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 Post subject: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:46 am 
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Are there limits to humor? Are there topics that should not be joked about? Is it true that, since humor has historically come from the darkest places, everything should be fair game to joke about regardless of offending or possibly hurting others?

The Daniel Tosh debacle from last week got me thinking about this. Of course Tosh is a douche with zero finesse or craft, and what he did could hardly be considered a 'joke' (felt more like a hateful threat), but this whole thing spawned another debate about where comedians should draw the line. Some pretty indignant folks were saying rape jokes should be off the table altogether. I'd point out that I've heard funny rape jokes, and usually they were funny rather than simply crass because they didn't make the victims the butt of the joke. Are rape jokes inherently bad because they're based on something absolutely horrible that demeans and dehumanizes its victims? Or can a rape joke be funny? How about racist jokes? Dead baby jokes? Pedophilia jokes? Is it execution, rather than content?

Is just about everything fair play? Where do we draw the line?

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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:09 am 
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theplatypus wrote:
Are there topics that should not be joked about?

Nah.

That doesn't mean all jokes are funny of course, but I think the potential exists to make pretty much anything funny on some level.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:22 am 
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Anything can be funny to the right audience.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:28 am 
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theplatypus wrote:
Is it execution, rather than content?


Most of the time, I think it's this. Unfortunately it just seems to be one of those things where you can't always see the line but you definitely know when it's been crossed. Personally, while I'm no fan of obsessive political correctness, I almost always find those kinds of jokes to be less funny than they're worth--they're just too easy, too predictable, which is pretty much an instant killer where comedy is concerned. Though as a teenager I always hated the idea that I might someday evolve into this person, it does impress me when a comedian can be genuinely hilarious without resorting to any of that shock value shtick. If nothing else, I'm just bored by it at this point.

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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:12 am 
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Here is Gilbert Gottfried on the subject. And I think he is fairly spot on- even acknowledging Kevin Davis' point about the jokes not being very good. Now the Tosh stuff was (as is most of his stuff) terribly unfunny, but that was brought on by an audience member bitching about rape content.


http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/16/opinion/g ... index.html



The other element of it that bothers me is the fake outrage people display to words. The Norway shooting thread was a perfect example of it. Everyone copes differently with things, and why is over dramatic crying okay, but a throwaway joke about something not okay?


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:50 am 
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i have nothing to add to this thread but my agreement.

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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Spoiler: show
Image

Spoiler: show
Image



Spoiler: show
I laughed at both, especially the first one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:56 pm 
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I did too, Skitch.

I guess the real test is this


http://bennyhillifier.com/

is there anything that won't become funny once it is bennyhillified?

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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:11 pm 
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stip wrote:
I did too, Skitch.

I guess the real test is this


http://bennyhillifier.com/

is there anything that won't become funny once it is bennyhillified?



Doesn't get any better

Spoiler: Show


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:54 pm 
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I never thought making light of people dying was funny. In fact it kind of pisses me off. The first one I ever heard was after the Challenger blew up...people were saying they found so and so's head n' shoulders. I don't remember the details, but I remember wanting to punch the asshole who told the joke. The one skitch posted is not funny at all to me. I never will understand why some must make humor out of stuff like that. It's just disrespectful to those who died. If y'all find it funny, that's your opinion, I don't find it funny in the least.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Skitch Patterson wrote:
Anything can be funny to the right audience.

oh, what other boards do you post on?


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Spike wrote:
Skitch Patterson wrote:
Anything can be funny to the right audience.

oh, what other boards do you post on?



7/10


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:03 pm 
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darth_vedder wrote:
I never thought making light of people dying was funny. In fact it kind of pisses me off. The first one I ever heard was after the Challenger blew up...people were saying they found so and so's head n' shoulders. I don't remember the details, but I remember wanting to punch the asshole who told the joke. The one skitch posted is not funny at all to me. I never will understand why some must make humor out of stuff like that. It's just disrespectful to those who died. If y'all find it funny, that's your opinion, I don't find it funny in the least.



And no one is telling you that you have to find it funny...

and that's the difference. If my coping mechanism is laughter, it's somehow offensive to others. You tell me that I am being disrespectful and judging me because of my reaction. You are trying to force your values, your way of coping with things on to me.

I'm not telling you that you have to laugh, but you're telling me I shouldn't be.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Skitch Patterson wrote:
darth_vedder wrote:
I never thought making light of people dying was funny. In fact it kind of pisses me off. The first one I ever heard was after the Challenger blew up...people were saying they found so and so's head n' shoulders. I don't remember the details, but I remember wanting to punch the asshole who told the joke. The one skitch posted is not funny at all to me. I never will understand why some must make humor out of stuff like that. It's just disrespectful to those who died. If y'all find it funny, that's your opinion, I don't find it funny in the least.



