“I love your rape joke, why’d you stop telling it?”
“You pussy out or something?”
Let’s make one thing clear – I had exactly ONE joke utilizing the word “rape”, and the butt of the joke is a fanatical government that treats women as 2nd class citizens. I liked my joke. I’m even kinda proud of it. It’s not the best example of wordplay but 18 times out of 20, it gets applause. One time a comedy club waitress dropped her tray laughing (NBD). Hell, I ranted to all 4 people who read my blog about my RIGHT to make fun of everyone equally.
Then I retired it. Stopped telling it altogether. POOF! It’s gone.
Any comedian will tell you that I’m nuts for doing that. Most will tell you I’m a lowlife piece of shit, but that’s a story for another time. I’m too early into my comedy career to retire something that gets laughs. I was even accused of “pandering to chicks” (lolwut) and of course censorship.
Newsflash: I didn’t retire it because of any complaints (of which there were surprisingly few). I retired it because some people liked it a little too much.
I got sick of the wrong kind of people taking the time to personally tell me JUST HOW MUCH they loved it. The gleam in their eyes, the subtle snarl in their smile, the glee with which they uttered their words. Maybe I’m giving myself too much credit, but as guys we know the difference between real men and abusive fucks, and I was getting way too much attention from the latter. No amount of denial could convince me I was getting fist-bumped by hammered frat guys because of their nuanced views on Iran.
To put it into context, you write 10 jokes till you find one that works. You go on stage in public and tell 9 shitty new jokes to complete silence, question your need to publicly embarrass yourself under the spotlight, till one drunk in the corner giggles at the first draft of your new gem. HALLELUJAH! You polish that gem for weeks, sometimes months, till you get a 15 second line that gets you 3 seconds of laughs. You build an hour-long show seconds at a time. To throw away a joke that gets laughs, well it hurts like a BITCH.
So why should I care? FREE SPEECH, a joke’s a joke, etc etc right? Wrong. I love comedy because you can make someone laugh and think simultaneously, and we are more likely to listen to a message that’s wrapped in humor. I DIDN’T get into this to validate date-rapists, nor to be quoted by thugs dropping Rohypnol into a 17 year old’s drink. I want no part of that.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t. Make all the jokes you want about whatever you want. It IS a comedy club, and some people ARE too sensitive, and yes I WILL laugh at your racist rape joke (if it’s good). Maybe eventually I’ll figure out a way to rewrite this thing so my conscience stays clean. But if I can’t be part of the solution, I sure as shit don’t want to be part of the problem.