Welcome to Weekend Up…

Comedy is supposed to subjective but it’s not intended to be hurtful

Comedian Kevin Hart
Comedian Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart, a very funny and brilliant comedian came under fire for jokes he made years ago that in today’s climate were deemed offensive. So he did not host the Academy Awards, a tragedy for lovers of laughter and fans of Hart. Comics have always been controversial, they force us to look at real issues in a humorous way. Nevertheless someone always seems to object, that’s to be expected. What is not to be condoned is someone imposing their views of morality. Humor and or political satire is reality with a twist. Think Lenny Bruce, Red Foxx, Richard Pryor and even Eddie Murphy back in the day- remember his show Raw? If you’re to young to remember, you can still catch it on Netflix.

It’s Saturday Night Live

Michael-Che-SNL-Weekend-Update
When comedy is no longer funny. Michael Che of SNL’s Weekend Update

Now Micheal Che, the co-host of the fake news segment on Saturday Night Live called Weekend Update, is attacked for doing his job. His job, by the way is to entertain us.Help us to escape the mundane, the humdrum of everyday life. Come on now, please get off it. Comedy is subjective but it’s not meant to be hurtful. Every stand up comic’s set is not for everyone but comedy is just poking fun.

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John Howard Griffin Black Like Me
When Whites pretend. John Howard Griffin Black Like Me

In the late 1970’s I read a book titled Black Like Me, (first published in 1961) which is a nonfiction book by white journalist John Howard Griffin recounting his journey in the Deep South of the United States, at a time when African-Americans lived under racial segregation. The thing is that Griffin did so while posing as a black man. You see, he consulted a New Orleans dermatologist for aid in darkening his skin, being treated with a course of drugs, sunlamp treatments, and skin creams. He then shaved his head in order to hide his straight hair. Black Like Me. It was a scholarly book about a white man’s supposed social experiment to get first hand knowledge of how Black people lived on a daily basis in the segregated south of the United States of America. To me that shit in and of itself is hilarious. But from that so-called social experiment came many comedy films about whites pretending to be black. Than there was the film White Chicks, a movie where two black men (brothers Marlon and Shawn Wayans) pretended to be white females. Comedy, making us laugh by looking at our idiosyncrasies.

Wayans_Brothers-as-White-Chicks
White Chicks

As a heterosexual male thinking about a man chopping off his penis to live as a woman in addition to making me cringe, that shit hurts! Is funny. I can see the comedy in it.  But the joke was not to belittle any trans person. It was just a joke. Think about this, I find it funny that Al Pacino (one of my favorite actors) gets away with playing a Cuban in Scare face, and a Puerto Rican in Carlito’s way. He does so with a convoluted accent, one the White people find acceptable, I guess that’s how Cuban’s and Puerto Rican’s sound to them, to us it’s funny.  I am not offended, it’s a job and Pacino does it well.

Al Pacino as Tony Montana Carlos Brigante
Al Pacino plays Cuban Tony Montana and Puerto Rican Carlos Brigante

How about the movie “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” in which three straight men (Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo) play flaming drag queens. Just about everyone that saw that movie loved it. It was funny, campy and cheesy. It was done in fun and to entertain.

To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar
Patrick Swayze, John Lequizamo and Wesley Snipes in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar

When have we gotten so politically correct that not even comedy is safe. Laughter is the greatest medicine of all. Why are people hurt about the truth. You can call it deadnaming if you want but the truth is that there was a male Olympian named Bruce Jenner. Just because he chopped it off and wants to now be called Caitlyn does not erase sports history about Bruce Jenner. As for Kanye West, he is a millionaire public figure I think he just laughs all the way to the bank. I think you all need to loosen up there are so many other issues that could use your focus.

Kanye West Laughing All The Way To The Bank
Kanye West Laughing All The Way To The Bank