If anyone offers you the opportunity to close out a comedy show before an audience of humorless feminists, accept the challenge.
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When the people whose mission in life it is to be offended start yelling shit at the stage – because you told a Sarah Palin joke – aggressively lecture them about how comedy works and why their bizarre, provincial worldview ensures that they'll never be able to enjoy it. It's exhilarating.


64 thoughts on “WAR”

  • Hypothetically. Of course.

    In this hypothetical scenario, how does one resist the urge to steer into the skid and just off on an Andrew-Dice-Clay-level binge of misogyny? Might as well hanged for a sheep as a lamb, and all that. Regardless, I applaud you for taking the high road. Leaves a better aftertaste.

    And I know where you're coming from–having an entire audience infuriated and helpless to do anything but listen to you poke at their cherished self-aggrievement is just chocolate cake with a side of bacon, as many of my students can attest to…

  • This is why America doesn't have a left, because the left decided to go the way of identity politics, post-modernism, and in a word, bullshit.

  • Still enjoying that vacation we hear? It's been done, but if you can't enjoy a simple Palin joke, I don't think that the revolution is going to long endure. Anywhere. Cheers, JMP

  • Arslan: Do you mean that the right hasn't embraced identity politics and postmodernism? Hell, that's part of what makes them so strong–there's no need to think thanks to a simple in-group/out-group classification scheme, and if you don't like reality (climate change, evolution, Keynesian economics, etc., etc.), you simply substitute your fantasy and proclaim that it's equally valid. Don't tell me it hasn't worked for them.

    Also, Ed, good job. We all need our assumptions challenged from time to time.

  • You could WHY IT IS NEVER a good idea to heckle a man with a microphone. I mean go all Michael Richards on their ass's

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Thanks for the Louis Black clip.

    But no matter how you feel about her, she is very real.

    If you submitted her as a character in a political novel, your editor woud immediately call for an intervention for you.

  • @Jude I think conservatives managed to learn to use the techniques of the identity-politics-dominated New Left for their own ends. And it has been very successful thus far. More than anything I hate this attitude of dismissing facts simply because they don't agree with one's ideology, to include even the most basic facts. For example, when Bachmann or Palin says something stupid, their fans try to re-write history as opposed to thinking about how they might want to find new leaders.

  • After the crowd had turned, was your goal to educate, or to make them laugh, or to do your thing? Dialectic was not their goal, nor apparently was laughter, so I hope you chose Item C. And I hope some of them were illuminated instead of alienated.

    Most people can be won over by telling them jokes and making them laugh. In my dealings with other feminists, I've noticed that often you must win them over first, and then, once they know where your heart is, THEN you can tell them jokes.

    But one of my faves rarely gets a good reception. Ancient gag of wisdom:
    Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: That's not funny.

  • I agree about feminists, but "humorless woman" is redundant. There's something women will never get about comedy: comedy in and of itself, ALL OF IT, revolves around mocking and humiliating the cunt. No, seriously, think about it: If you wanted to make fun of a guy, how would you go about it? You would call him a bitch, a little girl, a woman, a pussy. If he got upset, you'd kick it up a notch and mock him for being "butthurt", "owned", "ass-raped", etc. — in other words, you mock a guy by suggesting his man card has been revoked and he got used like a bitch. So you mock a bitch by emphasizing that she is a bitch, and you mock a man by claiming he is a bitch. The funny thing about Sarah Palin isn't that she's an idiot, but that she's an idiot with tits and a hole. A vagina is going into politics now? Priceless. That's it, really. That's why women are so bad at comedy: because their role in it is to be endlessly laughed at, not to be the laughers.

    That's why rape jokes are comedy gold. Then again, so is rape. (Sorry gals, that's just how the cookie crumbes: deal with it.) Don't get me wrong, hitting it without being nice first is bad form, and it's wrong, but there are funny parts in it, too! Same deal like it's wrong, wrong to punch a pregnant woman in the stomach, but in a way, it's funny, too. Like the goofy face a chick makes like she wasn't expecting it, like she thought you'd just sit there like a sucker listening to her yapping. Oops! Rape centers should stop teaching those "victims" how to wallow in misery and tell them instead to lighten up, stop taking themselves so seriously and appreciate the humor in the situation. No sense in acting all butthurt (that was a joke).

  • Thanks for making me waste an hour of my day watching videos of comedians dealing with hecklers/unappreciative audiences. I hope there's a clip of you out there…

  • baldheadeddork says:

    "…aggressively lecture them about how comedy works and why their bizarre, provincial worldview ensures that they'll never be able to enjoy it."

