I realize there are brands of comedy out there that people don’t find funny for one reason or another. Being someone who saw and experienced dark things as a kid, I have a dark sense of humor, and it’s a sense of humor that some of my friends and family don’t get and other members of my friends and family absolutely do.
What one man considers grotesque or inappropriate, others consider humorous. The jokes doctors, nurses, military members, and police officers tell each other would make others believe they’re heartless. They’re anything but that, but humor allows them to deconstruct and deal with the massively unpleasant things they go through. It’s necessary to whistle in the dark when you’re in the dark quite a bit.
It’s all about perspective. Everyone has a taste for certain jokes, in the same way they prefer one type of ice cream over another.
But let’s get a little analogous for a moment.
Let’s say that there are people out there who don’t like ice cream at all. They hate it, and not only that, they think that anybody who eats ice cream is just the worst. Of course, oddly enough, they come out with their own brand of ice cream and you quickly find that it doesn’t taste good at all. It’s bland, flavorless, and in a way, it almost tastes like anti-ice cream. You’re expected to like it, and people will go to great lengths to make it seem like it’s the greatest ice cream the world has ever seen. If you don’t like it, you’re just a bad person and made out to be a social pariah. You remember the days when there was a myriad of flavors you could enjoy. The world is less without it.
This prompts some fed-up and brave people to make ice cream to spite the ice cream haters. The flavors get a bit wacky, but they’re beyond delicious. The ice cream haters, of course, pull out all the stops to try to make these people stop making the ice cream, but it’s just so popular that they fail to stop it. Their non-ice cream has a small rabid fanbase, but for the most part, the pressure to make their ice cream popular through force isn’t having the effect it once did.
Now, as their power wanes, those rabid fans of the non-ice cream are throwing useless tantrums. Tantrums that fizzle out and go nowhere.
That’s effectively what’s happened in the world of comedy. For years, the social justice, woke activists have been attempting to make comedy less and less about being funny and more and more about being politically friendly commentary. Laughter was to be replaced with “clapter,” a form of audience approval given to a “comedian” who made leftist-approved political commentary in a humorous tone.
For a time, there was no more great comedy, at least not on the level of the greats like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, and Robin Williams.
The culture was dominated by the woke. Most art had to pass through an approval process that had to measure up to an unreasonable standard. Many comedians ceased telling honest jokes and settled for a watered-down, safe path. What was considered safe? Whatever the left said okay to make fun of. Feminists were funny and they could make fun of men. Every comedian could make fun of white people. However, most other groups were off-limits. Women, gays, transgendered people, Democrats, etc., were a step too far, and making fun of them came with consequences.
But people got sick of it and after a time, the pressure that woke mobs applied on people became less and less threatening. People began to seek out comedy that actually made them laugh at the parts of life we weren’t supposed to.
Before we knew what we were looking for, Dave Chappelle came along and released a comedy special called “Sticks and Stones” on Netflix which defied the woke’s rules on what comedy is. It had people laughing at things they weren’t supposed to according to the left, and for that, the people loved Chappelle and gave his comedy special rave reviews. Everyone tuned in to see it, and while the critics panned it, it only made people love it more.
Chappelle would do it again, this time eliciting a much larger response from the woke crowd with some Netflix employees walking out, protesting, and making demands. While it did generate some media attention, the love of Chappelle’s comedy poked fun at the things we weren’t supposed to was too great. Eventually, the outrage fizzled out and the people who thought they could intimidate others into compliance found they didn’t have the power they thought they did and gave up.
The anti-comedy folk attempted to answer with their own comedy and while the media did their best to promote it, no one wanted this bland style of “clapter” inducing nonsense.
That’s because woke comedy isn’t meant for laughter; it’s meant to make a point you have to agree with or else. It’s a reinforcer of sacred cows, but that’s not what comedy is. Comedy is a deconstructor of sacred cows, or as I like to call it, the “great societal disinfectant.” It makes you laugh with and at things, especially things that you’re not necessarily supposed to laugh at.
It takes what would be a dark thing and makes it lighter, and while you might not like one form of comedy, you may very well like another form. There is a myriad of flavors for you to choose from, and each flavor allows you to break from the hard parts of your life and look at it from an angle that makes it less scary or difficult.
What I’m trying to say is that Hannah Gadsby isn’t funny.