Friday, April 11, 2008

It's just a joke.

I write jokes on a pretty much daily basis. I wrote one recently and posted it on this blog. It had to do with the time change, so it is one of those jokes a comic can perform for about half a week a year. I actually tried to send it into jay leno, but was unable to sort out the online submission process (I think it actually involves faxing, if anyone knows for sure let me know). So I put it up here just to show I wrote it in the moment.

Of the 4 people who read this blog, one is my sister, who sent me the following email:


[copy of last blog post]"

Part of me wanted to tell her to shove it, that she has no right to judge me, and dammit, that joke is funny. But part of me realized I needed to write about a bigger issue. Please, read on:

The fact that someone in my family may not always know what to do with my comedy is something to which I have devoted a lot of thought. Ultimately I need my family, and the rest of the world, to understand: It is not about them. It is not about me. It is about comedy.

George Carlin said this: "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out were the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."

As I move forward in comedy, lines will be crossed and I won't always do it perfectly. There may be some unintended and/or ultimately unfortunate things said, some inadvertent double meanings, and some things I am all but certain I will regret. I am still accepting this, and I hope everyone else can too. My goals in comedy (among other things) are to be insightful, fun, innovative, true, and of course, funny. I want to honor the silliness and absurdity of life in a smart, fun way, making people (including myself) laugh.

This scares me. Sure, I want to be liked by everyone, and of course I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, but both are impossible to have 100% of the time. If you are doing comedy, that is the first thing you have to get over, because if you don't you won't write or do anything. Comedy is subjective, thus much of what I say, do, think of, present, or otherwise engage comedically is not going to be loved by everyone, and not everyone is going to love me for it.

I am still coming to terms with it.

But let me say this: a lot of comics are angry and lash out at the world with the intent to hurt people. Doing so may make one feel powerful, but I feel like anything truly mean spirited not only comes back (karmically), but lowers our consciousness rather than raising it.

I am not better, or higher (or anything more) than comics who are angry and really get mean. I don't claim to be totally conscious or at peace or shit Zen Koans. I am angry too. I am pissed off about having religion shoved down my throat as a kid, about having to be around a bunch of hypocritical, judgmental a-holes every Sunday (and sometimes Wednesday). I AM angry about how dumb and insensitive people can be. I AM angry about having to grow up around a douche-y stepdad. I could keep going, but let me just say these things and others are all going to show up in the comedy I do.

Nevertheless, i don't, and won't do comedy pr anything else- in order to hurt people.
If you are offended by something I say, or are uncomfortable with my material, stop consuming what I produce. Just don't expect me to be accountable to you.

If, after all that, it still bothers you, remember this: it's just a joke.

I'm expecting an email from my sister about this any day now.

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