what’s funny, what’s not

Husband and I have been to the Laugh Factory once before over the summer, when my sister came by unexpectedly and we were looking for something to do. That night we went to the 8 o’clock show, the comedians were generally good especially with a headliner who months later now has his own show on TBS! They gave you a voucher for two free tickets if you proved you liked them on Facebook, which we did.

Last night we went back before they could expire.

I am no comedic expert. I am amazed when people laugh at things I say. When this happens, I usually try to log in my brain why I think they laugh – is it because I had good timing, was the story relatable, etc. I usually watch my older sister for comedy ‘genius’, because she is generally apt to making people laugh more than anyone. She was in improv in college and so on.

The point is that I do know that comedy and what makes people laugh is subjective. For instance, I don’t think Sarah Silverman is funny at all, but Tina Fey and Amy Pohler always makes me laugh, Kristen Wiig is hit and miss. Will Ferrell is hit and miss, I love Jim Gaffigan and Bryan Regan, but I never found Jimmy Fallon funny (his tendency to constantly break in SNL was never amusing to me and I felt really unprofessional).

But a joke about raping women is never funny.

I have strong feelings when it comes to rape. I feel that a woman should be heard, every case should be treated as seriously as a murder investigation, and that a rapist should face serious consequences if found guilty. HOWEVER, I do think that radical social justice people need to acknowledge and accept that women WILL LIE about being raped, especially young women in college and high school who don’t know what they’re talking about and the consequences of what they’re saying. They also need to accept that it is really hard to prove rape (just like it can be hard to prove abuse) and you can’t throw every guy in jail just because a girl points a finger at them. That said …

Last night, one of the comedians told a rape joke.

His whole ‘theme’ of comedy was that he was very negative and narcissistic. I didn’t really like him off the bat, and the audience as well only mildly chuckled through his routine. I can’t remember his segue way, but all of a sudden he was talking about how women get raped, and it was because men couldn’t control themselves, and only 4% of men rape, and doesn’t that show that 96% of men can control themselves, and how nice is that?

CRICKETS. CHIRPING.

It was dead silence. Everyone just stared at him. Number one, I felt like he was using an old, outdated ‘excuse’ that many people have already shut down and said was a disgusting excuse for allowing rape, etc. Number two, it was the 8 o’clock show, so the room was full of couples and a few older (like 50ish) people. This is NOT the crowd that will laugh at a rape joke. Number threedoes he not know rape jokes are, in my opinion, way too controversial?

Husband thought I was wrong about this, but I feel like after this whole Tosh thing where he told the rape joke and everyone went into an uproar, you as a comedian would look at your joke list and be like, ‘Better cross that out’.

But I hoped he learned his lesson because it took him a couple jokes and actually taking ‘a break’ of drinking some water to talk about something (‘Why are we all on FB if we hate it? I’m gonna delete my profile … five hours later still scrolling …’) that actually made the audience laugh again. It was ROUGH.

Funny is subjective and we all laugh at different things. But when it comes to rape? No one should be making jokes about it, and only immature frat boys will be laughing.

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