    Or, ask "What Would Gilbert Gottfried do?" and drop a feminist version of The Aristocrats on their ass.

  • Interesting – reminds me of the women I know who really appreciate humor. It's like dogs and whistles – the things that leave them in stitches leave me with my usual dumb look, going "wha..?" Conversely, as Killer so deftly pointed out, the stuff that leaves me speechless with laughter gets a puzzled and slightly offended look from them, as if comedy was all a mean-spirited plot by men to make women feel inferior.
    As another bald-headed dork, I agree with my predecessor about a fine response, but I suspect that it takes the real thing to pull off properly. You don't want to end up hanging from a lamp-post because you merely enraged the audience.
    Conincidentally, I was also looking over clips of comics vs. hecklers last night. Richard Pryor (of course) has to be up near the top. But there are some other good ones, and a lot of fairly poor ones.

  • @Killer- Laurie Kilmartin, Maria Bamford, Jackie Kashian, Jen Kirkman, Karen Kilgariff, Tig Notaro…

    I could go on, but you're a fucking idiot if you think women can't do comedy.

  • I'm a fan of Ed's, and I'm willing to bet that I'd like his comedy routines, a lot.

    And I would *love* to see the video of his lecture on comedy.

    Which makes me wonder… why is this response tolerable. In other lines of business, it's not normal to lecture the consumer/purchaser/client on how little they understand about what they're buying, and how that irritates the deliverer, and then refusing to deliver what they're buying.

    "No, Mr. Morbidly Obese customer, I will not serve you a trough of ice cream with hot fudge. Do you understand how this works? You will never appreciate fine frozen confections, because you are gluttonous."
    "Hello, medical patient. As your doctor, I will check up on you to make sure you're healthy. And I will try to keep you running and fix you when you're broken. But the way health works is this—you take care of yourself. Since you're not taking care of yourself, I'm going to withhold palliative medication, and let you know that you'll never feel well unless you take care of yourself."
    "I know your car is running poorly. And you're paying me to change the oil. But since you've never changed any of the filters, it's really kind of pointless. So instead, I'm going to fill 'er up with maple syrup."

    If I had half of Ed's talent, I'd actually have a longer list, with funnier examples.

    But really, why is the "comedic rant at humorless audience" acceptable, or even funny to the rest of us? Is it something about the fact that it's comedy? That it's a shared entertainment experience? That there's alcohol involved, often? That we share dislike of the humorless, as well, and are willing to forego our entertainment to see others taken down a notch? That when someone's getting a verbal thrashing, we're just glad it's not us (and comedians are good at delivering thrashing)?

    [poops in acer's popcorn. But only because I misread and thought acer was pooping popcorn. And because I'm 12, apparently.]

  • Not to sway gawkers from the derailed freight train, but I read a quote the other day that fits: "The difference between comedy and tragedy is where you end the story."

    A number of people have repeated it, so I don't know to whom it should be attributed — possibly some ancient Greek — but I can't get it out of my head.

  • Whoa. Somehow the majority of my comment got eaten.


    "It's like dogs and whistles; the things that leave them [women] in stitches leave me with my usual dumb look, going "wha..?" Conversely, as Killer so deftly pointed out, the stuff that leaves me speechless with laughter gets a puzzled and slightly offended look from them, as if comedy was all a mean-spirited plot by men to make women feel inferior."

    Here's the thing – a lot of comedy from females is based on tearing down men, the way that a lot of male comedy is based on tearing down women. When you have your dumb look and women are giggling, it's roughly equivalent to when they've got the dumb look and you think it's hilarious. Personally I dislike comedy based on tearing down any group of people, but I'm strange that way.

    But of course, if men don't think it's funny, it's not comedy.

  • Comedy is really dying these days. I watched some of Zach Galifinakis'(fucker looks like a damned hipster) act, and it was just SOOOOOOOOOO RANDOM!!111ONE Random = funny!!! (<Sarcasm)

    If that weren't enough, legions of fucktarded teenagers keep buying tickets for Friedberg and Selzer movies, which are literally destroying the very meaning of the word "spoof". It's not a fucking "spoof" when you pull a character from a movie that hasn't been released yet, stick him in your film, have him say the name of his character, then fart and disappear two seconds later.

    Then you've got shit like Family Guy, which is also partially responsible for the popularity of Friedselzer movies. Nothing but a bunch of random "references" to pop culture shit that everyone recognizes but nobody except total nerds gives a fuck about.

