with a distraction that he had not planned for while doing his set. As a comic, you do the very best you can to control the situation only to ‘smoothly’ transition back to your act. The art form that is stand up comedy is supposed to be as uncensored as possible while maintaining an air of quality and talent. There is no denying that Daniel Tosh is a hilarious and great comic, but even a great comic can fall prey to having a joke completely backfire. This is the curse of all stand up comics. We try new material on a regular basis and sometimes push the envelope to touch on issues that no one dares speak publicly about. Yet, somehow, a good comic can take even those sensitive issues and share the lighter side of things. Sometimes, we fail and a joke goes terribly, and when you add a scum of the earth heckler to the mix, it can turn ugly!
If you go to a stand up comedy show, be prepared to hear the worst. Be prepared to see the comics on stage bring out the ugliness that makes us do what we do. Be prepared to either relate, identify, sympathize or empathize with us. Be prepared to hate a few jokes, like a few joke and LOVE a few jokes. Be prepared to be taken on a ride that you would not otherwise be taking if you weren’t at the show. Above all, be prepared to sit down, SHUT UP and be entertained! Remember, NO ONE IS KEEPING YOU IN THAT SEAT THAT YOU PAID FOR! Get up and leave if you don’t like the performer or the content. A comedy show is NOT you’re opportunity to be heard! The performer has earned the right to be heard because of all of the blood, sweat and tears they have had to endure to be able to grace that stage! It did not come at a small price!
Look back at any stand up comic’s controversy that you’ve seen on the news and you will find that, inevitability, there is ALWAYS a HECKLER at the root of the problem!
Remember Michael Richards, (who played Kramer on Seinfeld), and the whole racist tirade he went on a few years ago? He did what he thought he could do to deal with a heckler, but it went horribly! He should NOT have had to deal with that distraction! He is a performer that people paid big money to see. Why would anyone want to ruin it for everyone else in the room? That’s exactly what that heckler did. Why are those pieces of scum not made to face the same retribution from the public? They are more to blame than anything that was said on stage! Just once, I’d like to see one of those maggots sued by audiences for ruining what was supposed to be a night of entertainment and laughter. Just once!!
2 thoughts on “Rape Jokes…Do the Two Words Really Fit Together?”
If a comic has to resort to using rape as a punch line, he should probably find another job. There’s just no “lighter side” to having your body, security, and trust violated–damage that takes years to recover from. I sincerely hope this is a piece of satire and I left my funny bone at home.
Here’s the problem. Those who are fans of this comedian, Daniel Tosh, know that his material goes overboard. In fact, a part from being a clever writer, his audiences have heard him repeat jokes having to do with a small child being killed and a speed bump installed in their honor. He has a bit about his swapping his sister’s can of mace for silly string, and she gets raped as a result, all the while cursing her brother under her breath and saying, “Daniel! This is gonna really hurt!”
My question is this; Why was that lady in the audience? Why did she choose to pay admission to watch Daniel Tosh perform considering the type of material he does? No one, absolutely no one believes rape is a funny thing. The comments were made in a stand up comedy forum where the shocking is expected. How dare this lady bring the spotlight upon herself? Is that what she was there for? Tosh has apologized for what he said. And, as I’ve posted in my blog, some attempts at humor can often backfire and we must do all that we can to implement the best damage control we can. I agree that what Tosh said was over the line, but my point was that he should never have been put in that situation if not for the heckler in the midst. She should have stayed home and done her research before she paid to see Daniel’s show. Daniel’s show turned ugly as a result. This man sells out theaters and clubs across the country and performs for audiences that know what he does on stage.
The late Sam Kinison did jokes about Jesus, and although I thought some of his other material was good, you would never see me at ANY of his shows because of this. And I would NEVER go to his show only to heckle him because I felt that his material about my Savior went too overboard. I simply would not pay to go see him and support that.
Remember how the public was all up in arms when Princess Diana died in that fatal car crash? Everyone was way too quick to blame the paparazzi, yet the limo driver was intoxicated! Why was there not an outpouring of outrage of the dangers of drinking and driving? I think the same goes for a heckler who shows up to a show only to ruin it for the rest of the paying customers.