Art, Free Speech, recent

Imperfect Comedy in an Age of Perfection

While on stage recently, I had an interaction with a heckler which ended with him being thrown out of the venue. At comedy clubs, this is not a particularly unusual occurrence. But the heckler wasn’t noticeably drunk, nor had the joke to which he’d taken exception been especially offensive. So this incident stopped me in my tracks and made me think a little bit.

Here’s what happened: I was halfway through a ten minute bit about the #MeToo movement and I was pointing out that some of us are better at managing our creepiness than others. “Matt Lauer,” I went on, “pulled his dick out at work and that cost him a 26 million dollar job. Some people do the same thing on the subway and it only costs them 2.75.” Before I could go any further, a voice in the audience cried out, “Are you saying that’s okay?” “Is that what you heard?” I replied. “It sounds like you’re saying sexual assault on the subway is okay,” he retorted. “You’re validating sexual abuse.” We exchanged a few more unproductive words, he got belligerent, and then security arrived and bounced him out of the door so the show could continue.

Situations like this one are by no means unique to comedy. Spend some time on Twitter, and you’ll discover an environment ideally suited to callout culture. Sifting through the righteous anger, two related and recurring trends become apparent: First, the practice of holding others to an impossible standard of ideological purity and, second, the practice of advertising one’s own moral superiority. Neither of these practices has any basis in reality, because we all have flaws we strive to keep hidden and, no matter how ferociously we denounce our neighbor, we are all only one unguarded remark from a public shaming.

Comedy, on the other hand, is neither pure nor virtuous. In fact, it might actually be the opposite. Comedians frequently take pleasure in mocking their own vices, and we take pride in making others who share them feel less alone. Around 2009, before I even had the courage to admit to myself that I wanted to be a comedian, I remember watching a Bill Burr special in which he asks this question: “You ever drive down the streets, and you see, like, 30 people up on the sidewalk, and you think, VRRRMMM?” (He mimes a hard turn of the wheel, steering his car into the pedestrians.)

The first time I heard that bit, it blew my mind. It wasn’t just funny, it felt like someone had been looking into my head. I would have these awful thoughts all the time and had concluded that I must be a terrible person. I couldn’t share them with anyone and so I felt completely alone. I’m a Haitian who moved to America in 2008, and here’s this Irish white dude from Massachusetts who couldn’t possibly be more different and we’re connecting on a level far more profound than laughter. There’s nothing virtuous about that joke. On the contrary, it’s an admission of a profoundly taboo thought. But suddenly I felt less burdened by those fleeting guilty impulses.

For as long as there has been comedy, there have been heated debates over what is and is not a legitimate topic for humor. It’s a valid question over which reasonable people can disagree. The only problem is that those with the noisiest opinions are often those who know and understand nothing about comedy. And so they worry about jokes “normalizing” or “validating” various reprehensible behaviors and attitudes, and they ask nervous questions like “How far is too far?” What they don’t seem to appreciate is that this kind of thing is generally self-regulating. Usually, if there’s no laugh, it’s too far. Every joke has a single goal: to elicit involuntary laughter. No comedian in his right mind would continue to perform a joke that never gets a laugh. Comedy is a dialogue, and when an audience disapproves, it stops participating.

My heckler need not have worried, for comedy cannot change human nature. Terrible things do not exist in the world because we joke about them; we joke about terrible things because they exist in the world. What you joke about or find funny does not say anything about who you are. (Bill Cosby, I would remind you, was not known for telling rape jokes.)

In an age of performative virtue, people are rewarded with applause and “likes” for telling us how forward thinking, how righteous, and how progressive they are. Comedy, on the other hand, reminds us that we all have a dark side and that we might want to reconsider before casting stones. Each of us is a complex creature capable of entertaining good and bad thoughts. And art has always been the place best suited to exploring the parts of ourselves we must live with, but seldom show.

So if you’re afraid of your flaws and your complexities, and if you’re afraid of your own dark thoughts, then go and see a comedy show. The experience might leave you feeling less weird and less alone.


Tanael Joachim (TJ) is a Haitian standup comedian, writer, and filmmaker based in New York. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @tjstandup


  1. Anonymous says

    “Matt Lauer pulled his dick out at work and that cost him a 26 million dollar job. Some people do the same thing on the subway and it only costs them 2.75.”

    I ride the subway every day. Trust me, none of the people playing with themselves on the subway have paid their fare.

    OTOH, they are still better human beings than Matt Lauer.