    Lastly, we've got the "newfags", internet surfers who run across a "LOLcat"(they were never called LOLcats originally), Rickroll themselves by accident, or find a list of "Chuck Norris facts", and suddenly have to tell all their friends about "the latest" internet jokes.


  • Didn't the Sex Pistols' manager sell them on the idea that they had to take punk to where it isn't wanted? It certainly furnished some impressive moments, but didn't really end well.

    Still, when faced with a no win situation, one can do whatever one wishes, and that can be pretty nifty sometimes.

  • Sometimes it's just a lousy night and the universe is off and shit doesn't work. The chance is there whenever anyone gets on a stage. Stop whining and blaming humorless feminists (a term I haven't heard in decades except on the Rush Limbaugh show), it only makes you humorless yourself. Just forget it and kill whoever's out there next time.

  • "In other lines of business, it's not normal to lecture the consumer/purchaser/client on how little they understand about what they're buying, and how that irritates the deliverer, and then refusing to deliver what they're buying."

    Actually this happens quite a lot. The first part, anyway

    I'm reasonably appreciative of food and fairly good with my car, but my Doctor gives me The Speech very nearly every time I go in, and I've seen chefs tear into customers who don't appreciate the food, and if you run your car like shit, many mechanics will tell you to stop doing that.

    The second part, well, Ed doesn't say he wasn't continuing to try to be funny.

  • Really? You dudes are seriously STILL talking about how women are humorless cunts? What is this, the freaking 1970s?

    What a bunch of neanderthals.

    And Ed, for the record, 99% of feminists loathe Sarah Palin, so don't blame your failure to get a laugh on feminists.

  • If your audience isn't laughing, that's a *you* problem. And BTW, the bloggers with the best senses of humor on the Internet are "humorless feminists": Twisty Faster, Jill Filipovic, Amanda Marcotte, Melissa McEwen, etc. The truly humorless are the pathetic whiny d00ds who take their d00dliness so seriously they are blinded to their own absurd self-importance. Aggressive masculine self-parody isn't funny; it's sad.

  • "If your audience isn't laughing, that's a *you* problem."

    Please, please tell me that, independently of the point you're making, you realize what shitty logic that is. If not, please re-read it until you understand why it doesn't make sense.

    As for some of these other comments, maybe your reading comprehension skills took the day off. If not, please point out where I said "Women are humorless cunts" or any of the other straw men you're using to criticize me. I'll gladly clarify what I actually said if I did in fact accuse women of that.

  • So, aside from the logic, here's what happened.

    I was asked to do comedy at a benefit for a domestic violence organization. Anti-, not pro-. The organizer told me that there were no special conditions and I should do what I normally do. I've done something on the order of 50 shows now and I've never, ever done a show where nobody laughed. Unless the only arbiters of whether I am funny are the 5 people who hated me on Monday, I'm confident that the problem is not that I suck at comedy. Feel free to argue otherwise based on an n of 1.

    I did my usual set on Monday and got 8 minutes of good laughs out of all of it. I told one of my standard Sarah Palin jokes in which I refer to her as a "hooker" after talking about her lack of actual ambition for anything other than money and attention.

    A small number of people – maybe 3 or 4 – decided to start booing me. I asked one why Sarah Palin jokes are off limits. She informed me that I said "hooker" and "this is supposed to be safe and inclusive". This degenerated into a conversation about the nature of comedy and why it's incompatible with that level of sensitivity to language. When I finished, about 3/4 of the room gave me a standing O. After the show, a few people told me they thought it was offensive. I listened to them and told them I am glad that they told me they didn't like it. People should always feel entitled to tell performers to fuck off.

    In conclusion, I am comfortable with the fact that, having made many audiences (including, even, a woman or two) laugh over the past year, someone who cannot bear the idea of a performer using the word "hooker" to describe Sarah Palin's lust for attention is fucking humorless and would greatly benefit from extracting the stick from his or her ass. You're free to disagree, and explain why I should change what I do to accommodate every criticism I receive.

  • As a feminist who is no fan of Sarah Palin, I am sick unto death of the sexual slurs cast against right-wing women. Criticize her politics, her stupidity, her errors, but gendered insults are misogyny no matter which woman you cast them at. This was an ENOOOOORMOUS argument in the feminist-o-sphere during the last election, and the fallout is that most of us both loathe Sarah Palin the candidate, and deplore the language of sexual violence and discrimination used against her by BOTH sides of the aisle. As much as I'd like to see the likes of her and Ann Coulter disappear eternally, I also can't stand it when my so-called allies make rape jokes or trans jokes or hooker jokes in their direction.

