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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    Script:

    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 https://www.prageru.com/videos/strang...
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Comment

  • John Galt
    John Galt  20 hours ago

    George Carlin foresaw this shit coming and decided to bail out.

  • mokeny the thegend
    mokeny the thegend  21 hours ago

    Gotta joke: Why did comedy die?
    The Left won't shut up

  • Steve D
    Steve D  yesterday

    Big Bear !!!

  • Jake Sweedler
    Jake Sweedler  yesterday

    Hahaha yeah Owen Benjamin is about as hilarious as a bag of rocks...a hypocrite who cries for free speech but then blocks others off instagram when they disagree with him..failed comedy at its finest..

  • Doctor Whouse
    Doctor Whouse  yesterday

    Hack comedian gets called out for doing transphobic jokes (not even clever ones). He could:
    A) Get some better material.
    B) Go on a tirade about how comedy is dead, in spite of there being great comedy still being made, such as BoJack Horseman, Rick and Morty, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, etc.

  • Eddie Johnson
    Eddie Johnson  yesterday

    It's sad he has to explain a joke

  • Alexander Karasik

    This guy is a horrible representative of the potential of non-P.C comedy. He claims to be a free speech advocate and regularly deletes comments or bans followers that may offer dissenting viewpoints. He is now saying that anyone who believes we went to the moon is a leftist. He may actually have bi-polar disorder and should not be taken seriously.

  • Kid Cray-z
    Kid Cray-z  2 days ago

    America has lost its sense of humor

  • Gary Edwards
    Gary Edwards  4 days ago

    Liberals killed comedy, beauty pageants, the boy scouts, the NFL, comic books, late night TV shows, Last man Standing, Confederate monuments, restrooms, masculinity, etc, etc.
    Now they're killing Christmas songs.
    Liberals are Culture Fascists.

  • Peter Kazavis
    Peter Kazavis  8 days ago

    Black Panther was ya comic made in the 60s. By a white person lol.

  • The One
    The One  11 days ago

    Trump is racist! This video is racist we are all going Die

  • Connor Creighton
    Connor Creighton  11 days ago

    At least we can all laugh at north korea

  • Qualis
    Qualis  11 days ago

    Now all we have is Amy Schumer!

  • Trash Riot
    Trash Riot  12 days ago

    I laughed/cried

  • Mack McClain
    Mack McClain  12 days ago

    This was amazing

  • Jessica Alburn
    Jessica Alburn  12 days ago

    That leprechaun joke was great.

  • Justin S
    Justin S  12 days ago

    Prager U should've posted some of the "jokes" that got Owned Benjamin kicked off Twitter

  • bubbaMcBub
    bubbaMcBub  13 days ago

    .... OR.. how about less than 1% of the population with weak, brittle, twisted, sad snowflake minds interpret jokes, movies, songs, ART basically a specific way AND and in yet another "Look at how much more socially aware I am than everyone" moment, demand that 99.9999% of the population believe their nitwit interpretation 😂🤣
    ART IS SUBJECTIVE.

  • kevin austin
    kevin austin  13 days ago

    I'm here, I'm white... get used to it

  • Slimber The Libtard

    Dark Humor has always had its risks, it has less risks now than ever! From the jokes you make, it just seems to show that you aren't funny. You seem to go on long rants in your jokes that ruin the comedic value of them. The Baptist joke wasn't very funny either, it felt like a dad joke that not even people who'd make those type of jokes would make. The Trump/Hitler joke had nothing to do with people not knowing the difference between Trump and Hitler, it was because your delivery is awful! Honestly, if this is your best work than you should find a new career. The jokes in the comments are funnier than any single joke in this video.