Sunday, May 26, 2013

Late to the running, as usual, my thoughts on the Daniel Tosh incident

So, sometime this past winter, Daniel Tosh got in trouble with the feminists.

Here's what happened:

1. Daniel Tosh asks the audience for a topic to joke about.
2. Someone in the audience suggests rape multiple times.
3. D.T. says that he won't make a joke about rape and asks for a different topic.
4. Woman in the audience gets mad at D.T. because rape was suggested as a topic.
5. D.T. deals with the heckler in the normal fashion by which hecklers are dealt, joking about them using the current topic in an offensive manner. (Yes, I have watched enough stand-up comedians do live performances to be able to say definitively that this is what always happens. Comedian is joking about something to do with mothers, audience member says he shouldn't joke about his mother because he should respect her, so comedian throws out a "your mom's so fat" joke. Just one of the many examples of this that I've seen.) He decides to go with "wouldn't it be funny if 5 guys decided to rape her right now?"
6. D.T. gets in trouble for "saying she should be raped."

Here's my problems with the situation.

1. The woman got mad at something an AUDIENCE member said, and decided to blame the comedian for it. Like the comedian is somehow responsible for everything that the audience does.

2. Instead of waiting until after the show to complain about it, she interrupts the show to complain.

3. D.T's statement did not say that she should get raped. He was just pointing out that it would be one of those not-ironic-but-funny-cause-it-figures situations if she did get raped after that.

4. The point of humor is to relieve pain. It's simple. All the best jokes are either painful to hear, or they involve someone getting hurt. We laugh as a way to deal with something unpleasant. That's why many people laugh when they're nervous. It's not fun, they don't like it, they're dealing with the fact that they have to experience something they don't like. Getting offended at someone finding humor in a bad situation is like getting offended at someone for blushing when their pants fall down.

And there's the crux of it. That's *WHY* the way for a comedian to deal with a heckler is to make a rude joke about the heckler using the current topic. The heckler is almost always complaining about the current topic. Thus, the comedian can release their frustration about the heckler in the most effective non-violent way- turning it in to humor.

Americans seem to like to forget that the person in the spotlight is only human. Maybe it's jealousy that the person has achieved something. Maybe it's their way of dealing with their own insecurities about their own abilities. I don't know. What I do know is that when you see someone mess up, remember that they are human, and find a way to laugh with them about their mistake. And for pete's sake, stop blaming performers for what their audience does!