Long live the stay-at-home mom

In order to make my blog a little more well-rounded, I took the advice of watching a comedian a little different from the ones I have been watching. Other than the obvious reasons that she is a woman and Asian, I’m really glad I watched this stand-up.

Ali Wong in her Netflix special “Baby Cobra”and by golly, I did not expect the things she said to come out of her mouth! I respect her not only because she did a show that you can watch here seven and a half months pregnant, but that she was completely unapologetic in the things she says and believes in.

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Party on, Dana

New to Netflix was Dana Carvey’s special, “Straight White Male, 60“. You may recognize him from the hilarious film “Wayne’s World” or the infamous “Master of Disguise” or his array of skits from Saturday Night Live. Either way, Carvey has a knack for comedy.

I didn’t quite know what to expect from this special because I have never seen Carvey do standup. I found out about this during an interview he had with Jimmy Fallon and he talked about his special. He mentioned that it had a lot to do with micro-impressions. I was unaware of this term but if you’re a comedian, a micro-impression is doing impressions of well-known public figures and having them do everyday things. For example, Carvey did impressions of Scar Face during Thanksgiving dinner.

Now, this standup didn’t have much material that was controversial. In fact, there were some points during it where I was in fact pretty bored and decided to play games on my phone or check my email while this was on in the background. It was a very clean show other than a few f-bombs here and there but nothing that my mom couldn’t handle.
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You’re offended? I don’t care.

I decided get out of my comfort zone and watch a stand-up that I normally wouldn’t watch. I mean, I guess that is kind of the whole point of this blog.

The stand up I decided to watch was Louis C.K’s “Chewed Up” back from 2008. The whole point of this blog is for me to watch them and see how the comedian interacts with social commentary and present day situations. 2008 was eight years ago so times have changed a little but it didn’t take more than a minute in of this stand up for me to find something to talk about.

The first seven minutes of his routine, which you can watch here, was him talking about 3 words that most people don’t like to say in front of other people or to other people or at all because other people might take it the wrong way. It’s a touchy subject depending on how you look at it but at the same time, are we being too sensitive.

C.K speaks about these words like they are nothing. Which in some respect, they are nothing. They are just words. In some way or another and at some point in time, they were used to make fun or joke about another person whether the word relates to that person or not.

Faggot was the first word that was brought up in this segment of his stand-up. Already, it had a sour taste in my mouth. I personally don’t like that word, along with many other words, especially when people don’t use them in the right context. It “grinds my gears” so to speak. So, immediately, I was put off.

Honestly, I don’t know why. I don’t know why words like faggot, retarded, or even gay make me upset when they aren’t aimed towards me. I guess I feel bad the those who are indirectly being affected by those terms.

C.K. mentions in his stand-up that he would never call a person who is gay a “faggot” to his face, unless he said something “faggy”. I’m sorry… but what does that even mean? What does someone have to do or say that constitutes as “faggy”? (By the way, it’s not even a word so that makes me upset too.) One person’s definition of this term could mean something completely different to another.

My point with this stand-up act is what I am trying to show throughout this semester with these blog posts. Is this what people have trouble with when it comes to stand-up? Because I might find this offensive, is that the fault of the comedian, or the fault of the person listening because they are “over sensitive”? Comedy is supposed to push limits and reach the point of people being uncomfortable.

And because I was uncomfortable, they did their job.

My tragedy is not your costume

It seemed that just last year, it became a very big deal during Halloween that people couldn’t dress up as different cultures during Halloween because it was deemed as offensive. Going as Mulan, the female, Chinese warrior from the Disney Movie was inappropriate because it’s someone’s culture. Now a new fad is taking place about tragedy and how that should be respected. Most recently, there was a website that made a Kim Kardashian costume of her in a robe with tied hands, a fake gag, and tied up just like how she was when she claimed to have been held at gun point and robbed in France.

I know this steers away a little from my original topic of comedians and social commentary, but when is making fun of someone’s hardships funny?

No, that’s a serious question. When do you think a tragedy has exceeded its time limit when it’s okay to make fun of it? I was listening to Iowa’s Z102.9 and this topic was brought up. The person who made this costume was immediately criticized and people told him he was being insensitive to her situation. He claimed it was only and joke and that it’s Halloween and it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Well, the costume didn’t sell and was soon taken down from the costume website.

