When telling jokes is your profession, is it ever possible to go too far? Sarah Silverman was quoted on Larry King Live with the following statement:
“I think people get offended by things that are very specific to their own life experiences” and later saying “something funny is so subjective so if somebody says something that is mean-spirited that to me isn’t funny, meaning it is less funny then mean-spirited, then it probably won’t be for me.”
Wow, Sarah Silverman is actually offended by things and is therefore human. I give her props for what she said because it puts her jokes in context.
The bigger issue involves comedians like Amy Schumer at the “Roast of Charlie Sheen” on Comedy Central. She decided that as part of her roast on Steve-O from Jackass that she would make a joke about his dead co-worker and friend Ryan Dunn. If she really needs to make death jokes to be funny and get notoriety then congratulations are in order. Congratulations for not having a soul or common sense. She did not know a roast of Charlie Sheen would be televised anyway.
After her skit at the roast, Schuler responsed to Dylan Gadino of Punchline Magazine with:
“I don’t feel the need to apologize. I respect people’s opinion as long as they understand what the joke is. It wasn’t a Ryan Dunn joke. It was a Steve-O joke. It was a typical roast joke. It had the formula of any roast joke. That wasn’t even one of the jokes I had where I was thinking, ‘here it comes, I’m going to drop the hammer now.”
Sure she says that this joke was not intended to be as Sarah Silverman says “mean-spirited” but what do you think? Do you think for comedic effect that it was an correct move to dissuade the audience causing confusion between joke and diatribe? Or do you think that this joke is an innocent mistake that should have its consequences? Why is an apology to Steve-O so difficult? It is difficult to for her to apologize because she did not understand the potential harm she caused. Her reaction contradicts her statements and undermines any defenses she has for herself. There is a reason why I hadn’t heard of Amy Schumer up to this point, because she is not a good comedian.
The real question is whether Amy Schumer finds any comedy to be offensive or not. One of Schumer’s outstanding responses came in an interview done by localbozo.com when she responded to a question about the Charlie Sheen Roast:
“I guess the Charlie Sheen Roast was my sort of moment to be like don’t fuck with me; I’m a real comic and I’m not going to apologize for anything, and it’s good. I’m on the road all the time and people come to see me are my crowd and know who they are going to see not surprised that the kind-looking blond girl is kind of dirty and hard-hitting.”
What she forgot is that there have been many times in her career when she has laid off of the offensive train to accommodate her audience. She wasn’t always so “hard-hitting” and “dirty.”
When doing a skit with Mixtape Comedy Show, Schumer decided to censor her joke in fears of being called a racist. She joked,
“The worst part about my drinking is when I get drunk, I like slur, you know. I say racial slurs and uh this isn’t the right show to say that on. Let me rethink no I’m not racist at all and tonight is not the night I’d admit it but uh,”
she ends her joke with a joking gesture. So January 5, 2010 Amy Shuler was an innocent comedian who nobody knew but on February 5 of 2012 she was “dirty and hard hitting.” I don’t know about you but I smell a hypocrite. Amy Schumer becomes famous and all of a sudden a change of heart happens. No, she was worried way back when she was nothing that one mistake would cost her a career. However when she decides to insults someone’s dead friend to their face it’s just comedy. Amy get a grip along with some class and apologize to Steve-O.