[Screenshot from E! Red Carpet & Award Shows, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciw_A9WkFwc]

 

I wrote recently that we seem to be losing the idea of a joke.

Our society appears to be plummeting toward tragic seriousness, as satire becomes unacceptable, lightheartedness becomes intolerable, and jokes are translated as “problematic” statements with dire consequences.

You know when you’re with a close friend and they say something, and a quip comes to mind, and you let it go? It may turn out to not have been funny, but it was only an offhanded remark.

Some may disagree, but to me, that’s the greatest degree of seriousness to which any joke should be taken. That includes things spoken on a stage.

It may be undesirable, it may go unappreciated, it may even be offensive; but a joke, generally, is not supposed to have weight.

Yet, these days, comedians appear to be getting increasingly crushed for anything objectionable to the most serious among us — people with a very different idea of a joke than mine.

A telling moment in this new, woke era came Sunday night at The Emmys.

And it came from someone who knows a thing or two about offending people, who’s likely said things you don’t appreciate, even though you understand they’re jokes: Sarah Silverman.

On the red carpet at television’s trophy ceremony, speaking to E! Entertainment, Sarah provided some stunning commentary:

“They cut us off at the knees. There isn’t even a host anymore at these shows. They don’t want comedians to talk.”

“Do you offer to step in,” the interviewer asked?

“No. Nobody wants to do it, either. I mean, it’s thankless.”


She’s on the right track there — from recent memory, Tracy Morgan was shunned, Kevin Hart lost a major opportunity to host (here and here), Dave Chappelle undertook a dismissal by critics (here and here), Norm Macdonald was ejected from The Tonight Show, and an SNL newbie was canned (here). To be clear, I’m not commenting on the tastefulness of anything they said or did; but not long ago, culture was sufficiently free of feigned outrage and virtue-signaling for them to have continued their trajectory unimpeded.

To borrow from Sarah, as for cutting them off, who’s doing the chopping? Is it the Right?

Twitter had a thing or two to say:

One tweeter referenced 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who I covered here:

Some even blamed Sarah:

Maynardg referenced Martin Neimöller, the anti-Nazi Lutheran pastor who wrote the famous “First they came…”

And some users got pretty creative:

One commenter had a wholly different take:

We’re living in the age of cancellation, and — so far as I’m concerned — we’re worse for it.

How do we go back? It may take a revolution; it may take more than comedians selling themselves as those who’ll say anything and everything yet seeming to conform to all the same political and social points of view.

Maybe we need, from the stage, what those on the Left side of the aisle have hailed time and again, yet haven’t seemed to much appreciate in ways it actually counts: where thoughts are concerned, diversity.

The world is waiting for it. And so are the laughs.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: herehereherehere, and here

See 3 more pieces from me:

How Far Would You Go For A Lost Love? Here’s An Incredible Story About A Family And Their Commitment To Never Give Up

A Hit-Making Music Star Announces He’s No Longer A Man

Think You’ve Heard The Stupidest Thing Ever? I Disagree. Witness The Woke’s New Condemnation Of IKEA

Find all my RedState work here.

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