There’s a real sense of betrayal that comes with a comedian turning his or her back, not just on their fellow comedians, but themselves. When you laughed at a joke they once told because it resonated with you in some capacity, then find they apologize for the joke because it offended the wrong people later on down the line, it’s not just a condemnation of the joke, but of you too.
Comedy actor Seth Rogen is one such comedian who went from being a hilarious guy willing to push envelopes to being the loyal lapdog for the habitually woke. According to Fox News, in a recent interview, Rogen said that comedians need to stop getting so angry about cancel culture and embrace their public spanking when a joke of theirs doesn’t age well:
“There are certain jokes that for sure have not aged well, but I think that’s the nature of comedy,” Rogen said (via Insider). “I think conceptually those movies are sound, and I think there’s a reason they’ve lasted as far as people still watching and enjoying them today. Jokes are not things that necessarily are built to last.”
The “Pineapple Express” actor went on to deride fellow comedians who rail against cancel culture when they’re taken to task over material they produced in the past.
“To me when I see comedians complaining about this kind of thing, I don’t understand what they’re complaining about,” he continued. “If you’ve made a joke that’s aged terribly, accept it. And if you don’t think it’s aged terribly, then say that.”
He noted that facing criticism for his work is simply something that goes hand-in-hand with being an artist, particularly one in comedy.
“If you don’t like that, then don’t be a comedian anymore,” he said, adding: “To me, it’s not worth complaining about to the degree I see other comedians complaining about.”
To break down Rogen’s point, comedy and jokes should be able to be labeled funny or not funny based on the whims of political correctness.
But that’s not how comedy works. The validity of a joke doesn’t just disappear the moment mainstream tastemakers decide it’s offensive. Being offended by a joke never stopped a joke from being true or funny, but this is what Rogen is claiming is true.
If it was, then one of the biggest points of a comedian is demolished. As I’ve made clear before, comedy is society’s cultural disinfectant and comedians apply this disinfectant with every joke they tell.
Without comedy, groups will create sacred cows out of self-interest. These groups cannot be insulted, joked about, analyzed, or even questioned. They effectively become emperors of our society, bringing all they see under their rule in some form or fashion. For instance, the social justice despots use the victimization of those under its “protection” as a way to control America through the use of guilt or the fear of being seen as guilty of victimizing the victims.
Comedians make light of people, groups, or subjects, shedding light on the ridiculousness or humanizing aspects of these topics and teach people not to take them so seriously. In fact, it shows us all not to take ourselves so seriously as everyone is subject to mockery, and the more serious you take yourself the more painful that mockery will be. Best to be humble and laugh along with everyone else. It’s healthy and grounding.
More accurately, it’s necessary.
That’s the purpose of the comedian. It’s their job to take the serious subject matter and turn it into levity. Whether it’s doing your taxes or transgendered people, not one thing under the sun is exempt.
Yet, Rogan and his ilk think it should be. What he probably doesn’t understand is that this creates the sacred cows that create problems within our society. For instance, no one was allowed to make fun of transgendered people for any reason and now we have children performing drag dances in New York bars late at night for money while people are only finding out too late how damaging transgenderism is to one’s psyche.
Would all this transpire if comedians had free reign to mock this lifestyle and expose the absurdity of it all? Would fewer people be suffering massive amounts of regret and depression because they were convinced by mainstream society that if they had their testicles removed it would make them feel more complete?
The answer is obvious; yes. To laugh at something is to question it on a fundamental level. It’s something we haven’t been allowed to do with a number of subjects and society has paid the price for it.
The primary job of a comedian is to make us laugh and feel good. That is true, but sometimes the purpose of the laughter is much deeper than a mere joke, and it’s not just something that can be taken away the moment the people who the joke is about suddenly take offense to it. It especially doesn’t lose its purpose when someone takes offense on behalf of the subject.