You Know What’s Funny?

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”

-Mel Brooks

Renowned and brilliant comedian Hannah Gadsby steps behind the microphone at a popular New York City comedy club. Hannah begins a scathing monologue about how good men don’t exist. The teeming crowd of young people begins to hoot and holler in delight and affirmation. Then; it happens.

Suddenly, out of some macabre dimension, a gigantic quacking anus materializes behind Hannah Gadsby, roughly the size of a monster-truck tire, and blasts liquid shit with the force of a fire hose at the back of Hannah’s head. To great comic effect, Hannah’s short hair is strewn about in all directions, as hot diarrhea fans out like the tail feathers of a filth-encrusted peacock, spattering the audience with ordure. The comedian’s eyes clench instinctively, as the briny feculence knocks Hannah’s non-prescription glasses into the lap of a now-befouled writer for the Huffington Post. 

Chaos ensues, as Hannah stands unbowed at the mic, much too empowered to submit to the onslaught of liquid feces. As the spectators scatter for the exits, a young man with twiglike arms and a tight pink shirt emblazoned THE FUTURE IS FEMALE attempts to restore calm. “This is offensive and not funny,” shrieks the man with the voice of a child denied candy, as a wave of reeking excrement enrobes his slender form, coating the soles of his sandals and forcing him to engage in a jerky pantomime of a tap-dancer overdosing on cocaine as he struggles to remain upright. Since his fey mouth was agape in screaming, he received a hot mouthful of shit, upon which all in attendance are currently slipping and sliding. 

A politically-correct cleaning crew arrives on the scene (staffed only by white men who sign a contract admitting their racial and social inferiority, and avert their eyes at all times). As a demonstration of tolerance and submission, the crew uses only American flags to sop up the offending material. Backstage, Sarah Silverman catches a glimpse of an American flag and faints in the poop. 

Ha ha ha, I’m just kidding, folks! Hannah Gadsby would never headline a real comedy club. 

Comedy is subjective. Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes. For example; I don’t find South Park as funny anymore. I used to enjoy it back in the days of Nancy Pimental, and the “Radiohead episode”. But for the past few years, in my opinion, the show has leaned too heavily on toilet humor (I’m aware of the irony), and the “A rapes B” formula. Meaning, the subject being satirized either rapes or gets raped. 

So… I stopped watching it. No big D.

I didn’t launch a quasi-righteous crusade smearing its creators. I didn’t take to the Internet and write screed after screed calling fans of the show stupid. I didn’t claim that Matt Stone or Trey Parker are “racist”, or “anti-Semitic”, or “misogynist”, or “white supremacist”, or “pedophiles”. They’re not any of those things. They’re talented guys. They’re Tony award winners, and they worked pretty fucking hard to get where they are. I freely admit that their long-running show just isn’t my thing.

Not that it isn’t funny; I just don’t find it funny anymore. It’s on me. 

See how easy that is? I’m not claiming that South Park isn’t funny. Hannah Gadsby isn’t funny; that I am claiming. Funny comedians don’t have to perform in a safe space after signing a written promise to be inoffensive. Funny comedians don’t have to play the victim when they’re trolled or criticized. Funny comedians don’t have to hide behind a cunty publicist. The funniest comedians give as good as they get.

Let’s talk about Kevin Hart. 

Kevin Hart is funny. He’s so funny that the press had to dredge up an old tweet of his to make him look bad. I don’t have to dig it up myself, do I? He said something to the effect of not wanting his son to turn out gay. 

I have a newsflash for all you woke enlightened people out there. Your parents probably want you to give them grandchildren. It doesn’t have a thing to do with homophobia. Your parents probably want grandchildren. They probably want to relive the joy of having children with their own children. That’s all it is. 

Your parents typically come from a more traditional generation. Odds are they won’t and don’t hate you if you’re gay, even if you annoy them about it. As seen with the reaction to Kevin Hart’s tweets, it’s unheard of to have a problem with anyone being gay. It’s practically illegal. Your parents just want to see their family continue and flourish through you, and ideally someone you love. I mean fuck, you can have someone inseminated if it’s such a problem, or just adopt. But you don’t get to treat the people who brought you into this world like bigots. If you do, you are one yourself. (Well, unless your parents are actual gay-bashers, like, they’re on record wishing death on gays and black folks, then yeah, you can call them bigots. What are the odds of that, though?!)

