So, did you hear the one about that laugh-out-loud, fantastic comedian who… got cancelled?
Alas, it used to be that standup comedy was the last bastion against that invasive and debilitating disease known as political correctness. But in this day and age, too many uber-sensitive snowflakes have no time for laughs — unless the comedy is sanitized for their protection.
Just one hitch: such sanitization ultimately makes the comedy unfunny.
Indeed, remember back in 2015 when Jerry Seinfeld said he would never perform his standup routine at a college campus?
Well, just call Seinfeld a prophet, because these days comedians are getting cancelled and banned for one bad joke, or one off colour tweet, or a punchline that was deemed offensive to somebody for something. Heck, these days, some comedians are being hauled in front of provincial Human Rights Tribunals for committing that Orwellian sin known as Thought Crime.
Recently at a comedy show staged in a Toronto park, we bumped into Mark Breslin, the founder of the Yuk Yuks comedy chain.
I interviewed Mark about comedy in a political environment in which too many people live by the mantra of, “You can’t say that!”
If shock and awe comedians such as Sam Kinison or Andrew Dice Clay were to have started their careers today as opposed to the 1980s, would they even stand a chance of becoming stars before being silenced by cancel culture?
And why is it that we are acquiescing to the demands of the vocal minority out there who deem every second joke to be racist, sexist or transphobic?
Breslin offers his thoughts — and he remains hopeful that the art of standup comedy will survive the constant attacks by those unfunny acolytes of political correctness.