In terms of comedy, I live by the mantra of, “Anything in the right context can be funny.” Why? Because funny is funny, and you can’t fake funny. That’s why the prevalence of the “PC-Police,” or the “Thought Police” in this case, is troubling for a lot of old school stand-up comedians who idolized comics like Lenny Bruce, Don Rickles, Richard Pryor and George Carlin.
Comedian and actor Tim Allen joined the ladies of ABC’s “The View” recently and the topic of political correctness in comedy came up. Allen, who’s known to lean right-of-center, brought up how the comedy of old — the comedy he grew up admiring — would most likely be ostracized in today’s hyper-sensitive society.
An equally funny part of this entire segment was that typically far-left host Joy Behar was the one who brought up and asked Allen about how comedy isn’t what it used to be because of political correctness.
“I mean, it’s a little bit different now,” Behar began. “There’s a PC-culture out there. It makes it really hard. I think my act, if I ever brought that old act back, I’d be driven out of town.”
Yes, that was actually Behar. Don’t worry. You’re not having a stroke.
That's when Allen brought up how you can barely talk about the content of the comics he looked up to, Bruce and Pryor, without people getting upset. That segued into how the "Last Man Standing" star has had to tailor his stand-up act for modern audiences.
What I got to do sometimes is explain, which I hate, in big arenas, that this is a thought police thing, and I do not like it. But when I use these words, this is my intent behind those words. So as long as you understand my intent. I still get people who say “but just don’t say it,” and I’m not going to do that.
Here’s a portion of Allen’s segment on “The View” (Political correctness part begins at 1:32):
If you’re someone who doesn’t believe in censoring what you say, as long you’re not calling for violence against others, say it. I understand that employers are also hyper-sensitive about things their employees say outside of the work environment. But, as long as you’re not harming anybody, say whatever it is you have to say.
As for the perpetually offended? Let them be offended. Nothing actually happens to them. In fact, and you’re going to hear a lot of this phrase from me going forward, I’m offended that they’re offended.
Are there things that are actually offensive? Sure, but even offense at things that most rational people would find offensive is still objective. Some people just suck, but that’s precisely why we have the First Amendment. It’s not there to protect flowery speech.
H/T: Louder with Crowder