Comedy-Writing and Political Correctness

I thought that the chapter on monologue jokes was particularly interesting because I wasn’t aware of all that went into joke-writing. One thing that this chapter mentioned was that most late night shows use topical comedy because it helps keep the host relatable and it makes it easier to keep comedy funny. I hadn’t really ever considered this, but it really does seem true because whenever you watch a late night show, they do seem to be talking and joking about current events. Another thing I found interesting was that each Jay Leno writer came up with twenty to fifty jokes every day. That seems like it would be difficult!

With the chapter about the comedy-centered screenplay, I liked that the author pointed out that there is a similarity between comedy and tragedy in origin and social function. For example, many movies or TV shows include comedy mixed in with emotional moments that would be inappropriate to laugh at. I thought this was interesting because there does seem to be some kind of odd relationship that works between comedy and tragedy. This chapter also mentions the fact that “comedy is one of the most important ways a culture talks to itself”. Specifically, people use comedy to express what is worrying or bothering them at the moment. This made me think of how comedians today are using comedy to express their feelings about the current political climate. Do you think comedy is a good way for society to express its feelings?

Lastly, I really liked the article that discussed political correctness and how it relates to comedy. Many people get angry that people are offended at certain things that comedians say. The article argues that discussing comedy/jokes speaks to greater issues in society and that it doesn’t shut down comedy. I agree with this opinion. As one of the previous readings for this week said, most comedians draw the line at making fun of things that are uncontrollable to people. So to call out comedians who go too far with jokes about race, sexuality, or other uncontrollable traits, isn’t such a bad thing in my opinion. What do you think about political correctness in the world of comedy?

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