People in comedy have been complaining about ‘sensitivity’ for a while. First comedians began to stay away from college campuses, but then those students graduated, got jobs and shut down everything else.
There’s been plenty of muted complaints like this, but this one is interesting because of what it zeroes in on.
Jennifer Aniston has been starring in comedies for nearly 30 years, from the launch of NBC’s “Friends” in 1994 to the upcoming release of her latest Netflix movie “Murder Mystery 2,” which means she’s had a front row seat to watching comedy tastes change over three decades. Aniston recently told AFP (via Yahoo News) that “comedy has evolved” so much that it’s a bit tricky these days to be funny.
“Now it’s a little tricky because you have to be very careful, which makes it really hard for comedians, because the beauty of comedy is that we make fun of ourselves, make fun of life,” Aniston said. “[In the past] you could joke about a bigot and have a laugh — that was hysterical. And it was about educating people on how ridiculous people were. And now we’re not allowed to do that.”
“There’s a whole generation of people, kids, who are now going back to episodes of ‘Friends’ and find them offensive,” Aniston added. “There were things that were never intentional and others… well, we should have thought it through — but I don’t think there was a sensitivity like there is now.”
Aniston concluded: “Everybody needs funny! The world needs humor! We can’t take ourselves too seriously. Especially in the United States. Everyone is far too divided.”
50/50 odds that this will be followed by a publicist-written apology and promises to “do better” depending on whether the social media lynch mob has any better targets this week after feeding off the blood of Guy Pearce who had to apologize for asking why transgender actors can play normal people but not vice versa.
The interesting thing in Aniston’s otherwise generic observations is comedy’s bigot loophole. You could make politically incorrect jokes as long as you had an Archie Bunker-style character making them who you were meant to disapprove of, but whom audiences secretly liked. Over time the condemnations because shriller but the basic comedy mechanism stayed the same. Now there’s not much in the way of comedy left.
Comedy was replaced by cringe and sensitivity has gone far beyond mere political correctness to entirely eliminate entire topics from even being joked about no matter how much they weigh the scales.
There will be no more Archie Bunkers. Or, for that matter, Friends until there’s a multiracial reboot.
Algorithmic Analyst says
The stereotypes in movies of that period were a big part of what made them enjoyable to the audiences.
The Left doesn’t do “enjoyable.” Its members want, even need, everyone to be as miserable as they are.
Might a reboot of “Friends” be called “Frenemies”?
Kynarion Hellenis says
Edith was a perfect foil for Archie Bunker. He became more than a reprehensible bigot when she brought out the good parts of him. Without Edith, it would have been impossible for Archie to change. Not that the Ediths in our lives are always effective for our change to the better, but we certainly become hardened without challenge.
The problem with stereotypes is they are true!
To the left the only thing funny is saying mean, snotty, reprehensible things about conservatives. None of it is funny but somehow lefties will laugh. Might give some indication about how twisted and convoluted the leftist thought processes are.
Kosh's Shadow says
Most of the characters in All In The Family were bigots – Mike and Gloria were like today’s leftists and looked at Blacks as the victims of race.
I note how Lionel Jeffries (Mr. Jeffries’s son, studying to be an engineer) played with them because he knew what they were.
Ricky Gervais has 2 fairly new stand up specials on. I watched one of them at my daughters with her and the other i looked for at home. I have truly not laughed as much as i did at his jokes than i have in a long time. He was truly funny and the one special i am sure triggered many on the left. I do not know much about the guy but i am pretty sure that he is a left leaning type, But these 2 shows are like finding diamonds in a coal mine compared to what they try and pass off as comedy.