Did PC Wokeness Kill Comedy or Is Jerry Seinfeld Unfunny?

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funeralxempire
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12 May 2024, 10:52 am

slam_thunderhide wrote:

To my mind, the typical Stephen Colbert or Daily Show joke goes something like this.

"Look at what this conservative in Hicksville said the other day!"
<plays clip>
<camera cuts to the presenter as he makes a funny face>
<cue canned laughter>


But hey, there's no accounting for taste I suppose.


No wonder you find it unfunny. You can easily imagine yourself and the things you say being clowned on by them and their audience.

If you agree with the buffoonery they're clowning on it's easy to feel yourself being clowned on.


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12 May 2024, 11:58 am

BillyTree wrote:
Jerry Seinfeld was very popular then the world moved on and his kind of humour became outdated. He is bitter and blames the world. There are a lot of popular comedians out there today that are much more edgy than Jerry ever was so he can't blame his failure on wokeness or political correctness.


Yeah. I can savor every style of comedy from corny to edgy. I liked him, but I never thought of Seinfeld as being particularly "edgy" even for then in the Nineties. And there were other comics at the time whose recordings still sound shocking even now. So that does seem like an odd comment coming from him, and not from any of his more raw boundary pushing contemporaries (like Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, or Eddie Murphy).



lostonearth35
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12 May 2024, 12:29 pm

I remember an episode where Jerry asks a man if he knows of any any good Chinese restaurants. He can't see the man's face because he's bent over checking a mailbox, or something like that. Then the man stands up and looks at Jerry, and it just happens he was Asian and he flips out at Jerry for asking such a question. Jerry is then later saying how people are way too easily offended. In the 1990s.

Nearly all North American humor is making fun of people for their perceived flaws, such as their weight, their height, their age, their intelligence or lack of it. And they make jokes about everything else in other people they see as different or don't understand. Even In Canada, people have made fun of Newfoundlanders for many years. North Americans are huge jerks. End of story.



funeralxempire
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12 May 2024, 12:34 pm



lostonearth35 wrote:
I remember an episode where Jerry asks a man if he knows of any any good Chinese restaurants. He can't see the man's face because he's bent over checking a mailbox, or something like that. Then the man stands up and looks at Jerry, and it just happens he was Asian and he flips out at Jerry for asking such a question. Jerry is then later saying how people are way too easily offended. In the 1990s.



So, to summarize, comedy hasn't really changed and Jerry has been complaining about people being too sensitive for ages, long before he became irrelevant. All that's changed is people's tolerance for Jerry himself.

But, he can look at the brightside, no one's asking him for autographs anymore while he waits to pick up his girlfriend from high school.


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vividgroovy
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12 May 2024, 11:07 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
If more people read was was actually said rather than what was reported, a whole manure heap of culture war 'debate' would never happen and the world (or at least the Internet) would be a healthier place.

I think the willingness to misreport or focus on a phrase that could be misinterpreted is now very much the deliberate intention of the media which measures its success on engagement (i.e. comments) rather than accuracy/interest. If you can start an argument you're doing great.

Yours was a good post in general, I thought.


I agree.

Thank you :)
lostonearth35 wrote:
I remember an episode where Jerry asks a man if he knows of any any good Chinese restaurants. He can't see the man's face because he's bent over checking a mailbox, or something like that. Then the man stands up and looks at Jerry, and it just happens he was Asian and he flips out at Jerry for asking such a question. Jerry is then later saying how people are way too easily offended. In the 1990s.


Absolutely, there were people who were easily offended by comedy and comedians who made fun of that in the 90s and before that as well. However, that doesn't mean people getting offended hasn't gotten more extreme or that comedy is exactly as it was then.

I once saw a review if a bad, failed web sitcom called "Demo Reel." The reviewer complained about a joke in which the main character, Donnie, was too oblivious to realize that something he said was mildly offensive. That was the joke and it was very lame and basic. However, that wasn't the reviewer's issue. He was mad that the sitcom moved on from the joke without the other characters calling Donnie out on his behavior. He had no faith in the audience to get the very simple joke and he thought it was this sitcom's job to teach the audience how to behave. This is the problem, because when entertainment is aimed at people who think that way, it's even more poorly written than a show like "Demo Reel."

