when is a joke not a joke?

Daniel Tosh
I’m coming down on the side of: he was wrong, and it’s not funny.

Usually I’d sit on the fence in this kind of thing. There’s always two sides to each argument anyway, and who are we to say definitively what’s funny and what isn’t?

The background, in case you missed the story, is this: A comedian called Daniel Tosh declared during his routine that rape jokes are funny. A female audience member shouted, ‘Actually, rape jokes are never funny!’ Allegedly, Tosh paused for a moment, then replied,

‘Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…’

Now in general, I tend to think that anything can be made into a joke. You know, I laughed a lot at the Brass Eye ‘Paedophile Special’. And fence-sitting is more comfortable than it looks.

But in this case I’m going to make a call. I think he was wrong because it wasn’t a joke. It was not a joke. It was, as the woman said, “meant to put [her] in [her] place”. He didn’t say it to be funny, he said it to shut her up.

The owner of the comedy club where all this kicked off has told Buzzfeed that poor liddle Danny Wanny was misunderstood. Nice Mr Comedian is ‘one of the nicest people in the world’! And ‘so sweet’! Although the owner’s account of the incident isn’t entirely convincing, based as it is on something which he says he ‘really didn’t hear properly’.

As I said, I’m a chronic fence-sitter. When you commit yourself to one side of the argument, you’re aligning yourself with all the idiots on that side. Like, in the comments:

I’m ashamed to call myself an American woman if these bitches are going to get all butthurt over a freaking joke. THIS IS WHY MEN HATE YOU

Well, that’s your opinion. Yes it is. But I’m glad someone else was around to respond appropriately:

I’m ashamed to call myself a citizen of the world where people like you call women ‘bitches’, blame these ‘bitches’ for gender discrimination and support a joke about a woman being gang raped by five men.

People, laughter is good for you. Laugh about everything. Make jokes about anything that you think will prompt a Daily Fail campaign. But when you’re not joking, don’t expect people to laugh.


Filed under things that make me laugh

2 responses to “when is a joke not a joke?

  1. Pingback: 5 things you didn’t know about rape | a different daylight

  2. Pingback: all jews have beards. even the ladies! | a different daylight

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