In recent months there has been some controversy in the comedy world. There was the whole Jay Leno and Conan OíBrien pushing around, yet another Bruno lawsuit for Sasha Baron Cohn, and of course the infamous Muhammad episode of South Park which got bleeped after threats have been made against Matt Stone and Trey Parker. All of this made me think exactly what is funny, and are there topics that are off limits for the comedians?
If you think about it, there are jokes about different religious groups, minorities, working people; we make fun of others based on their height, age or hair colour. Basically what is not allowed in any other work place is allowed in comedy clubs or in sitcoms, where all kinds of different people work and spend their free time. So how is it that itís okay for South Park to make fun of Catholics and not of Muslims? Is there a comedy double standard, or do people maybe have a sense of humour or lack it depending on their background?
I personally come from a family where we believe in equality, which in this case I understand in one way. We either make fun of everybody and everything, or nobody and nothing. The ting is I canít imagine the world without laughter and jokes, so I definitely am for making fun of all aspects of life. Iím blonde, and we all know how many jokes there are about dumb blondes. My uncle is a policeman, my grandmother is Jewish and my other grandmother is Italian Catholic. We are a walking comedy tour and yet weíre not sending out treats to anybody making jokes.
Is it a matter of being raised I a family where everybody made jokes and sarcasm was served with every meal? I donít think so. I believe itís a matter of learning to laugh at one self that gives us the upper hand. We understand that when the choice is between laughter and despair, the former at least gives you momentary relief. Thatís why I love going to stand up shows and sitcoms are my favourite, because no matter what they make fun of, they make me realize that life is not bad at all.
But Iím not heartless, and I do understand that there are subjects more sensitive than others, like sickness, accidents or death. But since these things do happen in everyday life, I think itís okay to joke about them if itís done right. No need to be crude while making fun of somebody being put in cast head to toe, but then I donít think there is need for crudeness in jokes about web design either. Smart funny is so much more entertaining than rude or stupid funny that treats the viewers as if they were two and unable to understand ďbig wordsĒ.
So in my opinion a good laugh is healthy, and thatís why I will support comedians standing up to threats from people who think theyíre above it. Jokes are just that, jokes, they are not a serious commentary on ways of living, they do not shun any group or any single blonde, cop or web designer. Theyíre a reflection of our times just as poetry or songs and should be treated as such and nothing more or less.
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I am a web designer and a passionate writer. I write PR press releases and articles about web development and web design.
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