    • WH says

      Yeah this doesn’t sound at all trustworthy. If you’re exposing yourself on the subway, chances are that’s closer to the best thing you’re doing in life than the worst. Whereas his offense probably was the worst thing Matt Lauer ever did.

    • Anonymous says

      Really ? How does my post do that ? Maybe read it again ?

    • Scott says

      Coreycroom makes a joke and anonymous gets offended
      Life imitates art

      • Asenath Waite says

        This exchange was sort of surreal.

      • David of Kirkland says

        Indeed, and I’m off now to pull it out on a bus…no subways here… I understand that’s okay, and I’m not going to pay either.

      • Saw file says

        Haha….exactly what I saw.
        The irony…

      • Anonymous says

        I’m not offended. It’s just a stupid attempt at a joke.

    • Vivian Darkbloom says

      There really should be no other comments after this first exchange. Perfect.

  2. Farris says

    I wonder if those who become upset if something a comedian might say are bothered by what is said or the fact that others are laughing? Those who play the self righteous game, seldom have a sense of humor. Those who take themselves too seriously are the most fun to laugh at. I remember watching “The Life of Brian” with some fellow Christians. One remarked, “this is sacrilegious.” I replied, “ No, this is comedy.” Before one can laugh at others, he must be able to laugh at himself. The person who has the power to offend you, has the power to control and direct your thoughts and emotions. The correct response to offensive words is indifference.

    • David of Kirkland says

      Too many people in the audience think they are part of the experience when they should just shut up. Same a concerts where so many think they are having a one-on-one with the performers.

      • Farris says


        Amen brother. (Hope that’s an appropriate gender pronoun lest you be offended).

    • Sparkles And Rainbows says

      A common trait of narcissistic personalities is an inability to laugh at oneself or to have extreme intolerance toward others who do. Everyone has their buttons that, if pushed, might set them off. Some just seem to have way more buttons.

      A common trait among the performatively woke is a highly defensive posture, similar to what one might expect from a stone-thrower living in a glass house.

      • Nakatomi Plaza says

        Sure. And people on the right are so well known for their humor and good nature. Hell, your entire post is just insults towards people you disagree with. And how’s your glass house, you sad hypocrite?

        • curiositas says

          @Nakatomi Plaza

          I’m not sure why you’d be so defensive about Sparkles and Rainbows comment, unless you are self-identifying as a “narcissistic personality” or “performatively woke”, given that those are the only groups the person criticized. Is that how you see yourself?

    • I live in Ireland, where ‘Life of Brian’ was banned (briefly) when it came out. I hear it’s being rereleased in cinemas for its 40th anniversary. In 1979 it was condemned by religious right-wingers. Today it would more likely be targetted by left-wing politically correct puritans. Could such a movie even be made these days?

      • Captainpants says

        The I Want To Be A Woman from LOB scene is so prophetic of 2019 it chills the blood to rewatch it.

      • David Q. Dauthier says

        It couldn’t have been made back then either. They couldn’t get a red cent of funding. In the end, the whole film was bank rolled by the Beetle George Harrison. He was asked why he did it, and he said, “I wanted to see it.”

    • Saw file says

      It’s not just ”that others are laughing”, that pisses them off. It’s also that the the ‘teller’ doesn’t give a f*ck about their opinion.
      The realization that there is SFA that they can do to stop any of it, and then the laughter turns onto them ( due to the whole ridiculous self created situation) enrages the ”woke” types.
      I’m a gregarious and hilarious person on site and I run into it more often now at work. They have zero power to do anything about their hurt ‘feels’.
      I believe in leading the younger workers by example. Ignore their lunacy, while laughing at them.
      F.I. or F.O.

      • Farris says

        @Saw file

        “Sound wisdom Del.”

        Can you name the movie from which that quote originates?
        (Hint) You have to go back to 1972.

        • Saw file says

          I’m a huge movie buff, and I’ve also read the book.
          The deadpan way it was said is classic.
          Btw…the opening chapter in the book is OMG!
          A badger spanks a bear!?

          • Farris says

            My all time favorite movie. “I’ve got the fastest horse, the meanest wife and the ugliest dog this side of hell.”

        • Saw file says

          One of my fav Clint flicks:
          “I’ve noticed when you get to disliking folks they ain’t around long neither” and
          “Buzzards gotta eat too”

          • Farris says

            Can you name this off beat one?

