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Forums - Movies & TV - Should comedians have boundaries?


Should comedians have boundaries?

Yes 12 19.67%
No 49 80.33%

We all know that the main goal of most (if not all) comedy movies, stand-up shows and TV shows with focus on comedy wants to make people laugh. To make people have fun. But it's not rare to see comedians getting into trouble because of their jokes.

There are a couple of reasons on why a comedian would get sued, lose their job, or even get arrested. They make fun of sensitive topics, mock with celebrities, or get into politics for example.

The following is my opinion:

I keep seeing comedians getting messed up because of their job. More recently we had a case where a comedian from a popular TV show lost his job because his jokes were considered "black humour" and there was a commotion on social media because he made fun of disabled kids (I didn't find the joke funny, by the way).

To be honest, i understand where that commotion came from. It's OK for people to get mad at him, but if you don't like it, you should just ignore the comedian. I know a lot of comedians whose I don't like because of their sense of humour, but if there are people who like what they do, I won't try to stop them, destroy their jobs, or get them arrested, even if they are a**holes. They just won't get my money. 

What's your opinion on this?

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My opinion is don't like something don't watch it. I will never understand the mob mentality of trying to shut something down via cancel culture.  

If I don't like hamburgers I shouldn't order one.  No reason to try to get hamburgers banned.  People need to worry about themselves more and less about others.  


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Boundaries? Who would set these boundaries and how should they be eliminated? The nature of comedy is that its an antagonistic art form, so making people uncomfortable and offended is part of the whole process. Now comedy is an uncertain thing, kind of like playing baseball in that they'll score well with a really good joke but will miss or get canceled if something offends too much. I tend to roll my eyes at cancel culture but it is what it is. There should be no need for decency standards or limits in this day and age. The tv networks/streamers do that themselves by filtering who gets airtime. If someone gets too offensive then he won't be getting specials on Netflix or whatever or arena shows and so it pays to limit oneself to appeal to more people. So, no need in short.

Yes and no. The boundary is whether or not it is comedy.
I do think that when you have established a context - South Park, a roast, etc. - where anything is clearly a joke, is provocative for comedic purpose, then I agree there shouldn't be any boundaries. Go ahead and talk about molesting children of your least favorite ethnicity.
But there is also slander, attacks on groups of people and such hate speech that is excused with a "that was just a joke". Yeah, I didn't REALLY mean *insert suitable group* are criminals, terrorists and pedos. On that there needs to be limits.

I think comedians should be able to joke about whatever they want.

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It depends, most of the time, no.

The French poet Jean de Santeul coined the Latin phrase 'castigat ridendo mores', that is to say, customs are punished by laughter. Some interpret that as to mean that satire can point out the absurdity of said customs and help change them, but when you look at Santeul as a person, it gets more sinister than that.

You see, he was a fundamentalist Christian and what you might call a reactionary nowadays. So the base idea could be interpreted as 'comedy can put people in their right places', that is to say, to be used as a hate tool to target minorities and other non-conformists.

That is the kind of comedy, on the other hand, that would need to have limits since it's fundamentally hate speech disguised as wit.






Often times it's less about who/what you're joking about than the message behind the joke. Sometimes comedians tell jokes people just genuinely don't find funny or they even find them offensive or mean spirited and then the comedian will get defensive and say something to the effect of, "Oh, you can't take a joke/can't joke about ____?!" No, dude. They just didn't think that joke was funny and now you're coming off like an asshole.

Nah - two of my favourites, Bill Burr and Dave Chappelle, pretty much have no boundaries and I really like them for that.

Comedians are artists and should enjoy to have artistic freedom and freedom of speech. That freedom of should be protected. If you don't like a certain comedian, simply don't watch his shows. If we are going to restrict what a comedian can and can't say on the basis of being offensive, we are going down a really slippery road. These days a lot of people will find something offensive.

If being offensive is the basis we can say farewell to jokes about: sex/gender, religion, cultural groups, body shape and all stereotypes. If we would remove all jokes that could be considered offensive to someone, the shows will be awfully short. Because if offense is the basis, basically all offense is equally valid.

Please excuse my (probally) poor grammar

No. At worst the joke wont land because its bad timing or the wrong audience, but thats about it. Very low stakes thing. But everything should be fair game in comedy.