Quote:
Nearly all North American humor is making fun of people for their perceived flaws, such as their weight, their height, their age, their intelligence or lack of it. And they make jokes about everything else in other people they see as different or don't understand. Even In Canada, people have made fun of Newfoundlanders for many years. North Americans are huge jerks. End of story.


I hate jerkiness and I love insult comedy. The difference, for me, is wit. If someone insults me in a witty manner, I'll usually laugh along with them. Almost every jerk in my life would use put downs, not witty jokes.

Sitcoms are often based on all of the characters having their own comic flaws that play off of each other. The verbal humor comes from them calling out each other's flaws, but they're usually on fairly equal footing.

Regarding the idea that insult comedy is unique to North America...citation needed? I once read an article by comedian Ricky Gervais claiming that the British use sarcasm in regular conversation more often than Americans. Leading me to say, I feel I must have been British in another life ;).



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13 May 2024, 6:38 am

lostonearth35 wrote:
I remember an episode where Jerry asks a man if he knows of any any good Chinese restaurants. He can't see the man's face because he's bent over checking a mailbox, or something like that. Then the man stands up and looks at Jerry, and it just happens he was Asian and he flips out at Jerry for asking such a question. Jerry is then later saying how people are way too easily offended. In the 1990s.

Nearly all North American humor is making fun of people for their perceived flaws, such as their weight, their height, their age, their intelligence or lack of it. And they make jokes about everything else in other people they see as different or don't understand. Even In Canada, people have made fun of Newfoundlanders for many years. North Americans are huge jerks. End of story.


Was there EVER a time, and/or, place on planet Earth when folks did NOT get their yucks from ridiculing others?

The ancient Greeks had "dumb peasant jokes" which were the same genre as the "moron jokes", and "Pollock jokes", etc that we 20th/21st Century Americans tell.



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13 May 2024, 10:07 am

Whether it is comedy, music, whatever if I as a 66 year old do not think todays youth are not going to ruin the world we left them there is either something wrong with them or something wrong with me.


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14 May 2024, 5:18 pm

The comedian is blaming his audience? That just sounds lazy. He should work harder to create better jokes.


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14 May 2024, 6:28 pm

I wrote a longer version of this reply, but it disappeared, so apologies if it shows up later.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Whether it is comedy, music, whatever if I as a 66 year old do not think todays youth are not going to ruin the world we left them there is either something wrong with them or something wrong with me.


Yes, but it seems they're moving in the opposite direction. Shock humor used to be aimed at young people, who enjoyed pushing the envelope and shocking older people. Now, they seem to be the ones shocked an offended. (Though I'm sure, not all of them. Just the ones who subscribe to this particular trend.) Or perhaps this is the cycle of history and their kids will get into shock humor to shock them?

RetroGamer87 wrote:
The comedian is blaming his audience? That just sounds lazy. He should work harder to create better jokes.


I disagree with blaming the audience as a knee-jerk reaction. That's what a lot of people who defend current, ultra-politicized entertainment do as well. However, many works of entertainment in the past have flopped and gone on to become classics, so the audience isn't infallible, either. My question would be WHY does the audience reject the thing and WHY does the entertainer defend it.

I'm also reminded of an episode of the 2019 "Twilight Zone" reboot, "The Comedian," which is about an unsuccessful, "high integrity" comedian who tells political jokes. (Even though there are tons of successful political comedians in real life). He tells the same political joke two different times and fails to get a laugh and we're supposed to feel sorry for him because the audience doesn't get his important point. Whereas I'm thinking, why doesn't he keep the same point and try changing the joke? Or, if making people laugh is secondary to him, why doesn't he just become a political essayist or something? Later, he basically sells his soul to tell jokes about people in his personal life (which also makes them disappear), the implication being that he's lost his "integrity" by no longer telling political jokes that don't land. I didn't care for that episode.



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19 May 2024, 2:21 am

Seinfled has basically run out of material. He isn't up to speed with what is funny based on his coffee with comedians series where he seems to be caught in a time warp of nostalgia. to be funny in 2024 you need to have your finger on the pulse of society.



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19 May 2024, 12:15 pm

I find that today's television is garbage.


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