Thursday, June 11, 2009

Comedy and the "F" Word

I've heard this countless times, and most recently I heard this come from an 88-year-old woman that decided to do stand-up: The ever famous battle-cry against the "F" word. "If someone's truly talented, if they're truly funny, then they don't NEED to use profanity."

The above mentioned sentiment is little more than narcissistic nonsense. Hear me out. Did people making these statements ever stop to think that maybe some comedians don't feel the NEED to use profanity, maybe they just don't feel the NEED to NOT use profanity? Maybe it's who they are. Maybe it's how they're comfortable. Maybe, just maybe, they're not up there for you, maybe they don't really care about your opinion, maybe they assume that you're focused on their material and their point-of-view, and not the language they use. Maybe their attitude is such that if your level of tolerance is one in which you would dismiss a comedian solely based on language, then, well, fuck ya.

I personally fall into the category of clean. I'm not really vulgar at all. I didn't plan it that way, that's just naturally how my material turns out. I never sat down and was like, "hey, I'm gonna be a clean comic cuz my goal in life is to one day go on tour with Dave Coulier and entertain families, like the Wiggles only with punchlines! I'm gonna make this work!" Never happened. I actually sort of despise children.

I remember once not too long ago I did a show in my hometown of Pittsburgh and after wards was at a bar with a few friends, some who weren't able to make the show. My mom was at the bar so they jokingly asked her how the show went and if I was funny. Her response: "He's not crude or vulgar, he doesn't need to do that." That was it. Of course, she was just being my mom and such, but still, that was a bummer. I looked back at her, "If that's all you got from what I did up there, I really failed tonight." Then the topic was changed because, well, people just chalked it up to me being strange.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with not liking vulgarity or whatever else. If you don't dig vulgarity, if it's not for you, if it dilutes everything else for you, that's totally fine. Everyone's entitled to enjoy or not enjoy something. But who is anyone to define what is and isn't acceptable for the rest of us? And if something doesn't meet someone's definition of acceptable who are they to then write that off as talentless?

"There are two types of people in this world, people who create and people who destroy."--George Lucas

1 comment:

CJ Alexander said...

Hey Ron! Found the blog from your Facebook and enjoyed reading through some of the older material. I especially enjoyed this post, and hope you don't mind that I linked to it on my own blog (where you were mentioned in an earlier post, too).

BTW Bad Religion is my favorite band — nice to see that you're a fan, too!

Cheers,
CJ