Boundaries in Comedy?

The law does a decently good job of clearly outlining and defining behavior that is legal and what is not….but what about words and thoughts? What about things are in the confused state of grey, when there is evidently no black or white? A person reflects their own perspectives and opinions on the subject matter, to an extent anyway, when they say things (especially publicly). Obviously, nobody would blatantly say extremely offensive comments about sensitive social issues like rape, genocide, war, death or the King of Thailand (if you’re in Thailand).

But, in the universe of comedy, there are no rules – according to comedian Daniel Tosh, anyway.

Humor makes all subject matter accessible and relatable. Oh, the world is such a sunny place when you can joke about everything that is so, so wrong with the world! Har har har. (That was a sarcastic laugh, by the way.)

Curtis Luciani, a fellow comedian gives his two cents on the matter, in an incredibly eloquent way. He says:

But causing pain is quite a different *** matter. Your job as a comedian is to take us through pain, transcend pain, transform pain. And if you don’t get that, you are a *** bully, and I’ve got zero time for bullies.

Tosh apologizes, obviously. He has to relieve himself of the horribly media publicity he’s gotten if he ever wants to work again.

Regardless, I personally think that it’s not the subject matter that’s to be questioned. But, its the presentation of it. Maybe only a few people/comedians are actually skilled in joking about sensitive issues without actually offending anyone. Maybe, there’s too many factors to be considered to actually make a stance about it.

But as someone who likes to have a concrete opinion about things, or at least tries to – I’m torn in this regard.

Is it important to have a stance on this matter? Why not?

What’s yours?

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Ritika (@ritikaaaaar) is Indian, was raised in Thailand and currently studies Biology. She likes to dabble in a little of everything - she blogs, she's part of @passionproj, questions the mechanisms of the living world, and harbours a slight obsession with social media,, coffee, and Asian authors.