            “If was you, I wouldn’t ask no questions. I’d just haul ass. My friends ain’t nice like me.”

  3. In All Fairness says

    Self-righteous, sanctimonious moral preening and virtue signaling is the primary currency of modern progressivism. It will only get worse as the circular firing squad pushes everyone to the bleeding edge, leaving the last man standing somewhere left of Karl Marx.

    It’s why a long-time Democrat like myself has disavowed the party and now reads Quillette every day. It’s also a large part of why Donald Trump got elected.

    • Sparkles And Rainbows says

      I just won’t let the fringe push me out of Democratic politics. “Progressive activists” are a mere 8% of the electorate, and many of those are idiot brats who talk about social change and politics then don’t vote – as in avoiding the polls in droves.

      Fuck what those idiots think.

      • TarsTarkas says

        Unfortunately for the Democratic Party every one of the thirty-nine (or is forty now!) candidates now running for President are desperately chasing after the votes of that loud screaming sanctimonious 8% of the voters. Once one of them gets the nomination, it will be too late for them to turn back towards the center.

        • Aylwin says

          @TarsTarkas, Andrew Yang is an eminently reasonable candidate, not chasing after activist votes. I’m British, and don’t follow the US election circuses in depth. If you’re a US citizen you might like to take a look (or be less generalising if you’re already familiar with him). Andrew Yang’s headline policy is fascinating, but he’s very policy oriented, and his list of policies seem to me to be eminently reasonable

          • Anonymous says

            You like Yang because he wants to give people free government money ? That hardly distinguishes him from the other ones – he does seem a bit less strident on the identity politics – I’ll give him that.

          • hail to none says

            @ Aylwin: I very much like Yang’s positive, can-do spirit. He’s generally a practical technocrat, and eschews identity politics. But with the Universal Basic Income, one has to ask, gee, what can go wrong? Talk about the potential for unintended consequences, in terms of people’s attachment to work and family, addiction, etc.

  4. markbul says

    Much of this virtue signalling is copycat behavior. Like suicide and shooting up schools or the post office, once it’s out there, the weak-minded feel the need to follow.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Well said, markbul.
      The media makes these things fashionable for a while. Hopefully the zeitgeist will soon change.

  5. peterschaeffer says

    What astounds me is that anyone would dare to take-on a comedian. That is roughly on a par with me proposing to box Muhammad Ali at the peak of his powers. It is not going to end well.

    Some number of years ago, I watched an audience member heckle Yakov Smirnoff. Smirnoff destroyed him.

    Shortly before he died, I saw Sam Kinison on stage. Of course, he was great. I sat in back and stayed quiet.

    • OleK says

      It does happen and they are successful…but likely only at universities (eg Nimesh Patel). And as we know, many comedians refuse to perform and universities anymore.

    • Dan says

      Messing with Sam would not end well for anyone.

    • Asenath Waite says


      If he wants it to be you need to respect that.

  6. Shecky says

    What sort of wanker pays to see a comedy show just to tell the performer they’re doing it wrong?

    It’s like we have now made a virtue not only out of obnoxiously shouting your opinion to a room full of people who didn’t ask for it, but of being a humorless prat in general.

  7. Leo Strauss says

    What a lovely article! Clear, short, and helpful.

    I especially like the account of our attempt to hide ourselves more and more. Our vanity and desire for praises and honors does get really exacerbated with social media, etc, making it possible to gain unprecedented amounts of recognition, not available in ages past.

    The article is so good I’m now heading to youtube to go see if any of the author’s stand-up is available there!

  8. Sparkles And Rainbows says

    Comedians and satirists are low hanging fruit for the professionally and recreationally offended. So much comedy involves social risk-taking that it’s perfectly ripe for offense enthusiasts to use and misuse.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Sparkles and Rainbows

      “recreationally offended”
      “offense enthusiasts”


      • TarsTarkas says

        They are members of good standing of the Party of Perpetual Outrage.

    • Chris says

      I remember when being easily offended was a sign of weakness. Now, some think it’s a show of virtue. Interestingly, it is rarely those personally impacted who are offended but others who are offended on their behalf.

  9. Cedric says

    Loved the article. Great insight from the author.

