Comedy and The Art of Making Everyone Fell Terrible

The Trevor Noah thing right? Right isn't it just so complex and gut-wrenching and reactive.

As someone in comedy, of course I think we should be able to make jokes about whatever we want. As a woman, of course I think most men need sensitivity training.  And here so many of us are. Having to choose an allegiance: laughter or other people. 

So I choose both. 

I'm so fucking happy about this. I'm so happy we are having conversations about what jokes mean. That we are asking comedians to be smarter about what they say. That we are asking more of our comedy these days because it means we are asking more of our society. 

Jokes marginalizing others are simply feeding into an established dynamic, and there is nothing inventive or interesting about that. 

With the rise of alt comedy there has been much more of an emphasis on the individual rather than the whole. There's nothing wrong with that, but my favorite type of comedy has always been the kind that makes you say "Yeah that's weird that WE do/think/say that. Maybe it's time for that to change." Essentially anything that makes us question the rules that are governing us all. 

And The Daily Show is a perfect example of that kind of humor. So of course we should ask  that its next host be ready to take up that mantle. 

2009 Trevor Noah was definitely not ready to host The Daily Show. Hopefully 2015 Trevor Noah uses this moment to say "Yeah, that was weird that I did/thought/said that. I've changed." 

Comedy is the Collective saying we acknowledge the truth of this. I hope this Trevor Noah thing is signaling that we've come to a place where we ask that humor is no longer used to make everyone feel terrible.