Is Comedy Too Offensive?



Comedian, actor, writer, and producer Dave Chappelle.

Peyton Robinette, Staff Writer

In current times, comedy is met with an endless number of complaints from enraged buzz-kills. The intent of satirical comedy is to enlarge the faults in people to make them aware of their foolishness. It is used entirely for entertainment, yet people seemingly can’t take a joke nowadays. Why? Many popular comedians receive backlash for covering subjects that are said to be “too offensive” for jokes.  

Dave Chappelle, a comedian, actor, writer, and producer best known for his risky and edgy comedy, received backlash after the release of his Netflix stand-up special Sticks & Stones (2019). In it, Chappelle pushes the boundary with many jokes and discusses cancel culture saying comedians need to be “extra careful about offending anybody.” Although it can be argued that many of his comedic attempts seem lazy and uninspired compared to his previous set standards, he shouldn’t be subjected to a witch hunt.  

I believe there shouldn’t be a limit on what material people can and can’t joke about. Comedy is a creature of many habits, whether it be considered offensive or harmless, comedy is subjective. In the words of the UK scriptwriter, Phil Barron, “Different people find different things funny because they’re different. It’s really not that complicated.”