Netflix Adding a Skip Function On Trump Section In Seth Meyer's Latest Comedy Special Is Definitely a Joke (On Hollywood)

(Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)

Politics and comedy go hand in hand. While I think the former could stay out of the latter a lot more, the latter should closely follow the former wherever it goes.

Comedy is our greatest societal antisceptic. It highlights the more ridiculous parts of our society, especially the ones that take themselves too seriously, and cuts them down to size. Comedy forbids the creation of sacred cows and keeps pride in check. It’s a deconstructor and a tool to help lighten our day to day burdens…when it’s allowed to do its job.

Over the past few decades, mainstream culture has put a host of rules on comedy. Those who tried to use it have been punished by society in ways that are blatantly unfair and not the least bit ridiculous.

People have had their careers destroyed over making fun of the wrong person, or group, or subject. Mobs have driven people into hiding for cracking jokes about what was hitherto considered mundane topics. Threats of exposure of private information and violence have followed after major media outlets painted a person as a villain for making light of something while committing the crime of being the wrong kind of person to make that joke.

Comedy could still exist, mind you, but it had to follow specific rules.

Only certain subjects could be laughed at or laughed with. For instance, making fun of powerful people was more than encouraged, but they could only be people of a certain political persuasion. Making fun of women was okay, so long as you were one of them. If you weren’t, you might be okay if you talk about how stupid men are compared to them. If you were a woman, mentioning your genitals and/or sex life would get you top billing. Also making fun of a race was right out unless you were a member of that race. This rule does not apply to making fun of white people. They were open targets.

These were just a few of the myriad of rules comedians had to follow.

Comedy was effectively put behind metaphorical bars and replaced with a kind of performance art coined by Ben Shapiro as “clapter.” It was less about the laughs and more about making statements for people to loudly agree with, but in a humorous tone. Needless to say, it wasn’t very funny. It came off more like propaganda with a laugh track.

People got tired of it, and rightly so. They began tuning out. The biggest indicator were things like award shows, which continue to see ratings freefall like a lead weight attached to an anvil, cratering into record lows. The biggest, however, is likely the late-night comedy show.

The legendary Johnny Carson used to pull in 9 million viewers on a good night. Steven Colbert, the host of The Late Show, pulls in around 3 million. I would say that’s because many are going to YouTube to watch clips, which do sometimes hit 1 million views, but that can easily be chalked up to news sites using these clips for clapter or outrage styles of clickbait. Either way, it’s not measuring up to Carson.

Seth Meyers, comedian, and host of the show “Late Night,” is one such comedian who has engaged in almost nonstop political talk. Like every other late-night show host, his jokes primarily focus on the Trump administration, Republicans, or anything associated with them. He said that once Trump is elected, he had to hire extra researchers to his show in order to sift through all the news that was floating across the media.

I can tell you that Meyers is occasionally funny, but if you were to take his scripts and compare them with the scripts of other talk show hosts, they’d basically look the same.

Meyers has a comedy special coming out called “Lobby Baby,” and since he was unable to keep the Trump jokes out of his special, he decided that he’d ask Netflix to include a button that allows you to skip the segment according to CNN:

But for those who are sick of comedy that’s tainted by politics, Meyers told CNN Business that he asked Netflix to create a button for viewers to opt out of watching that segment, in the same way Netflix users can bypass the introduction credits with the “skip intro” button at the top of some of its programs.

“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.'”

Robbie Praw, Netflix’s director of original standup comedy programming, told CNN Business in an email that Meyers came to the company with “this clever idea” and “we’re thrilled he was able to take advantage of the Netflix experience in such a funny and innovative way.”

That may sound kind, but Meyers elaborates later that this is a joke in itself:

The skip button is not meant to be taken seriously, according the Meyers, calling it “another joke in the special.” And he doesn’t think viewers of “Lobby Baby” will actually skip over his Trump jokes.

“I think, look, sometimes at a fancy restaurant they’ll put parsley on your plate and you’ll think, well, that’s a nice touch, but you’re not going to eat the parsley.” he said.

Hollywood definitely isn’t learning its lesson as some people think they are from this story, but there’s definitely something to be seen here, regardless.

If anyone deems to watch Meyer’s comedy special, they may end up using the button. Meyers may goad people into using it in order to make fun of them for being “snowflakes,” unable to listen to jokes that upset them as many people make fun of leftist for doing. Still, they may use them anyway.

It won’t be because they can’t stand to hear jokes making fun of people they voted for or like, it’s because we’ve heard the joke before and it’s not funny anymore. It’s the same joke that’s been told over and over again since I’ve been a child.

It’s the “Republicans are dumb and irresponsible, incredibly dangerous and potentially Hitler” comedy that is so old it should be collecting social security.

Right to center-right Americans don’t mind hearing jokes that they disagree with. That was proved when Dave Chappell came out with “Sticks and Stones.” Americans on both the left and the right couldn’t stop raving about it, with only the hard-left, social justice warriors taking offense and denouncing it in elitist tones.

“READ: Dave Chappelle’s Audience Reviews Are In, And The People Made It Clear That The Critics Are Very Wrong)

During his bit, Chapelle said things about guns, abortion, and white people that would typically make many roll their eyes, but he balanced it so well with honest comedy that it worked. Its 99 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes tells the story.

Dave Chappelle wasn’t relying on clapter, he was doing actual, honest-to-Carlin comedy. Professional critics and leftist columnists gnashed teeth and rent their clothing, but outside the bubble, the people were laughing and wanting more.

That’s the key point. They wanted more comedy.

Meyer’s skip button may be used quite a bit and I’d love to see the metrics for its use after the first week of the special’s release. If it’s high, then Hollywood should be careful not to take away the wrong idea. It wasn’t used because people are too emotionally weak to hear Trump jokes, it’s because we want to hear something that’s actually funny. A hilarious insight we haven’t considered before or a joke that actually covers a topic we haven’t been hearing about ad nauseum.

The skip button may be a joke, but the funniest part about it is the fact that they think the reason behind the skip button is a joke. It’s not.

We’re very serious. We want to laugh.


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