I'm not a filthy comedian, but I am a fan of the inappropriate. When you've seen and heard as much comedy as most comics do, you get bored. And one cure for boring comedy is a big bag of wrong.
Hell, if you're even a semi-regular patron of comedy clubs, it's easy to spot the well-worn premises and become a comedy snob after the fifth or sixth show. The savvy audience wants to hear something fresh. This makes it tougher on us to remain original--as it should be--but super easy to get bored with our own material.
This boredom, I believe, is what creates a comic's comic: Not necessarily a crowd pleaser, but always has the back of the room in stitches. The real pity is how rare it is for the former to mesh with the latter.
But the answer is simple: let's not change the comedians, let's change the audience.
I'm tired of being told to "keep it clean" in comedy clubs. Don't mention this or talk about that. What the fudge, dagnabbit?! Comedy clubs used to be a respite from 'clean.' There is no shortage of bland, watered-down comedy. Just turn on your TV or hang out by the coffee machine or check your inbox.
And stay away from comedy clubs. Pretty please? For the sake of comedy, stay home. Don't bring your wet blanket to my picnic.
It cracks me up when people claim to be "offended" by a joke. Did we all forget what our moms taught us? Sticks and stones, my ass. Names will now get you fired or fined.
Comedy is evolving. Crowds need to catch up.
If someone tells a racist joke and your reaction is "it's funny 'cos it's true!", then you're most likely a bag of douche. Or a young Republican. But to comedians and other enlightened folks, some jokes are funny solely because they're inappropriate. That's it. No hidden agenda or opinion. The gut-laughter is a knee-jerk reaction that stems from our perception of right and wrong.
And that is evolution of thought.
It's higher-level, baby! If we are laughing at things we believe to be wrong, then that shows how easily and quickly we recognize what "wrong" is. We can tell what's cruel or unfair, and we mock it.
Now, am I searching for an excuse to tell racist jokes? No, dumbass. Comedians I respect have always been the smartest guys in the room. They are philosophers and heavy thinkers with a deep-rooted detector for bullshit. They cheer and lobby for the underdog. They are constantly observing and taking notes on human behavior and summarize the idiocy or hypocrisy for your entertainment. They hate the stupid and the ignorant and do not tolerate intolerance.
They also love to drop the occasional F-bomb. In short, they fucking get it.
That sounds elitist, yes, but there are plenty of audiences who follow suit. They can recognize the fat line we draw between malice and mirth and appreciate when we dip one toe over it. They are not afraid to be seen guffawing at a crack about hunting babies for sport, or how Jesus eats M&Ms. Low-brow for the high-brow...it's a happening, man.
"That's not funny."
"You shouldn't do jokes about _____."
"I'm a _____ and I'm offended by that joke."
It's my belief that getting offended is just insecurity with a fake nose and mustache. Please don't give me a guilt trip based on those insecurities. After all, you laughed when I did the bit about such and such.
Win some lose some. And no one likes a sore loser.
Stand-up is like waiting tables...for some reason, everyone thinks it's easy. Sure, working an hour a night or taking someone's order may be simple, but it's trying to please everyone with a constant rate of success that keeps you employed. And that, is simply impossible.
I really do think stand-up comedy can become cool again. Live comedy is always better than televised comedy. Fucking always. There are a year's worth of headliners who need to be household names.
To comedians, I would plead for them to keep things odd and interesting. Don't shock for the sake of shocking, smart crowds pick up on that. But don't hold back opinions or absurdity. Give them an incentive to buy tickets by giving them something they can't find on YouTube or Comedy Central.
To future audience members, relax your cracks and read between the punchlines. You're in a safe place. So unclench, laugh big and pay attention...one of those clowns might actually teach you something.
ANYhoo...so this Black guy, a Mexican and a Catholic priest are all gang-raping this cub scout, see. Did I mention the boy was retarded? Relax, relax! He was also dead...
...see you at the club,