Seth Rogan says comedians should not blame 'cancel culture' for jokes that aged poorly


Humor has always been an art form that tends to show its age more than most.

Hell the direct precursor to modern stand-up comedy is fucking Minstrel.


He’s right.

If you have to ‘punch down’ in order to land your jokes, then maybe you’re just not actually funny - maybe you’re just an asshole who panders to other assholes.


I think in a lot of cases, the context has changed out from underneath the [dated] joke. The terms and phrases used in the joke are more charged now then they used to be, or mean something different or have different connotations now then they once did. Or some events have happened since the joke that put a totally different spin on it. (example, the celebrity figure used in the joke turns out to be a rapist or murderer, rather then just slightly weird like most people thought at the time). All the time keeping mind that many (most?) comedians try to scrape right up to boundary of acceptability, trying to keep their audience right on the edge (or just across) of their comfort zones. Many of the jokes were in “poor taste” to start with, (part of why they were funny). It’s inevitable a lot of those jokes or skits will find the “acceptable” line has moved, leaving the joke or skit on the wrong side of it.

Just like there are a lot of old jokes that simply fall flat and are lame now, because situations that were once edgy, or rare, and thus worthy of being joked about, are now common-place and not a big deal now.

Jokes are designed to make people slightly uncomfortable, talking about things that normally are not talked about, things that people in the audience may have noticed or experienced or wondered about, but which are embarrassing or shameful, and never said out loud.


He’s right – not every joke ages well and not all jokes were even that great to start with but only got laughs because they were shocking at the time. If your stuff becomes retroactively un-funny, then maybe you should look inward and come up with some newer and better material.

You have to be incredibly skilled to get certain types of comedy right – especially the kind of incendiary stuff that people will try to attach humor to, and then cry about “something something cancel culture political correctness” when they get called out on it. It’s just a fact that certain types of humor are extremely difficult to pull off and most people can’t thread this needle; not everybody can be Mel Brooks.

This is true, but there’s also a big difference between punching up and punching down when creating effective comedy. The power and social dynamics are critical, which is why it’s very different to see a Black comic making a joke about white people versus the other way around.


Also, a timely repost:


Or it was always tasteless and you guys never felt guilty about laughing at it before.



Punching down has always been tasteless, seems to me.

It’s just becoming less acceptable in “polite company” (I hope).


Anybody that has to look around before telling their joke is an asshole.



Like I said; some muthafuckas were just never funny to begin with, regardless to “context.”


It’s funny how many comedians are still running off the same jokes they’ve always been running off of ,and when someone points out that the joke is offensive they get so bothered and throw fits. I’ve seen some say, “Well, if I can’t tell my jokes, then that’s the end of my business and line of work! You’re destroying my business!”

And I’m like, 'Your job is to MAKE UP JOKES. If you can’t MAKE UP JOKES to replace JOKES THAT DON’T WORK, it’s YOUR fault, not mine. Imagine if a doctor was throwing a ranting fit that they can’t drill into people’s heads to release the ill termors anymore?"


The headline says Seth Rogan, but the article says Seth Rogen. Which is it?

Is he old enough yet for Seth Rogaine jokes?


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