Daniel Tosh – He’s no Louis C.K. and he won’t be a Michael Richards.

 

Poor Louis C.K.  The guy is on vacation sans internet and watches a little Tosh.O on television.  He laughs and sends a tweet out to his fellow comedian:

 

 

He had no idea that he sent this out in the midst of the internet shit storm over Daniel Tosh’s rape jokes and treatment of a heckler at one of his shows.  Louis comes back from vacation and is labeled a rape lover for his public support of Tosh.

Louis C.K. then has to defend himself, not throw his fellow comedian under the bus, and still be funny.  He did just that on the Daily Show.

 

 

The difference between shock comedian Daniel Tosh and the irreverent Louis C.K. is maturity.  I’m not talking about just the lines on their faces, but the quality and structure of their jokes.  Comedians are often offensive – and I’m not about to get into the whole “free speech/censorship/funny is an opinion” roundabout.  Louis C.K. can make me laugh by often making fun of the fucked-up-ed-ness of humans.  A lot of Daniel Tosh’s jokes are just fucked up.

At the end of the clip above, Louis C.K. mentions that he is fond of jokes about “bad things… rape, the Holocaust, etc.”  He does jokes about bad things.  I think he does them well.  He’s smart and he knows some very important rules about humor: self deprecating humor is gold, humor can be found in awful things when you make fun of the awfulness and not the people it happened to.

I, however, do find a difference between a rape joke and a joke about the Holocaust.  The Holocaust is the past – it is not something that people live in fear of today.  You will also never hear someone blame a Holocaust victim for what happened to them.  Rape is a very real fear and too often a reality for many women.  With the statistics being one in five, a smart comic knows that a rape joke could always ALWAYS go either way.

For the most part, I don’t find rape jokes funny.  Rape jokes hurt survivors of rape.  Making light of it kind of supports a rapist’s belief that rape is okay.  There are very few comedians who can work a rape joke into their act while highlighting it as a social ill, or commenting on the very real, frightening role it plays in women’s lives.

I liked Daniel Tosh the first few times I saw his show on Comedy Central.  Then I quickly tired of his misogynistic jokes and what started to become, for lack of a better term, shock-joke-vomiting.  What truly makes him an immature comedian, though, was his handling of the lady heckler at the Laugh Factory two weeks ago.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now?  Like right now?  What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”

He was using rape to shut her up.  He was basically asking the audience to imagine a very violent crime happening to the woman standing in front of them.  He was scaring her, humiliating her, and punishing her for disrupting his show.  It was hateful.  It perpetuates violence against women.  It was morally disgusting.

Hecklers are a comedian’s worst nightmare.  I imagine that if you’re standing up there alone in front of hundreds of people, a shout out from an audience member feels like a personal attack.  It’s a vulnerable place behind a microphone.  You probably shouldn’t step in front of one if you have a tendency to behave like a dick.

Seriously, people have still not forgotten Michael Richards hurling racial slurs at a heckler.  Despite his appearance on several talk shows and attempts to sincerely apologize, his comedy career when straight down after that.  He just wasn’t likable any more, and when you can’t fill the seats your done.

There is so much backlash on the internet right now that I’m sure some are wondering if the same will happen to Daniel Tosh.

No, it won’t.

At present, we live in a society that does not publicly support racism, but still blames the victims of rape.  Rape is a “touchy issue” and “makes people uncomfortable” so there is not enough dialogue, not enough public outcry.

Furthermore, the majority of comedy clubs are owned by men.  The president of Comedy Central is a man.  The majority of people that pull the strings that could make or break Daniel Tosh’s career are men.  I’m not saying that all men love rape jokes, and would defend how he attacked that audience member.  I am saying that for the majority of men, rape is something that exists abstractly.  It is not something that could happen to them simply because they are a man.

Daniel Tosh still has a lot of fans.

 

 

I don’t see Daniel Tosh going anywhere.

I also don’t see him stopping his slew of rape jokes.

On some level, we still live in a rape culture.  Rape is severely underreported because of the fear, shame, and stigma that come with doing so.  The victim is still consistently blamed for wearing a short skirt, walking late at night, drinking too much, or just being too female.  Laws are being passed taking away women’s reproductive rights.  Some people still view a woman as less of a person than a man, and publicly wishing violence on a woman as entertainment just perpetuates the rape culture.

 

 

Survivors and their supporters will raise their voices.

Others will yell about censorship.

Daniel Tosh will try to ignore it all and forge ahead…

and the general public will soon forget.

Blatant racism is not marketable.

The same can’t be said about rape.

