Modern Comedians and Political Correctness

The old style comedians with jokes about mothers-in-law and jokes now considered racist such as those about an Englishman, Scotsman and an Irishman are now considered unacceptable due to political correctness. Yet a new brand of so-called comedians seem to think it’s OK to be very offensive with remarks that are not even remotely funny.

Some examples are a comedian who’ joked’ about cancer returning to a patient who was in remission, another who said to a woman in the audience that he would like to ‘fuck you’, and several well known comedians who make a big point on stage or in film of saying things like ‘when you’re dead you’re dead’ and making out anybody who believes in an afterlife is plain stupid. I find all such remarks completely unacceptable, though the last category would be suitable for a serious debate, but not to humiliate publicly on stage anyone who thinks differently from the so-called comedian.

Alternative comedians came to the fore in the 1960s with productions like ‘Beyond The Fringe’ and TV’s ‘That Was The Week That Was’. I was in my late teens and early 20s in that decade and didn’t find the jokes offensive, but my mother objected to those about religion and the royal family. Maybe our objections to new comedians and ideas of humor change as we get older, but surely it is incongruous to say the least for comedians to avoid jokes about mothers-in-law for the sake of political correctness yet joke about cancer. They have to consider how these remarks will affect someone suffering from this dreadful disease, or who has loved ones suffering from it, or who have died from it. Similarly the ones who proclaim on stage ‘When you’re dead you’re dead, there is no afterlife, get used to it!’ are being deeply offensive to recently bereaved people or those with a terminal illness who could be put into a deep depression by such remarks making out they are stupid, not to mention those scientists, medical people and researchers who actually have bothered to research the subject, often as skeptics initially, and found, as I have, that there is in fact overwhelming evidence for the afterlife. I welcome informed debate on this subject, but find it unacceptable to treat people who accept the evidence for survival of death as complete idiots.

I lament the passing of great comedians like Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Arthur Haynes and many others. There are a few funny comedians on the current scene though, and one in particular is Peter Kay. You don’t need to insult people and hurt their feelings in order to be funny, or rather, in place of being funny which seems to be the case with some modern comedians.

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