Social media is like a scarlet letter for comedians. In comedy the person on stage is King. Their voice is the the only one that matters. Their voice speaks with a singular intent, to make you laugh. Everyone in the room understands this. Now, thanks to social media, one small group can change everything. They can change your intent to fit their agenda. They can demand an apology for trying to make them laugh. No matter how hard you try. No matter what you say. No matter how obvious your real intentions were. You can’t win. Even if you apologize nobody really wins. Next week, month or year. It will happen again. Someone else will be on the hot seat.
The strangest part of this vicious cycle is comedians don’t give offense. You to take it. We are not included in the decision making process. We throw ass in the air, we don’t tell you to claim it as your own. We are not talking to your, ass. We’re talking to all your asses. Coming to a comedy show is kinda like swimming in the ocean. If your ass gets bit by a shark. You should have seen that coming. You were swimming in the ocean, that’s why they make swimming pools.
Pope Benedict, apologized for Christians’ use of violence throughout history including holy wars, inquisitions and crusades. “We acknowledge it with great shame,” he said. It was hard to take him seriously while wearing that hat.
With an apology on record from the head Shepherd of the Universal Church you’d think everyone could find it in their heart to say, “I’m sorry.” Nope. The rapper Drake was fighting mad with Kevin Campbell. Campbell is the tattoo artist that inked Drake’s name in huge block letters across a female fan’s forehead. “The guy who tatted is a f*cking as*hole though, I will tell you that,” he said. “You should lose your job and should never do tattoos again. And if I ever see you, I’m a f*ck you up.” I’m glad nothing bad happened but this may be the worst tough guy talk of the century. I’m surry (Canadian pronunciation) Aubrey Drake Graham is and far more likely to hashtag rap Kevin Campbell to death. I’m not saying Campbell was right. All I’m saying is when Mike Tyson got his face tattooed, Tyson’s manager probably did the same tough guy talk to that tattoo artist. But- and here’s the important detail – I bet you he didn’t say a word to Tyson. The manger most likely told Mike how handsome he looked. How he always wanted a face tattoo himself. How it was going to get Tyson more movie roles. How if Mel Gibson had a face tattoo the cast of Hangover II wouldn’t have objected to having him in the film. “You’re a convicted rapist. Mel Gibson has no criminal record but they choose you. Why? Face tattoo. You’re a genius, Mike.”
Comedian Tracy Morgan found himself embroiled in controversy for telling a crowd in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium that he’d “pull out a knife and stab his son” if he were gay. Mister Morgan has sincerely apologized for this joke many times. I’m not defending him. I think what he should have said was he’d stab his son if he were straight. Boys sleeping with girls is old news. It’s been done to death. Tracy should have challenged his son to be maverick, a trailer blazer. Follow in the footsteps of the notable gay men that have made the world a better place. What father hasn’t whispered those words of encouragement into their sleeping infant son’s ears? Please raise your hands one at a time. We cannot get an accurate count if all the fathers raise their hands at once. Thank you.
Patrice O’Neal was picked on for having diabetes at the Charlie Sheen roast, then died after a stroke. Let me say that again, Patrice O’Neal was picked on for having diabetes at the Charlie Sheen roast. I guess Charlie was too easy a target. Mister O’Neal will be missed. What an amazing and talented guy.
For those of you keeping score on who apologized and who didn’t, that’s: Pope — 1. Comedians — 1. Drake and Sheen — 0.
Charlie Sheen is too busy winning to apologize. Everyone knows, “When crack cocaine wants to party it snorts an eight ball of Charlie Sheen.” Don’t quote me on that. I read it in the top comments on an exclusive Sheen interview video on YouTube from Mare9555. It had 48 “likes” so that makes it true. Just like everything on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Charlie Sheen was proven sober in that bizarre interview. I’m sorry, if that’s sober I’m dying to see him high. You don’t have to like Sheen or condone drug use. You don’t even have to agree with his life choices. You do have to admit that Sheen did something we all want. He got paid not to go to work. By anyone’s standards, that’s winning.
Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed deep regret. I don’t know why. Maybe it works differently in Austria, maybe they don’t use housekeepers for cleaning. It’s possible. Things are different in different places. There is no Occupy movement in the black community. When you occupy Martin Luther King Boulevard we just call it homeless.
Comedy is taking a beating, but it will survive. My concern is not for the survival of laughter — it is for upcoming generations. Bullies aren’t powerful. They are sad angry cowards. Kindness is not a weakness. It shows character, poise and strength. I worry that the truth is losing the war. I worry that the thought police are doing far more harm than good, despite their noble intentions. These are my fears and maybe I am alone in them.
Maybe I am alone in believing that laughter helps us endure our hardships.
Over the last few years I asked God to grant me two wishes. In 2009 I wanted a black president. So little kids who grew up like me could know being commander-in-chief was possible. I’d like to see a female president too. In 2011 my second wish was for a full NBA season. God gave me half and half. With one wish left I’m saving it. This time I’m not asking God for anything. I’m asking myself. How can I do better?
And if I don’t figure it out, me and Tracy Morgan are gonna get somebody pregnant.
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