Hey, let me wander into this nightmare Daniel Tosh situation uninvited!
- I agree that you can’t really regulate jokes, but my understanding of jokes is that they require construction and editing and thought. “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if she got raped by five guys?” (her version) and “Hey, I bet she got raped by five guys!” (the club owner’s version) don’t strike me as jokes per se. Oh, they are definitely sentences with the word rape in them, and they happened in a comedy club, so if you are applying the broadest possible definition of rape humor, I guess you could say that’s what they are. But don’t you deserve more? It’s like when Vince Vaughn said “Electric cars are gay” in that movie trailer and we had an argument about gay jokes. That wasn’t a gay joke, that was just Vince Vaughn saying the word gay. (And getting paid a billion dollars.) I’m not squeamish about gay jokes, but you better bring it. Otherwise I’ll be offended, but mostly by your laziness. If you’re going to drag your audience through the horror swamp that is rape, at least do them the service of trying to write something halfway clever.
- Better yet, don’t! I see plenty of improv scenes that descend immediately into rape/abortion/AIDS situations, and about 100% of the time the comics walk off stage with smug grins and puffed-out chests, like they’ve just blown some minds, and if you didn’t like it, you just didn’t get it. Comedy, they will explain to you, should challenge the status quo. I agree! But get this: the status quo is fucking dark. It’s not like we’re living in 1977, when a person’s only entertainment options are The Lennon Sisters or your dumpster baby scene. Turn on your television right now- 12:45pm Pacific Time- and you’ll find more rapes and abortions than you can count, before you even make it to HLN. Comedy should challenge the status quo. So let’s challenge casual misogyny and hopelessness. It’s harder! It’s also OUR JOB.
- Ultimately, there is never going to be a satisfying ending to this, because we don’t know exactly what was said. We have her version, we have the club owner’s version, but have you ever heard someone try to tell you their very favorite joke that they’ve heard a million times? Not that I don’t believe her, or that a tape would exonerate the host of Fat People Fall Off Skateboards And Then We Make Fun Of Kirsten Dunst’s Teeth For Some Reason.0, but it’d at least shed some light.