Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Hollywood Babble On & On #1224: It's Just A Joke.

First South African comedian Trevor Noah was tapped to be the replacement for Jon Stewart at Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

Second came increased interest in this guy who most Americans have never seen, since he had only three Daily Show appearances before being crowned heir apparent. More people were tweeting about Noah than actually watch The Daily Show.

Then came the inevitable event for any comedian, close scrutiny of Noah's Twitter feed uncovered jokes, but not just any jokes, jokes that offended some people, by going outside the list of pre-approved subjects and targets.

Naturally this led to outrageous outrage that a comedian would dare to joke about something that might hurt the feelings of someone somewhere. Then comedian Patton Oswalt stepped in with an epic Twitter rant mocking those outraged at mockery.

Leading to Oswalt to be declared "Problematic" yet again by the authors of many an online think-piece.

This controversy taught me three important things.

1. It explains why Jon Stewart avoided doing ANYTHING where every single word he said wasn't pre-written and pre-scrutinized by a staff of 20 professional writers, producers, and probably a few lawyers. He learned to avoid talking or joking off the cuff, because it was nothing but trouble. Better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak, and remove all doubt, even better to have professionals do all the heavy lifting for you.
2. The post of Daily Show anchor is extremely important to the people who staff the Twitter outrage machine. This is because whether they actually watch the show or not, they use the Daily Show, and the hundreds of almost daily on-line think-pieces it inspires, to determine who or what they're supposed to be outraged at while not feeling like a censorious prig because they're the right kind of hip for following The Daily Show. For a host-apparent to violate their shibboleths must feel like a horrible betrayal.

3. If Noah gets the same ratings as Jon Stewart, but doesn't get paid the exact same money that Jon Stewart got for the exact same job, then Comedy Central is irredeemably racist.


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1 comment:

  1. SpideyTerry2/4/15 2:50 am

    Personally, I don't care what Noah said, but considering "The Daily Show" writers have spent years denigrating those they disagree with (including accusing them of being racist simply for disagreeing with Obama), you'll excuse me if I enjoy taking some pot shots at him and the show for this. If I'm going to be outraged at anyone, though, I'm going to be outraged at Comedy Central for going out of their way to defend Noah when they previously wouldn't let "South Park" depict Muhammad standing in a doorway (and even bleeped out lines condemning those who cave in the face of terror).

    Incidentally, it doesn't really speak well for Noah that he's in the process of purging his Twitter feed. He might be reacting to the outrageously outraged brigade, but it'll be something to keep in mind months from now when he's being lionized as a "bold comedian who doesn't take crap from anyone."

    "Patton Oswalt stepped in with an epic Twitter rant"

    Just for the record, that had to be the whiniest display I had ever seen in my life. Getting a lecture from Oswalt about comedy is like getting a lecture from Bill Clinton about fidelity.