Tuesday 16 July 2019

Ian O'Doherty: 'The new year has only just begun and the war on comedy continues'

Louis C.K.
Louis C.K.
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Last year ended in a ridiculous controversy over 'problematic' songs and the new year has begun with a ridiculous controversy over 'problematic' jokes.

Yup, it looks like 2019 is going to be just as whiny, feeble-minded, thin-skinned and censorious as 2018.

In this latest case, Louis CK is being absolutely slammed by pundits, critics and, incredibly, fellow comedians for the crime of telling jokes while being officially an 'unperson'.

The comedian, of course, was exiled from the entertainment industry when news emerged of his now infamously disgusting way of relaxing in front of female comedians.

Feeling that he has done his time, he returned to the stand-up circuit recently. As is his wont, he made a series of obsidian-dark jokes about school shootings, the current fashion for gender neutral pronouns and a variety of other topics that too many other comedians are now afraid to talk about.

Whether people thought it funny or not is irrelevant.

I listened to the leaked audio and like a lot of CK's material, some was good and some was surprisingly weak. That's the nature of stand-up comedy.

But his mere presence on a stage was enough to have the loudest liberals in the room frothing at the mouth.

Actress Ellen Barkin showed her humanitarian credentials by saying "I hope Louis CK gets raped and shot", which was lovely.

The spectacularly smug and self-regarding Judd Apatow promptly sermonised that: "It's much easier to laugh at our most vulnerable than to look at their pain directly and show them love and concern."

Since when did comedians become priests or missionaries?

It's not their job to show "love and concern" - it's their job to make you laugh. If you don't laugh? Find a different comedian.

Of course, thousands of people then checked out the audio in the hopes of being offended and therefore sanctified in the warm waters of shared outrage. They weren't disappointed.

Anyone who loves comedy will also have a bunch of comedians they hate.

The only time I ever walked out of a show was when the putrid Roy Chubby Brown bored me to tears. But there have been dozens of performers I wish I had never seen.

Not liking a comedian gives you only the right to not like them - it doesn't give you the right to call for them to be banned and their career ruined.

For all his flaws, give me Louis CK over that sanctimonious, snivelling 'woke bro' Apatow any day of the week.

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