Gilbert Gottfried is the latest comedian to voice an opinion regarding the Daniel Tosh “rape joke” incident over on CNN’s Opinion column. Basically, Gottfried’s long-winded column can be concentrated into one line: If you don’t want to be offended by a joke, don’t go to see an offensive comedian. He then goes on for about 8 more paragraphs to talk about himself and his own problems that have arisen due to controversial jokes. Gottfried basically mimes the general response that’s been given by those with common sense. Honestly, why would you go see Daniel Tosh perform if you get offended easily?
If you’re so pretentious that you haven’t seen Tosh.0 on Comedy Central at least once (a near impossible feat considering they have re-runs playing all the time), do your due diligence and YouTube a video of his stand-up and see if it’s for you. What happened at this comedy club is a direct result of the internet and the recent emphasis on social media.
Twitter/Tumblr/Blogging has created a condition in a lot of 20-somethings where those afflicted think others actually are interested in hearing their opinion. The woman at the Daniel Tosh show was afflicted with such a condition. She thought, “Hey, I’m offended by these rape jokes and someone will want to hear my opinion about it!” So she opens her mouth and gets promptly shut down by Tosh as hecklers have before her dating back to the beginning of live comedy. So what does this woman do when she finds out no one cares about her opinion at the comedy club? She posts the whole interaction to the internet and 24-hour news stations/websites with nothing else better to do pick up the story and a giant overblown “controversy” results from it.
Louis C.K. who is no stranger to making jokes about touchy subjects offered up his support to Tosh via Twitter.
@danieltosh your show makes me laugh every time I watch it.And you have pretty eyes.
— Louis C.K. (@louisck) July 11, 2012
In an interesting twist, Louis C.K.’s first season of his FX show Louie had an episode dedicated to C.K. dealing with a female heckler at one of his stand-up gigs. What was one of his main defense mechanisms to shut the heckler up? Rape jokes.
It is rumored that the above scene on Louie was inspired by an incident where, in the same club, Godfrey was harassed by a heckler over rape jokes he was making. You can view the video here and see for yourself.
This is why this Daniel Tosh incident is so ridiculous. Comedians getting heckled and shutting those hecklers down is nothing new. When you heckle a comedian you begin the dangerous game of “Who Can Be The Biggest Asshole”. It’s dangerous because comedians are professional assholes and you are almost guaranteed to lose.