  • Hey you modern feminists can keep arguing over which words are offensive and which neologisms would be better. It's worked out so well for women thus far, hasn't it?

  • Comrade PhysioProf are you serious? Amanda Marcotte is humorless. Unless you count her comments on the Duke lacrosse case as oh so hilarious. Her and Nifong should start making buddy cop movies.

  • "As much as I'd like to see the likes of her and Ann Coulter disappear eternally, I also can't stand it when my so-called allies make rape jokes or trans jokes or hooker jokes in their direction."

    Can I have a complete list of things that can't be the subject of jokes? It keeps changing and it's very confusing. I've never seen "hooker jokes" on the list before.

    Please CC whitney cummings and sarah silverman to make sure they stop doing their "Sarah Palin is a Whore" bits.

  • Hey Ed, maybe if you knew anything about "hookers" and didn't think of them as sex-dispensing machines/living fuckdolls, you might grasp why doing "hooker" jokes wouldn't go over well with women. Dipshit.

  • "Can I have a complete list of things that can't be the subject of jokes? It keeps changing and it's very confusing. I've never seen "hooker jokes" on the list before."

    I suggest the following guidelines:

    1. Make jokes about whatever you want and however you want. You don't have any moral obligation to spare anyone's tender feelings.

    2. Let the chips fall where they may. You don't have any legitimate expectation that your own feelings will be spared. If you are a comic, getting boo'ed is par for the course. (Hey, you got a standing ovation from 3/4 of the audience, only 3 or 4 people boo'ed you, and a couple of people later told you they thought your joke was inappropriate. So what's the problem? Sounds to me like you came out pretty well there. What do you want? Admiration from every single person in the audience? Those humorless feminists may be taking themselves too seriously, but seems to me, you are guilty of the same transgression. Maybe you and one of them should go on a date together, you sound like a perfect match.)

    3. A joke predicated on gender is a sexist joke. A joke predicated on race is a racist joke. A joke predicated on an ethnic stereotype is an ethnocentric joke. Now, this is NOT to say that they are verboten. Nothing is. (See no. 1) Go ahead and make sexist, racist, and/or ethnocentric jokes to your heart's content. God knows, those jokes CAN be pretty funny. Just accept the fact that those kinds of jokes offend some people — sometimes unreasonably, sometimes because it may hit them closer to home than it does you — and "aggressively lecturing" the offended about how comedy works and what their correct reactions to your jokes should be probably isn't the way to go. You and the rest of the audience will probably have more fun if you just take those offended and tease the hell out of them.

    4. It's nice to know how comedy works. Equally important is knowing how TACT works. Like I said — sexist jokes aren't bad humor in my book just because of their setup. But, there are some venues where they are more likely to elicit a jeer, you know what I mean?

    Okay, I'm done with my list.

    A minor observation: Hookers are at a particularly high risk for being victims of violence, including domestic violence. Not saying this is a reason to be personally offended at you calling Sarah Palin a hooker — just something that immediately occurred to me when you explained the circumstances.

    Another minor observation: What WAS the joke, anyway? You just called Sarah Palin a hooker, that's it? I don't see how simple name-calling is funny, but then again, I'll be the first to admit that my sense of humor ain't 20/20 these days.

  • "Please CC whitney cummings and sarah silverman to make sure they stop doing their "Sarah Palin is a Whore" bits."

    you see, my black friend says nigger all the time, therefore

  • I still can't believe Killer thinks rape jokes are comedy gold. Well, except that he thinks "Killer" is a funny alias.

    Maybe he should ask around and find out which of the one in five women he knows has been sexually assaulted, and try out some of his comedy gold on THEM.

    Also, I don't know who Whitney Cummings is, but Sarah Silverman is fucking offensive. Women can be misogynist douchebags, too, after all.

  • On the other hand, Killer, don't do that. You'll just re-traumatize them all over again. Just ask them if they think rape jokes are comedy gold and then back away quickly.

  • grumpygradstudent says:

    Everything is offensive to somebody. A joke about hepatitis c might offend me (my dad died of it). And believe it or not, I HAVe heard hep c jokes. They don't offend me, but that's just because…well, I don't know why, they just don't. But just about every human being has some kind of line somewhere, right?

    Seems to me you gotta just do what you think is funny and let the audiences feel however they want to feel about you. Yeah, you're going to offend some people, but to completely get rid of that danger, you'd have to be Bob fucking Hope. And that kind of humor can be funny too, but if it's not who you are, what's the fucking point of doing it?