  10. Shawn T says

    The problem seems to be, lately, that many comedians just aren’t all that funny. Bludgeoning an audience with virtue signaling and moral lectures is in no way funny or entertaining. Ditto for movies. A great example is with the President. I like much of the actual policy (things he’s done), but the guy is a great source for comedy and the best they can come up with is “Fuck Trump.” This is usually followed by some tirade about racism, sexism, ism-ism…blah blah. At the very least be funny. I think comedy should be turning a fun house mirror on the audience. It’s you, but not you.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Yes, the claims of ”racism” and ”sexism” against Trump have become part of a ritualistic formula that long ago lost its meaning. It’s like people who shout ”O my God” during the act of coitus, but have long since stopped believing in God.

  11. Sydney says

    I use standup the way other people use Prozac, so I perked right up at this post. I have no cohesive point to make, but just want to add a few related asides:

    – Bill Burr (who I used to love) jumped on the ‘Trump is racist’ bandwagon. Does he feel compelled to do so because his wife is black and (I assume) left-wing? Over the past couple of years he’s taken on this self-righteous tone and speaks as if he’s the only white man in America who hasn’t joined the KKK. I don’t get it. Disappointing and NOT funny.

    – The guy who is credited for having publicly outed Bill Cosby as a serial rapist was a comedian (Hannibal Buress), which speaks to the power of the comedian in society!

    – I’m a woman and I WANT to love female comics and hear great jokes that speak to my female experience, but most completely disappoint (Schumer, Degeneres, Poehler, Silverman…). The whole Louis CK #metoo take-down was cringeworthy. Tough, badass, wise-cracking women in a nightclub (ie NOT an elementary school) were mortally traumatized by Louis and his polite-but-misbehaving schlong? He ASKED if he could masturbate! Fully grown adults were unable to say, ‘No, you asshole!’ and laugh it off? And where are these women now? Crickets. That’s hardly funny or clever…while Louis is back being funny and clever.

    – And I TRY to watch comics currently. But as another commenter noted, you only need to count down 3-2-1…and the Trump hysterical-angry-joke-jabs begin. Netflix (for an example) only allows either left-lib-SJW comics or neutered comics. Netflix supports NO conservative comics who make the kinds of jokes about the left that the SJWs are allowed to make about Trump or conservatives.

    – Regarding Netflix-approved comedians, Australian comedian Jim Jeffries (popular enough to have been a recent guest on Conan O’Brien) recently set up and hijacked Australian-Israeli conservative activist Avi Yemeni in an interview. And for no evident reason, either. Jeffries actually sliced and diced the video in order to make Yemeni look like a hate-mongering ‘Islamaphobe.’ (Yemeni hid phones that taped the interview in case he was hijacked, which he was.) That’s mainstream comedy at the moment.

    I could go on! It’s getting so’s a girl can’t find standup to watch. Tough times for laughs. The Matt Lauer joke was funny!

    • Asenath Waite says


      Only Norm MacDonald can save us.

      • Sydney says


        …that’s a joke, right…?

        • Asenath Waite says


          I feel sorry for those who don’t find Norm funny.

    • Denny Sinnoh says


      Mucho goodo pointso

    • Cary Cotterman says

      “Netflix supports NO conservative comics who make the kinds of jokes about the left that the SJWs are allowed to make about Trump or conservatives.”

      Check out Amazon Prime. My wife and I just watched a Dennis Miller comedy special there. Miller is smarter than the SJW crowd, and he’s funny.

      • Sydney says

        @Cary Cotterman

        Kind thanks for suggestion! Looking forward.

  12. Stephanie says

    We need some conservative comics. Stephen Crowder can be funny but he’s halfway between pundit and comedian in a way that gets a little tiring. Milo has got only one routine as far as I can tell, and it’s focused on his identity in a way I think we ought to get away from. PewDiePie is definitely anti-SJW, and he’s hilarious, but focused on niche gaming and memes, which has limited appeal outside that community. It seems to me there’s a market to be filled here, particularly with how much material the SJW crowd provide.

    • Laura says

      @Stephanie, try Owen Benjamin for conservative anti SJW standup.

      • Saw file says

        Owen is definitely ‘out there’ edgy funny.
        The comments from the “bears” can be quite hilarious too.

    • Barney Doran says

      But would the SJW crowd allow jokes about SJWs? Probably not, as we all know that for some god forsaken reason they currently control social dialogue. That is the real, but sad, joke.

  13. Ryan says

    I think all of you are putting too much emphasis on virtue signalling. I think there really are sincere beliefs involved here. Obviously I think the heckler was wrong in his interpretation of the joke, but asking for clarification is actually pretty tolerant for a SJW. He could have gone home and just complained on the internet.

