It seems like provocative humor is the only thing you can find on TV. Do you think today's comedy and satire entertainment cross too many boundaries?
When we as a society think that being funny is making fun of people, and then making fun of them again, then well we are no longer funny. For example Sarah Palin was made fun of for being a women, for being stupid and for being from Alaska. This was "funny" yet it then continued to border on mean.
When I was younger the most provocative show on TV was 'Married with Children' and it would be considered clean compared to what is on TV now. I watch TV daily, and it never ceases to amaze me that shows like 'Two and a Half Men' will actually say and do on TV when I feel like that is a prime time air spot that families will be watching during or after dinner. These shows no longer have any good role models, all of the main characters are divorced, drunks and just general buffoons, which is sad if that is what this country is made up of now.
TV now is humorous to so many people because it makes fun of everyone. No matter who you are, your beliefs, your race, or your political views there are shows that will make you out to be a bad person or a good person. I think this is a good thing because people will take themselves less serious and will be able to find humor in themselves and others. It is to be hoped that by seeing humor in others and themselves people will be able to be more accepting of others.
Intelligent, worthwhile comedy is hard to come by and it's difficult for the average person to write. Comedians go for the obvious and easy laugh by talking about subjects that really don't need to be canvassed and could be highly offensive to those in the general public. The fact that society is willing to go along with it and laugh says more about how low we've sunk than it does about the comedy itself.
Jokes are becoming more and more vulgar, causing kids to ask questions about and be exposed to sexual subjects much earlier than they are ready. The culture is also getting more and more desensitized to violence, issues of race, gender, religion and age. Racy jokes are becoming more commonplace even on prime-time television, a time when families used to be able to watch television shows together.
Humor is an amazing way to connect to one another and enjoy spending time with people. However, whenever it is taken to the provocative side of humor on television, it has crossed the boundary line. It is okay to a point, but we also have to consider if young children or teens will encounter these types of comedic shows.
If a comic goes too far, he definitely risks a loss of popularity. So, in effect, such things can promulgate responsible self-censoring. There have been many occasions where a comedian went too far and paid the price. So, I believe the whole system, in many ways, regulates itself. Whether the issue is timing, possible racism, or whatever, a comedian takes a huge career risk when he ventures into touchy material.
While I may not find today's comedy funny or entertaining, they have the right under freedom of speech to write however they want and if people do not like the product produced, they do not have to watch it. If the people do not like what they see, they will not watch and then the stations will cancel the shows and steer their programming in another direction. Thus, demand drives the programming.
Today's comedy and satire entertainment do not cross too many boundaries, because of the freedoms we have to express ourselves. We are living in an era when people can say and do whatever they want, because of technology and openness. Entertainment is just mimicking what is common in our current culture.
If people find provocative humor funny, then it's not going to go away. The people are given what they want. The individual has to set their own boundaries and be selective. There is a lot more on TV than provocative comedy. I don't watch today's sitcoms because I don't find them funny. But freedom of speech is there for a reason it will continue. Watch something else, like TVLand!
If people are offended by the humor on television today pushing their buttons, that's only a sign that the humor is doing its job. The whole point is to expose mental tensions and press on them in such a way that those tensions are relieved through laughter. That means the humorists have to cross boundaries. If you offend no one, no one is laughing.
"On-the-edge" comedy and satire have long been Americas' voice, helping to point out wrongs of others and continuously trying to remind the population that we have to be able to laugh at ourselves. Dave Chapell was berated by many for his use of the "N" word is his show. His reply simply stated that by using the word often and in conjunction with humor, he believed it would start to desensitize the word and take away its ability to harm. I believe that it the purpose of most writers and comedians that use edgy comedy and satire.
No, I totally disagree that the today's comedy and satire entertainment cross too many boundaries. It seems like provocative humor is the only thing you can find on TV. In today's world people are so busy and stressed out they can't appreciate what is joy and what is pain, happiness and sadness. But today's comedy and satire entertainment provides a means to laugh and to smile with each other. So, today's entertainment in no way crosses too many boundaries.
I think the provocative humor that's on television today might be considered too risque for some people, but we are all free to change the channel. However, with the more adult kinds of humor shown today, parents have to be more aware of what their kids are watching. The boundary crossing is really more of a sign of how our society is becoming more accepting of peoples' differences, different lifestyles, etc. but as long as it isn't done in a hurtful manner, it's acceptable to me.
Comedy changes with the times, and a good comedian reacts to what their audience will find funny. No comedian routine is ever made to please everyone, they work for the audience in front of them. As long as the TV station has a warning about the potentially offensive content before the show comes on the air there is nothing wrong with what ever it may show. If people do not like what they see they can always change the channel, it is not like they are being forced to watch the material.
I do not think that today's comedy and satirical entertainment is crossing too many boundaries; in fact, I think it is largely rehashing what has already been said and done. Provocative humor is far older than most people realize; just as every old generation complains about the fashion and music of every new generation, so too they complain about humor and television. Look at the famous comedic work of Benny Hill, or even further back to Shakespeare, and you can see that raunchy humor is a very old tradition.