    By the way, the identity politics obsession with language and terminology over policy and action is retarded (yes, i said retarded…let the righteous indignation fly).

  • @Jezebella "No. That's why we're planning a revolution. What did you say your name was?"

    LOL!!! Your "revolution" was easily co-opted by Madison avenue, repacked, and sold. Hmm…maybe if you find a new word for revolution, for example, re-revolution, and get everyone to start saying it, it will come true!

  • I second Amused's "minor observation". I don't know that you were necessarily dealing with "feminists". Their views may rate on that scale, but the offense they took may have been due to a more personal experience rather than political belief. That personal experience may be their own or that of a friend.

    You've got to understand that there are some more extreme cases of domestic violence that involve sexual abuse that may include the pimping out of a spouse, girlfriend, or daughter. That's definitely not the "average" domestic violence scenario, but when you're dealing with a domestic violence benefit, there is greater likelihood that there will be some people there that are personally familiar with some of the more extreme cases. I think that may have been the point of the "safe and inclusive" comment of the audience member.

    That said, I think that nothing is sacred when it comes to humor. Fuck everything. Just don't take that audience reaction as being due to "feminism". Unless you're making a clever joke about it.

  • By the way, I'm calling bullshit on Killer's post. I think it was a troll attempt. A successful one I might add.

  • Damn, Ed, you've made me see the light. Hooker jokes are funny, especially when they're about Sarah Palin. Man, she's just like a hooker! She's just like a woman that men pay to rape! Ahaha! Just like a woman who tarts herself up to attract customers so she'll earn money for her pimp and thus avoid a beating! LOL! You know what would be really funny? If Sarah Palin was a teenage girl who was kidnapped by human traffickers and forced into a life of prostitution, rape and violence! ROFLMAO MY SIDES ARE SPLITTING

  • Man, I… I just don't know. I like Gin and Tacos. And I like Ed, at least internet Ed we see here. And context… context is important and we've been given none of that. But I can't help but think, would you tell the same joke about a man and would you expect it to be as funny? It's hard for me to imagine you would, which for me would be reason enough not to tell the joke in the first place.

  • I don't want to speak for Ed, but I think he would have no problem calling a male politician a "hooker". However, as much as I am disgusted by Killer's misogynistic comments, he does make an important point. If you say about a man, that he is a "prostitute", you are also saying, in effect, that he is a woman, and it's really hard to parse what it is people will delight in — the implication that this man will sell himself to anyone who will pay, or that he is a chick to will sell herself to anyone who will pay to screw her. Sexual objectification is a big part of calling someone a hooker, and men simply aren't sexually objectified in our culture, not really.

    With that in mind, there really isn't a male equivalent of calling a woman a prostitute.

  • I was making art out of doors on fine Saturday and just as I laid out the canvas, a large bird SHIT on it. True story… I just looked up to the bird and the sky a loudly proclaimed:
    "Everybodies a fucking critic"

  • Oh come on, Cyberwulf. According to another commentator on this site, prostitution, oh sorry, I mean "sex work", is a job like any other job. And I realize this is true. Back when I was in the States, I used to address retail clerks and waitresses as "bitches" and "sluts", and routinely instructed them to "suck my cock" while fondling them. So yeah, it's just like any other job.

  • grumpygradstudent says:

    Right. And my grandpa's hand got cut off in a combine. So, yeah…you know…NOTHING can compare to the horror of being called a slut.

  • "Right. And my grandpa's hand got cut off in a combine. So, yeah…you know…NOTHING can compare to the horror of being called a slut."

    Right. And my grandmother's best friend got blown up into tiny little bloody pieces during a bombing raid, which beats your grandpa's precious accident, I guess. Plus I know someone who has been suffering from muscular dystrophy for the past 25 years, which is also worse than getting one's hand cut off. *Eyeroll* What's your point? That because being called a slut isn't the Absolute Worst Thing in the Universe, no one should be upset at it, regardless of context? Isn't it something that can be applied to everything?

    Rape: not a big deal, because murder is worse.
    Murder: not a big deal, because torture is worse. (Unless it's torture-murder, I guess.)
    Losing hand in a farming accident: not a big deal, because cancer is worse.
    Institutional racism: not a big deal, because hey, being discriminated against isn't as bad as actual genocide.
    Pervasive sexism: not a big deal, because hey, ladies, at least no one is cutting out your genitals with a broken piece of glass, so show a little appreciation, mkay?
    Rise of religious fundamentalism: nothing to worry about because, are you kidding?? There are starving children in Africa!!

    Jesus Christ, do people even think before they post stupid crap like that?

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