“ If comedy is all about boldly confronting taboos, what could be more taboo than giving voice to those who have so often been shut out of conversations?”
My issue is I deny the premise of the question. Comedy isn’t about boldly confronting anything. Comedy isn’t about creating a dialogue, comedy isn’t about addressing issues. You can use comedy for all these thing and more but at the end of the day comedy is all about one thing: Being funny.
This concept that is so simple seems to be lost on so many. People are so fixated on if something is offensive or inappropriate that they don’t even bother to consider whether it’s funny. Comedy is also subjective. People may not like the comedy of a stand-up, but if they get an audience from a sold out arena to a small local comedy club laughing, then maybe you should take a step back and say “Well I didn’t like it, but evidently it was funny.”
One of my favorite quotes about being offended by jokes, “You don’t have to think it’s funny, but you do have to at least acknowledge that it is a joke.” People nowadays hear a joke about women and think the person telling it is a chauvinistic villain who think woman are lesser beings and deserve 12 cents on the dollar when the truth is it’s just Bill from Marketing who heard a joke that made him laugh and figured his friends would get a laugh from it too. If they do, then joke’s over, everybody back to work.
What I’m getting at is if you want to have PC comedy, then fine. Go out and be hilarious. Just don’t try to shut down people that aren’t PC because they offend you. That’s the issue, it’s not that crowds don’t think it’s funny, because clearly they do if the comedian is still getting work with their material, but it’s a group of people that feel that because SOMEONE can be offended, then that comedian shouldn’t be allowed to perform. Take one of the examples from this article of campuses having groups petitioning to ban comedians from campus for being offensive. That’s just plain wrong, because the truth is there may very well be an equally large if not larger group that WANTS to see them.
tl;dr cliff notes is this: Comedy is about being funny. If people think someone is funny, just let them tell their jokes. If you don’t like them, find a comedian you do like.