You may be confused by the question. As far as you’re aware, you’re still laughing at comedy therefore you know how it works.
I love comedy. It’s great. Someone says or does summat and I LOL—or half smile—it really depends on the joke or situation. I have an over-developed sense of humour but I appreciate people are different. There are those that like their chuckles in moderation and a minority that have no funny bone at all. And different styles of comedy can fly right over the heads of certain folks. What a unique and wonderous species we are!
Comedy might soon have to stop being funny though.
The funny bit of comedy does seem to ruffle the feathers of a very vocal group. For example, you might have seen this from the Domino’s Pizza Twitter account:
You might believe this joke was in poor taste and I will defend your right to feel that way but I gotta tell ya, I thought it was hilarious.
Does that make me a terrible person? Probably. (We already know I’m a terrible person.)
In all honesty, I’m not too fussed about what strangers on the internet think of me. I can’t control any of that stuff and that’s part of being an adult: you accept that some negativity might come your way and you learn to cope. In modern-day life, people mistake gentle piss-taking for hate speech. According to a handful of keyboard warriors, laughing at this kind of content makes you cruel. If you did laugh (and I know some of you scamps did) you’re also a bully.
Yes, a bully.
You’re the worst kind of person in society. When you see yet another person who has done something patently ridiculous to their face, you’re not to laugh—you thoughtless, hateful cretin.
Should businesses use their social media for LOLs?
That depends on lots of things—too many for me to be arsed to add them here. I personally think they should do what the fuck they want. Will they alienate some of their audience? Obviously but that’s brand polarisation for you. If you think these companies are trying too hard to be the cool kid it might be because you don’t like or get the jokes—if you did, you’d be applauding their efforts.
Brands using their accounts in this way is not really the issue. As far as I can tell, the thing that’s upsetting some is people like me, laughing at someone’s appearance. They don’t think we should laugh at anyone’s face, regardless if they’ve buggered it up by choice.
Comedy doesn’t care about your feelings.
Some forms of comedy are there to trigger you.
They make you gasp whilst you unsuccessfully stifle a laugh. The thing with comedy is someone or something is the target of the joke. So folks who wouldn’t dream of laughing at Simon’s mug are probably laughing at something different. And those LOLs are almost certainly at the expense of someone else.
When people get self-righteous, they need to make damn sure they’re not doing the thing they claim to despise.
We’re not all going to enjoy the same jokes.
Anyone is entitled to feel upset and voice that upset. But it would be hypocritical to then enjoy other comedy that pokes fun. Some argued that Cowell’s appearance could be down to a stroke. So we shouldn’t laugh because he can’t help it. My automatic reaction would still be to titter—yes, I am the very devil. If I had a stroke (and lived to tell the tale) I would be laughing (as best I could) at my own face. And I would encourage my nearest and dearest to laugh because that’s how I’d get through the fucking awful reality of a cerebrovascular accident.
We’re nearly always laughing at someone.
Remember when we couldn’t stop having a good old chortle at BoJo—for being the worst fucking PM in UK history—among many other things? The relentless memes and the grotesque satirical cartoons. Newspaper editors signing off yet another brilliant put-down headline.
Ah, but we’re laughing at his character—not his face. Poking fun at the PM’s lack of moral compass is ok because that kind of humour punches up? Gotcha, my apologies, let’s halt the #BeKind slogan in this instance. We want Boris to feel like shit because he deserves to.
And yes. I think he does deserve to. I don’t object to any mud-slinging that comes the former PM’s way. Our leaders should be held accountable. They should be open to intense scrutiny. In reality, none of it makes any difference, there’s still a lot of twats that support individuals like Boris, aside from the fact he has no conscience to speak of. And as such, I doubt any criticism has much impact on him. Integrity is not his middle name (I think it is actually Boris) so I can’t imagine he’s all that fussed. I have no problem laughing at the incompetence of self-serving politicians.
But I will also struggle to stop sniggering at Simon’s face.
Simon Cowell has made millions being a bastard.
If you’ve ever managed to cringe your way through the first round of X Factor auditions, you’ll know what I mean.
The reason talentless wannabes get air time is so we laugh at them. It’s the modern-day equivalent of throwing Christians to the lions. Those poor sods are never getting through to the next round but they make great TV. It doesn’t matter that these folks are deluded—that they lack self-awareness—and maybe even have mental health issues—or learning difficulties—so what, Simon doesn’t care—just look at the ratings!
He drops lines like “You’re not good at anything” and “You look like one of those creatures that live in the jungle”—his entire celebrity persona is him being a cunt. He has made it his life’s work to continually punch down.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right, Sarah.”
Who cares about that? I don’t. Any sympathy people have for Simon, in this context, is misplaced. Being a wanker to sometimes vulnerable people is in my view, the very worst of humanity. Young impressionables look up to him—the high-waisted jeans-wearing dream weaver and hope he’ll make them a star. Simon’s schtick is being the mean judge. Like a pantomime villain, he expects people to boo him. He’s very shrewd. I reckon he’s also incredibly resilient. You don’t get to where he’s got without taking some friendly (and unfriendly) fire.
Cowell is in no position to play the part of the one-armed waiter: he can dish it out but he can’t take it.
He doesn’t care that anyone is getting hurt on his behalf. He’s in the public eye so I suspect he’s grown quite a thick skin. (And if he hasn’t, he can always ask his surgeon to grow him one.)
I don’t laugh at jokes I don’t find funny.
I just scroll on. I don’t need to tell the world that I’m a wonderful person (because I’m not, I’m flawed and despicable at times). Publically demonstrating your virtue is very much a thing on the socials—and over the most trivial of things. How folks who think all teasing is malicious negotiate life is anyone’s guess. It certainly must make for a very knackering and painful existence.
This kind of debate always comes down to this. What should be considered ok to laugh at? Should we have state-sanctioned comedy? The truth is, we are never going to agree with what is funny. Some jokes are offensive. The good news is we’re not children. We can watch and read what we want. As adults, we make our own choices—and if we’re really advanced, we can accept the consequences of our actions.
They took a gamble with the joke. Some people loved it and some people didn’t. It will be tomorrow’s digital chip paper. They’ll be a fresh new Twitter shitstorm to get apoplectic with outrage about.
2 thoughts on “Have we forgotten how comedy works?”
Wonderful insights, so much criticism is merely about attracting attention to the critic, rather than shedding light on the subject matter.
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Yes, that’s an excellent point, Jeff.