The Next Step in Comedy Sensitivity is Here: We Can Now Skip Offending Segments of Standup Routines

As the comedy landscape continues to be a minefield triggered audiences are affecting things further.

Last month Dave Chappelle generated outrage when he dared to say things in his latest Netflix special that were critical of the sensitive minds on the left. While his routine was filled with comments that were directed to both sides of the socio-political aisle it was his comments towards those sensitive minds on the left which generated the furor. That those doing the complaining missed the point that they were, in fact, proving the comedian correct only amplified the humor.


One of the more trenchant comments he made was in reference to those who complained about his prior special. He illustrated that they were free and clear to turn him off, as they had not been forced to watch his show. He threw their ignorance back at them, as he stated, “You had to click on my FACE to get here!” Well those cranks have been appeased, in the form of a new adjustment in the newest Netflix comedy offering.

Today is the debut of the stand-up special from late night talk host Seth Meyers, “Lobby Baby”. Meyers, as most know, is part of the gaggle of talk show hosts who feel particularly inspired to be constantly anti-Trump in their monologues and segments each and every episode. So as Meyers is expected to be political during his show, he makes a new offering in the form of audience participation.

The bulk of the Meyers special is focused on his family, with lengthy portions about the birth of his children and his relationship with his wife. It is actually a largely innocuous routine, but more than halfway through he does segue to political subjects, specifically those pertaining to Donald Trump. The President is a constant target on Meyers’ television program so this was expected, but as he explained to CNN, he has made an allowance.


For anyone who might be bothered or triggered by the political content he implored Netflix to display an active button on-screen that would allow those viewing to click on it and bypass the offensive content. It is a variation of the function seen at the start of many programs that allows one to skip the opening credit sequence of a program.

“It dawned on me that because it was on Netflix, there would be this opportunity to put in technology that would allow people to skip it,” he said. “It was a way to build in the response to anyone who would say, ‘Oh, let me guess there’s going to be jokes about the President.'”

This is just the next step in the quest to water down comedy in this hyper-sensitive environment. We have witnessed comedians being taken to task over their content. We have watched Kevin Hart go through “cancellation” when he was made accountable for jokes he told years earlier, after he was announced as the host of The Oscars.

Netflix even undermines its own product when last year it championed Hannah Gadsby’s show “Nannette”. It was hailed by many in the press for daring to be a comedy special that was absent mostly of comedy. She mostly got on stage and gave a lecture about her perceived social inequities as a gay woman, and the various problems she faces. That’s fine, she free to do so, and people are free to attend her shows. But do not sell me on the concept that a comedy-free speech is a stand-up routine. It’s a TED Talk.


Now we have a comedian giving the audience the chance to opt bypass select segments of a comedy routine they may be unable to deal with. This means that Meyers had to actually organize his set into sections, and then have a disclaimer for the following content. “WARNING: The following segment of this routine may contain content that is to some. Your chance to avoid challenging content begins – Now.”

Look, I get it – he was making a comedic statement with this option, but it was entirely misguided. He was offering the chance to skip over a portion of his show that would be blatantly cutting about Trump. But Trump supporters are not normally the type to lodge the protest. That is mostly originating from the reactive leftists. Trump backers are either tolerant to muscle through a potentially offensive routine or, like most grownups, they would simply avoid the show to begin with.

Think of it: Most Trump backers recognize Meyers for what he is, and would likely choose to not watch to begin with. It is that simple. Meyers was actually projecting what his own audience is more prone to do. Think of it, what would likely generate outrage: Meyers doing his anti-Trump segment without the warning ahead of time, or if he had dared to say deeply critical things of Democrat politicians?


I think we all know the answer. Dave Chappelle has been dealing with them for years already.


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