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You know, back in MY day…

That’s a phrase our parents always say something us young-sters can’t stand.

“You know, when I was your age (insert un-relatable story here).”

“Yes mom and dad we know you’re lives were so much harder than ours,” (insert dramatic eye roll from kids).

But sooner or later, we are going to be those senior citizens, telling the stories of the good old days before robots and flying cars and before the Cubs win the World Series.

However, there are already somethings I catch myself saying to kids I babysit or even to my friends thinking about how life used to be before high school and even college. In this segment of “What’s Wrong With People?”, Sebastian Maniscalco talks about company. Like when people used to come over to your house and you just used to chat like good neighbors would do. Maybe it’s because I remember it so clearly or maybe it’s because it’s an Italian thing, I’m not 100% sure. What I am sure about is Maniscalco hit the mark with this is bit and it’s funny because it’s true. >>> click here to watch it

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It only counts if you’re ugly

A topic that can’t seem to escape the minds and constantly escape the mouths of today is sexual harassment. When I walk on campus, I could be wearing what I wore to bed or could be wearing a cute dress just because I feel good about myself that day, there is that constant, agonizing feeling that someone will say something to you that isn’t wanted.

Iliza Shlesinger is a popular, female comedian that, to me, defines what a strong, independent woman should look and act like. She’s funny, attractive, and stands for what she believes in and I admire that. When her new Netflix stand-up came on, I was eager to watch it. Her two previous works on Netflix are “War Paint” and “Freezing Hot”. This new one named “Confirmed Kills” left me wondering if I actually liked it.

Most of the jokes that were made by Shlesinger had to do with common issues involving women. Whether it was about strength, intelligence, or the right to vote, she pretty much covered all the bases. The one that kinda left me a little confused was her comments on sexual harassment. Her stand-up is on Youtube but the timing is off. So, if you would like to watch the little snippet on Netflix, the timing is 26:29-28:49.

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You’re thoughts and prayers mean f****** nothing.

If you want to watch a comedian who literally doesn’t give a s**t whether or not you find his stuff offensive, Anthony Jeselnik.

This is a comedian that walks on stage and doesn’t do impressions, or a certain funny character. How he gets his audience to laugh is through his real life stories of him being pretty much a terrible person and bragging about it. As a comedian, you have to be completely unapologetic and Jeselnik takes the gold on this one.

In his stand-up “Thoughts and Prayers”, he has a bit where he speaks about tweeting about tragedies the day that they happen. If you haven’t seen the segment, I invite you stop reading right now and watch it here.

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No offense, but I meant to offend you

You know that feeling you get when you’re laughing so hard that you’re crying, doubled over in pain, and can barely breath? That is what every comedian aspires their audience to look like when telling a joke.

Comedy is probably one of the hardest things to break in to. It’s easy to make someone cry or feel sad, but comedy is the real art. With countless stand-ups on Netflix, it’s crazy to think that this job would be hard, that anyone can do it. And I believe that anyone can. You just have to know your boundaries and then cross over them.

I read an article called, “When the Truth Hurts, Tell a Joke: Why America Needs Comedians”.  Within this article, it speaks about the job of a comedian: to make their audience laugh with jokes that may or may not offend some people. In a comedian’s case, “no offense” means, “I really don’t care as long as the people around you thought it was funny.”

There are some comedians that choose not to say outlandish things. Jerry Seinfeld is one of my mom’s favorites because he chooses not to use words that will cause her to have an aneurysm. However, comedians are getting tired of going to college campuses because students today take some things too seriously and tends to make people upset. So, comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock choose not go to locations like college campuses because their audience can’t, “take a joke”.

I find this very interesting. What makes a comedian so great? What do they have to say to make and audience laugh? The one concern that is not on their mind is whether or not you were offended. Because whether you laughed because you were uncomfortable or you laughed because it was funny, to a comedian, a laugh is a laugh, so they count that as a success.

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to dedicate my blog to the discussion of comedians and their stand-ups and how they relate to audience interactions. I want to immerse myself into my favorite comedians but also the ones that I don’t like as much and ask myself, “Why don’t I like their jokes? Is it because I’m offended?” Well, if that’s the case, they are already doing their job.