The Strange Death of Comedy

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  • Published on:  Monday, July 30, 2018
  • Tell a joke now and who knows who you might offend? Identity politics is taking the fun out of just about everything. This is – no fooling – a very serious problem. Actor/Comedian Owen Benjamin explains why and what needs to be done about it.
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    Three white men walk into a bar. You’re a racist!

    Is that a joke?

    In today’s hyper-sensitive world, it’s hard to know what’s funny anymore. And as someone who makes his living as a comedian, that’s a big problem.

    Ask Jerry Seinfeld. He’s announced he won’t play college campuses. He doesn’t want to deal with all the political correctness. And he’s not exactly edgy.

    Comedy is important. Why? Because it’s a pressure valve that allows us to discuss uncomfortable truths in a friendly way—laughs are better than punches.

    But identity politics is killing the gag. How many times have you heard someone say something like this:

    “You’re not black, so you don’t know what it’s like to be me.”

    “You’re a man, so you can’t have an opinion about any issues affecting women."

    “As a left-handed, pansexual leprechaun, only I really know about elevator safety.”

    Comedy only works when we agree on certain realities.

    Take this joke. “Why do you always go fishing with at least two Baptists? Because if you only take one, he’ll drink all your beer.”

    The reason this gets a laugh is because most of us recognize that many religious people are a little more religious around other religious people. That hypocrisy is funny because everybody can relate to it on some level. We’re all a little hypocritical now and then. The problem is that today, fewer and fewer people seem to agree on the basics. You know—shared assumptions.

    I recently did a joke on stage: “People keep comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. He’s nothing like Hitler… Hitler would’ve never let CNN talk like that. Anderson Cooper wouldn’t have made it through the Night of Long Knives.”

    There are people that don’t understand that joke. And the reason is, that joke requires us all to agree—and, stick with me here—that Hitler was a bad, bad man, and that the Night of Long Knives was a bad, bad thing, and that President Trump—whether you like him or not—isn’t anything like that bad, bad man who did that bad, bad thing. And I wouldn’t want him to be!

    But, since we now live in a world where some stupid people like Hitler, and some other stupid people think Trump is Hitler—well, we just can’t agree that this obviously absurd joke is funny. We can’t even agree that it’s obviously absurd.

    How about this: “Why did the chicken cross the road? Why is the rooster being paid more for crossing the same road?” Is that absurd enough for you?

    During the run-up to the release of the movie Black Panther, all of the marketing push was about how—finally!—there was a black movie made by black people with black people for black people. I found this to be fairly hilarious, so I simply took any statement about the film and responded as a white person that actually had that insane way of viewing the world:

    “I just saw the trailer for Black Panther. Ugh. No white people. Looks terrible. Hard pass! Who am I supposed to relate to? No one’s white.”

    Not one, but two prominent black actors—Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright—started tweeting me about how it’s time black people had a movie and how I should be more sensitive to their situation. Keep in mind, both of these black actors are already rich and famous.

    I figured this was such an obviously satirical take on identity politics that no one could miss the joke. Nope! I was releasing a little social stress through satire. That’s what comedians are supposed to do.

    For the complete script, visit


  • Malacki 655  (Jul 31, 2018))

    What is a Mexicans favourite sport?Cross country

  • Paulina Salcedo  (4 days ago))

    Thanks for making me smile guys. Keep 'em coming guys. Sensible Mexicans that have not lost their minds yet find these jokes hilarious. xDDD

  • General Liu  (Apr 3, 2019))

    Why can't an Asian couple have a white baby?Because two Wongs don't make a White.

  • Malacki 655  (Jul 31, 2018))

    Why can’t women drive?Because there is no road between the bedroom and the kitchen.

  • Australian Word  (Mar 27, 2019))

    My wife said the dishwasher was leaking so I came home with some tampons

  • Scott McCoy  (Mar 13, 2019))

    Malacki 655 XD

  • Malacki 655  (Jul 31, 2018))

    Why are Mexicans big fans of Uno?Because they love getting the green card

  • mephistopheles  (Aug 24, 2018))

    Why do they drive lowriders?Because it's easier to pick the crops.Why does Mexico always suck at the Olympics?Because all the Mexicans that can run, jump, and swim are already in the US

  • Acearo Ghoul  (Aug 9, 2018))

    Did you hear about that new Muslim band "Suicide Vest"?I really think its going to blow up.

  • Jacob Peretz  (Apr 8, 2019))


  • Alex Casillas  (Apr 1, 2019))

    Why can't orphans play baseball? Cause they don't know where home is

  • Owen Benjamin  (Jul 31, 2018))

    Thanks for the love y’all!

  • Marlo Stanfield  (Apr 2, 2019))


  • OnixTV  (Mar 29, 2019))

    No problem, I am an aspiring Comedian, do you have any advice?

  • Persian Mapper  (Aug 1, 2018))

    Shrodingers cat walks into a barand doesn't

  • Gerard Jones  (Nov 21, 2018))

    A baby seal walked into a club.

  • Gerard Jones  (Nov 21, 2018))

    Descartes walks imto a bar.Bartender asks himWanna drink?He replies I think notAnd he vanishes.

  • Persian Mapper  (Aug 1, 2018))

    I wanted to craft a good joke about chemistry,But I guess all the good jokes Argon

  • אדיר יוסף  (Apr 2, 2019))

    i guess we are grate enemies right IronXPthe comedy of today sucks I can't even copper it to your'salso that pun was gold comedy I had a tin of laughs the

  • אדיר יוסף  (Apr 2, 2019))

    about chemistry I always wondered how mosses make his coffee I guess Hebrew it

  • Joaquin Augusto  (Aug 4, 2018))

    An american soldier in a war with China,Kills a guy and says:I have killed this one 3 times already

  • La Dame en Rose  (Mar 7, 2019))

    That's hilarious 😂😂😂😂😂

  • robert lawrence  (Jul 31, 2018))

    Well, in the Black Panther movie they did throw in the "Token White Guy..." ;)

  • Felipe Segura  (Apr 9, 2019))

    +Maria Smith hahaha ok.

  • Maria Smith  (Apr 9, 2019))

    +Felipe Segura If that is so, then doubling down isn't going to help. Just a thought.

  • Lucas Johnson  (Jul 31, 2018))

    Lefties ruin everything. Economies, countries and people. No satire intended.

  • Comrade Cora  (Apr 3, 2019))

    idk I think Cuba is better off now than before the revolution. not their fault the US put an embargo on them.