Kevin Hart proved his mettle on the comedy bloodsport program Colin Quinn’s Tough Crowd. He crossed swords with the absolutely merciless Patrice O’Neal, a mountainous landshark who lived to tear lesser comedians to shreds. Ever hear of “Dat Phan”? Of course not. After the beating he got on Tough Crowd, Dat Phan quit the business.

That’s how it’s done. Not by shaming the audience, or implying that the comedian is a bad person. By roasting them until they get better or give up. By being funnier. And if Patrice O’Neal was alive today, he’d destroy Kevin Hart for apologizing. After all, did it work? Does it ever work?

You know what’s funny? Louis CK. I can’t wait until he makes a comeback. I’m legitimately excited and intrigued to see how he turns the whole mess around. Because eventually, he will. Actually, it might have happened already; I’ve been seeing articles in the usual spamholes with headlines like WE DON’T JUST FORGIVE LOUIS CK AND FORGET WHAT HE DID BECAUSE IT’S NOT OK. You know, on Slate, or Buzzfeed, or the other slime pits where collegiate automatards are paid to write “hit pieces”. You can tell they know what’s funny because they spin clickbait about how Blazing Saddles and Animal House aren’t funny anymore. (If they ever were, what with all the rapey gags and horseplay.)

Ladies and gentlemen; no one in our modern world knows less about what’s funny than a college student. Colleges are indoctrination centers of political correctness and social totalitarianism. Your average college student wouldn’t know funny if it was fucking their face. Their professors are the kind of degenerates who think violence is okay if used against anyone outside their narrow political dogma. Their administrators are shit-eating sadists with the moral compass of Josef Stalin. College is where corporate drones come from; the kind of people who keep their thoughts to themselves, so they don’t lose their cushy high-paying job. Not risk-takers. Not funny-makers. Not these days. Does Harvard even bother with a Lampoon anymore? 

Louis CK never jerked off in front of me, or anyone I know. If he had, I’d likely still think he was funny. To be honest, I think he’s more than earned a second chance. I also know character assassination when I see it. It’s rampant these days, particularly when the target is incredibly successful in their field, and social media makes it easy. Louis CK was making big bank in cable specials and shows. He was doing his best work just before the accusations. Quick question: who accused him, again? Didn’t they consent in the first place, weird as it was? Didn’t they think it was funny?

Didn’t we useta think Bill Cosby was funny? Wasn’t he actually funny on his old albums, before he got real preachy from the late 1970s onward? Isn’t it funny to think about how now that Bill Cosby is in prison, all that preachy stuff comes off as extremely ironic? And you know what else is funny? The memes goofing on Bill Cosby. Also apparently an inmate slapped him with a chicken patty recently.

You know what’s funny? This afternoon I walked over to the convenience store to get some snacks. On the way back, I passed a parked car. The woman behind the wheel was rather obese, and reclining with her arms behind her head. I couldn’t help but notice that the upper part of her limbs looked like giant hams. She saw me and shouted, “WHATCHOO GOT TO EAT IN THAT BAG?”, causing me to totally crack the fuck up. That’s funny. 

No matter who you are, no matter what you think, inappropriate will always be funny. It’s like science; it’s right whether you believe in it or not. Movies like Blazing Saddles, Animal House and Caddyshack will always be funny, because they brilliantly and acutely depict the inappropriate. That’s what’s funny. Not respect, or decorum, or empowerment. Inappropriateness, in the face of inflated preaching. The subversion of expectations. Everything somebody like Hannah Gadsby isn’t, because Hannah Gadsby will always seek to be as appropriate as possible, as expected.

A gigantic quacking anus out of nowhere. An angel getting full-blown AIDS, as Sarah Silverman used to say, back when she joked about being raped by Joe Franklin. That’s what’s funny. 

I mean, it’s funny if you know who Joe Franklin was. The idea of him raping anybody is what makes it funny. Theoretically. 

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