    Also, if the premise that rape jokes lead to acceptance of rape is true (I don’t believe they do, but I also believe that rape is extremely taboo), then it make sense to push back.

    The problem with the SJW is not their virtue signalling, but their faulty logic and very flawed worldview.

  14. Andrew Roddy says

    ‘Terrible things do not exist in the world because we joke about them’
    What! Are you having a laugh?
    That statement is only true if it suits us. I can see if I was a comedian it might suit me not to examine the truth of it too closely.
    It’s broadly in line with the thrust of the piece which seems to be ‘If anyone is offended by what I do it’s their problem.’ Comedy is self regulating we are told here. Well all that is fine and plausible. And conveniently self serving. I know there are comedians with more nuanced ethics than these and it doesn’t prevent them being inspired, inspiring and wickedly funny.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Andrew Roddy

      What’s an example of a terrible thing that exists because we joke about it?

    • Sydney says

      @Andrew Roddy

      Please post your list of ‘wickedly funny’ comedians who possess ‘nuanced ethics.’ Honestly: please do.

      Would you have department officials from the Ministry of Comedy Regulation posted nightly at comedy venues to ensure no illicit jokes were being made? And they would be subject to fines and imprisonment for telling jokes not approved by the state? Would comedians submit their acts to the Ministry beforehand and wait for regulatory approval? A bit Orwellian, no?

      Civil human life is messy. Rushdie published satire and was nearly killed for it. French actor-turned-comedian Dieudonné was fined and received some jail time for inciting hate. Louis CK got in trouble for his behaviour and not his jokes, but many were horrified at his high-school shooting joke. Chris Rock, on the other hand, was given a complete pass for wishing that ‘white mothers should go to funerals for their dead white sons.’ Lenny Bruce was jailed in the 1950s for uttering words (in adult nightclubs) that today we hear in rap played in shopping malls.

      Did you think the New York Times cartoon was ‘inspired, inspiring, and wickedly funny’? Or did you agree with NYT’s own writer, Bret Stephens?

      Who causes what? What is humour? Who can critique and satirize, and how? Sure, I’d love it if the world functioned exactly the way I wish…who wouldn’t?

      • Andrew Roddy says

        It’s probably good you got that out of your system. You clearly needed to. It bears little relation to any comment of mine. There is nothing I said that suggested any kind of censorship in comedy. But perhaps my comment seemed somehow the most suitable target for your bullshit and projection. Oh well.

        • Sydney says


          Nothing in your reply but a string of ad hominem attacks. Disappointing. Lots of ego and pride, but no insight or intelligence. Your next reply is for le vide.

  15. E. Olson says

    Have you heard the one about the Muslim cleric who supported homosexual rights?

    How about the one about the Democrat candidate who proposed shutting down ineffective government programs to fund tax cuts?

    Me neither.

    • Sydney says


      Funny (…) you should mention. Please follow Australian-Iranian Imam Mohammad Tawhidi! AND his social media is hilarious!

  16. Kencathedrus says

    I find that most comedy is dead these days. I hate watching comedy on TV. It’s snarky and ranty and it seems nothing is permissible unless it displays ‘progressive’ values or makes fun of Trump. It’s too mired in politics. Political satire can be fun, but not if it has an agenda behind it.

  17. Contrarian says

    Cult-like behavior and antipathy to humor is not restricted to the Woke Left, unfortunately.

    As a teenager I was infatuated for a while with Ayn Rand and her ideas. What turned me off was reading one of her essays in which she posits that humor is OK only if it aligns with correct “principles” and so on.

    It turns out her followers were made fun of, complained to Mommy, and she had to set things straight. Apply objectivist logic to humor – that essay is even more cringe inducing than Atlas Shrugged.

  18. Matt says

    Roddy, you commented on the quote: ‘Terrible things do not exist in the world because we joke about them’ … What! Are you having a laugh? … ”

    Looks like you missed the point of that quote. The full quote goes on to say .. “we joke about terrible things because they exist in the world.”

    You make the point: ” I know there are comedians with more nuanced ethics than these and it doesn’t prevent them being inspired, inspiring and wickedly funny.” That’s subjective at best. Nanette style Ted talks aren’t comedy in my humble opinion … it would be more fun sticking a fork in ones eye.

    If you say you have a problem with the idea that comedy is self regulating, then it begs the question who regulates it? Which is the point of the discussion. We don’t need namby pamby and neurotic ‘woke’ types policing comedy on everyone’s behalf thank you very much – see behavioural agreements’. Lets just accept that as adults we can choose to take it or leave it. There will never be a shortage of idiots who choose to get outraged..

