Some would say that when it came to work, stand-up comedians didn’t have it hard at all. I disagree with that sentiment. Comedians have one of the most mentally difficult jobs there is. They are put on stage in front of countless people and made to do one thing: make the audience laugh. But a lot of great legends like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce would use the opportunity to not only make people laugh, but dive into deeper and darker depths of human culture, frequently offending many of their fans.
Comic Jeffery Ross once said, “Do you want me to apologize after every joke? If it doesn’t offend somebody it’s probably not a joke. It’s probably an observation that’s not funny. It’s gotta offend somebody somewhere.”
This list is for some of the more controversial comments and jokes made by comedians that have struck media and audiences as inappropriate. Comedians surely have to wonder, what is crossing the line? And sometimes they need to take an even bigger step and thoroughly cross that line just to get a reaction. Read these five jokes below and decide for yourself just how offensive they truly are.
5. Tracy Morgan During a performance in Nashville, Tennessee, Morgan created a huge stir with the media and LGBT community. What could have people so riled up? For one, mentioning that if your child was a homosexual you’d kill them. That not only bothers the LGBT community, but also social workers and parents alike. Unfortunately there is no transcript of Morgan’s comments, but you can read more about his homophobic rant here. Of course, comedians are never meant to be taken seriously. In fact, in a way, they are the modern day jesters of society. Needless to say, Morgan definitely learned his lesson from all the backlash (he later issued an apology).
4. Ricky Gervais When it comes to being ballsy, I’ve gotta hand it to Gervais. Lets just go back to the Golden Globes of 2011 which Gervais hosted. He must have jabbed at everyone who was in a movie that year at the awards ceremony, voicing negative comments left and right which were deemed inappropriate for the event. One joke made warlock Charlie Sheen the victim. ”It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking — or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast,” Gervais joked at the start of the show. “Wow, so let’s get this straight, so what he did was, he picked up a porn star, paid her to have dinner with him, introduced her to his ex-wife — as you do — went to a hotel, got drunk, got naked, trashed the place while she was locked in a cupboard, and that was a Monday. What does he do New Year’s Eve?”Again, this was only the beginning of the show. The president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association said it was, “totally unacceptable.” Of course, it didn’t stop them from bringing him back next year to host. Funny the way things work out.
3. Gilbert Gottfried After the Tsunami in Japan early last year, Gottfried decided to tweet some offhanded jokes about the earthquake. One tweet said, “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” Normally respected for his bold remarks on certain sticky situations, let’s just say Gottfried did not get a pat on the back. In fact, Gottfried was fired from Aflac, the company whom he trademarked their talking duck. Some things are better left unsaid. But all this coming from a man who voiced a loud-mouth parrot? I don’t think it’s possible.
2. Russell Brand It’s as though Russell has his own “brand” of comedy when he speaks to an audience. Having already been through an incredibly rough life with drugs, sex addiction and alcohol, Brand doesn’t seem to fear the consequences of what he may say or do. Offending people just comes naturally, I suppose. And the offense that made this list is his opinion on Paralympic Athletes. At a show two days before the International Paralympic Day in Trafalgar Square, Brand said it was a “waste of taxpayers’ money.” He then added, “At least the Paralympics have some kind of novelty value or something.” If there was ever a time to put your foot in your mouth…
1.Sarah Silverman From religion to racial slurs, Silverman has a knack for being politically incorrect, and entirely genius all at the same time. During an interview in 2001 on NBC’s Late Night With Conan O’ Brien she used the ethnic slur “chink” while discussing her friends technique of how to get out of jury duty by writing on a form ”something inappropriate, like ‘I hate chinks.’” She continued expressing that she didn’t want to be racist so, “I wrote ‘I love chinks’ – and who doesn’t?” Silverman later remarked that the comment was meant to satirize the racist thought process.
After reading this list of top five, are there any controversial comments that you would have chosen in place of ours? Share below!
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About the Author: I have a Bachelor's of Arts in English/Creative Writing and minor in Dance with the aspirations to become a young adult fiction writer! Of course, in my spare time I freakishly love cleaning, taking photographs, watching a good movie, dancing like a baboon and having a mad crush on Andy Samberg. I believe comedy is vital and am excited to be a part of AmericasComedy.Com!