And no one is telling you that you have to find it funny...

and that's the difference. If my coping mechanism is laughter, it's somehow offensive to others. You tell me that I am being disrespectful and judging me because of my reaction. You are trying to force your values, your way of coping with things on to me.

I'm not telling you that you have to laugh, but you're telling me I shouldn't be.
I'm with Stitch here. When my sister was dying we used a shit load of dark humour to find reasons to laugh rather than cry. I'm sure it turned off some people when she was in the hospice that there was laughter coming out of her room. But I wasn't exactly thrilled with the weeping and moaning coming out of some rooms and spilling out into the hallways. In general, it seems that the people who find solace in laughter are far more respectful to those who don't than vice versa.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:09 pm 
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darth_vedder wrote:
I never thought making light of people dying was funny. In fact it kind of pisses me off. The first one I ever heard was after the Challenger blew up...people were saying they found so and so's head n' shoulders. I don't remember the details, but I remember wanting to punch the asshole who told the joke. The one skitch posted is not funny at all to me. I never will understand why some must make humor out of stuff like that. It's just disrespectful to those who died. If y'all find it funny, that's your opinion, I don't find it funny in the least.


Humor is just the way some of us deal with crap situations. A couple years ago, I had a shirt with a bp logo that said, "We're bringing oil to American shores." The shirt was clearly mocking bp, and some people thought it was funny, but some simply saw it as making light of a terrible situation.

I tend to think if people lighten up a little, we'd all be happier. People don't make jokes about terrible things because they think those things are OK or unimportant.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should tell a rape joke in mixed company.

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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:16 pm 
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a lot of this is balancing. telling an inappropriate joke may make you feel better, but if you're with a group of people who it will make feel worse you should probably just think it to yourself and then go laugh in a bathroom stall

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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:19 pm 
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Skitch Patterson wrote:
darth_vedder wrote:
I never thought making light of people dying was funny. In fact it kind of pisses me off. The first one I ever heard was after the Challenger blew up...people were saying they found so and so's head n' shoulders. I don't remember the details, but I remember wanting to punch the asshole who told the joke. The one skitch posted is not funny at all to me. I never will understand why some must make humor out of stuff like that. It's just disrespectful to those who died. If y'all find it funny, that's your opinion, I don't find it funny in the least.



And no one is telling you that you have to find it funny...

and that's the difference. If my coping mechanism is laughter, it's somehow offensive to others. You tell me that I am being disrespectful and judging me because of my reaction. You are trying to force your values, your way of coping with things on to me.

I'm not telling you that you have to laugh, but you're telling me I shouldn't be.


Hey man, I'm not judging you. I just think that it is in poor taste (the thing you posted). That's my opinion, nothing more. I've never understood why people choose to make jokes out of people dying, but that's just me. It's never been my bag, and never will be.

And for the record, I'm fine with pretty much all offensive, tasteless, raunchy, potty, political humor. I just don't like making jokes when innocent people were killed for going to a movie.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:23 pm 
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darth_vedder wrote:
Hey man, I'm not judging you. I just think that it is in poor taste (the thing you posted). That's my opinion, nothing more. I've never understood why people choose to make jokes out of people dying, but that's just me. It's never been my bag, and never will be.

And for the record, I'm fine with pretty much all offensive, tasteless, raunchy, potty, political humor. I just don't like making jokes when innocent people were killed for going to a movie.



That's fine you don't like making them yourself.. but it shouldn't bother you that other people deal with it differently.


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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Skitch Patterson wrote:
stip wrote:
I did too, Skitch.

I guess the real test is this


http://bennyhillifier.com/

is there anything that won't become funny once it is bennyhillified?



Doesn't get any better

Spoiler: Show

AL

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 Post subject: Re: The Limits of Humor
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:55 pm 
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Skitch Patterson wrote:
darth_vedder wrote:
Hey man, I'm not judging you. I just think that it is in poor taste (the thing you posted). That's my opinion, nothing more. I've never understood why people choose to make jokes out of people dying, but that's just me. It's never been my bag, and never will be.

And for the record, I'm fine with pretty much all offensive, tasteless, raunchy, potty, political humor. I just don't like making jokes when innocent people were killed for going to a movie.



That's fine you don't like making them yourself.. but it shouldn't bother you that other people deal with it differently.


I guess, but it does bother me. Why is it, after any type of disaster (tsunami, hurricane, bomb explosions, air plane crashes, whatever) do the jokes start rolling out? I find it mean spirited.

I love humor, and based on your post over the years, it looks like me and you actually have similar taste (tv shows, movies, music, etc...), I just don't get this particular type of humor. Someone goes to a movie, gets their head blown off, and it's funny?


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