    • Andrew Roddy says

      So you think I missed the point of the quote. You don’t however suggest what the point of the quote might be. I don’t know what the intention of it is but I am suggesting that the effect of it might be to absolve the performer of any harm their material may cause. I hoped the context of the full comment might make that clear.
      I am not sympathetic to people who proactively seek to be offended. And yes, there’s a lot of that about. Another prevailing trend (very evident in these pages) are people who proactively seek to be offended by those who proactively seek to be offended. Is it not tedious?
      I am not calling for any regulation in comedy. I am quite happy for the performer to take responsibility for his/her own material. And that’s the point really. The author doesn’t say if he gives a shit whether or not what he says on stage might cause harm or hurt. ‘Terrible things do not exist in the world because we joke about them’ needs to be examined of itself. The einsatzgruppen overcame their initial human revulsion at the things they were ordered to do in several ways. Rationalizing that they were undertaking important work of social hygiene was one. Getting extremely drunk seemed to help too and always there was the joking. The joking that dehumanized their victim’s so they could laugh together as they worked. The shared comedy reassured them that what they were doing was okay and it became easier and easier until the evil became merely the banal. So in this sense you might say that terrible things can happen precisely because we joke about them. Comedy and a gift for comedy can be used quite deliberately to advance an ethos or share a way of looking at the world. Its safe to say if you don’t make people laugh you’re pretty shit at it. If all you want to do is make people laugh then so be it. I didn’t take issue with that. I just said there are other ways of seeing it and I know there are performers who don’t say as long as people are laughing that’s the end of my responsibility. I don’t think the author takes that view. I made it my business to watch him on tube and I liked his act. I had an impression of a man who wouldn’t wish to cause gratuitous offense. Subjective observation at best, you might say. So sue me.
      My comment only aimed to draw attention to some possible implications of what he actually said.
      The heckler sounded like a bit of a dick and now it occurs to me that I may come over to some as not much different. Oh well.

  19. Man with the Axe says

    “No comedian in his right mind would continue to perform a joke that never gets a laugh.” Are you saying Hannah Gadsby is not in her right mind?

    • Matt says

      I guess I am … but maybe some folks find it funny? I don’t. Each to their own. Her Ilk are petty iconoclasts, exemplified by shaming Barry Humphries, having his name expunged from the Melbourne Comedy festival award. I don’t like their ethics, but they’re free to perform, so why should they force their wokeness on me?

    • Hannah like most of us, is a bit of a mixed bag. I have seen her be very funny, and in other contexts be quite insightful. On her high horse, like anyone else, she’s a bit of a prat.

  20. Nakatomi Plaza says

    Most conservatives’ ideas of comedy is Gallagher and that guy who talks to puppets, so I have no idea where the people here gets the bizarre idea that the left somehow has a problem with comedy. Sure, there are some “woke” people who can’t take a joke, and they suck. But come on, conservatives are about as humorless as could be. Make a Trump joke and watch the right-wing crybabies lose their minds.

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  22. Schill McGuffin says

    While “rape jokes” may not have been a major part of Cosby’s standup act, I’m sure many of his accusers would point to his “Spanish Fly” references (much publicized during his trial) as falling into that category.

    I’d personally put them less in the category of “rape joke” than of “stupid-things-guys-have-done-in-pursuit-of-the-fantasy-of-easy-access-to-sex joke”, but I’m not sure the critics of “rape culture” would recognize that distinction.

  23. rob says

    I would submit that what Matt Lauer did wrong was to ask Hillary uncomfortable questions on national television.

    All his other problems stem from that.

  24. The opposite of virtue signalling is saying nothing. By any consistent definition anyone that gives any opinion on anything is virtue signalling – which is why it’s such a silly concept.

  25. Jezza says

    My one and only rape joke ; Woman runs into a police station screaming “I’ve been graped!”. Police officer says,” Don’t you mean ‘raped?”. She says, ‘No, there was a bunch of them.” And, fyi, the earliest joke to impinge upon my consciousness was, ” Which side of a bear is the furriest?” “The outside!” Ha! I got that one from Beano. I think too much is made of self-restraint. You’ve got to have a sense of humour, don’t you? I mean, if you can’t laugh at someone else’s misfortune, what can you laugh at? OK. That’s it. Time for my nap.

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