 

Go ahead.

Please prove me wrong.

 

 

PS-  Like you need another link to click on or video to watch.  This is a rape joke that I think works because she highlights the very real fears that women live with.

 

 

 

 

 



9 responses to “Daniel Tosh – He’s no Louis C.K. and he won’t be a Michael Richards.”

  1. Katie says:

    Daniel Tosh is an ass. I get SO sick of comedians claiming that people are lame if they are “offended” by jokes. Maybe the joke sucked. Rape jokes, as a rule, suck. There are tons of “comedians” just like Daniel Tosh that I see on Comedy Central that I just think, “blah. they are such a DICK.” There is a HUGE difference between funny (Kat Williams, in my opinion), and someone who is trying to make being a bully funny.

    There is funny and there is mean.

    I see it all the time with the teenagers I teach. There is legit funny and there is “I’m going to try to pass off this total asshole thing as funny.” Daniel Tosh is the later.

    This isn’t about censorship or being offended, it’s about being an asshole. And he is one.

  2. First off, as I’ve said in my 2 cents about him – he’s not a good comedian in my opinion and shock comedy bores me. And also hecklers should know that heckling never ends well.

    Humor is completely personal and although it would be tough to find a rape joke that I do find funny, there might be. I don’t know until I hear it and laugh or do not laugh. People who experience horrible things are much more likely to find offense, obviously. The Holocaust may be in the past, but the children of Holocaust victims (and survivors alike) might not agree with that.

    I was almost raped when I was 17 and passed out drunk. I’ve also had a miscarriage. I’m also 75lbs overweight. Does that mean that I should be taking all sexual assault, dead baby or fat jokes personally?Perhaps I should. And there’s many who do, but I do not and I never have. It’s just who I am and how I deal with crappy, awful shit.

  3. 100 million and 14 percent agree with you. There is nothing funny about a rape joke to me. And I love Louis C.K!

  4. Mama Bear says:

    I love Louis CK, too… I do, though, wish he could amp his maturity up another notch and admit that Tosh was (and is and will likely always be) a dill-hole. And if I was a betting girl, I’d plunk down some coin to bet that nobody will remember Tosh in five years. All this hub-bub aside, his comedy isn’t very original and isn’t very funny… even forgiving this instance.

  5. Alexandra says:

    The first time I heard him and his jokes about “retard” I didn’t care for him.

    He’s just an ass. Why people laugh at that, at violence: I will never understand.

    I think some people live on a different level and with a different set of conscious and conscience than others.

    Daniel Tosh is not funny to me. He’s mean, takes laughs at someone else’s pain, and suffers from some very real hatred toward others. VERY REAL.

  6. Jeff McCrum says:

    What’s truly crazy about Louis CK talking about this is because he quite literally did it first. I was recommended to watch his show recently and have been catching up on the first season. His episode “Heckler/Cop Movie” involves him being heckled by a girl in the audience and one of his responses is that he hopes that she gets raped. I was watching this late at night alone in the living room and was offended by it and haven’t watched an episode since, it was really off-putting in such a surprising way. Some fun quotes for the kids:
    “You don’t like rape?”
    “You wouldn’t even exist if your mom hadn’t raped that homeless Chinese guy.”
    “Can you do me a favor and please die of AIDS?”

    • Jenni Chiu says:

      Ahhh, true that those statements are offensive. I watched the clip you are talking about. The difference I see, though, is that he is not inciting violence – very real violence that happens at a staggering rate. He is not supporting a social ill.
      A little disgusting, yes. However, “You don’t like rape?” is a ridiculous question and just makes himself look bad. It’s not all that common that a mother rapes a homeless Chinese guy – I suppose it could happen, but statistically it’s not staggering. Perhaps that is why it is bit easier for me to swallow.

    • Jenni Chiu says:

      Also, I don’t like all jokes that all comics make. I lost a taste for Daniel Tosh years ago, but every now and then he can still make me laugh. I think the reason I’m so ticked at Daniel Tosh is that it wasn’t a joke – it was a violent response to a heckler, and actual person. It was using rape as a means of shutting a woman up… and then alluding to the fact that it would be entertainment.

  7. I was drawn to this post at the mention of Louis C.K., I’m a big fan of his, and I enjoyed reading it. You have a wonderful conversational style to your writing (imo) that makes it a pleasure to follow.

    I’m not now nor have I ever been a fan of Daniel Tosh. I’ve seen his show a couple times but I’m not a regular viewer. I’ve laughed at some of the stuff I’ve seen on his show, but generally speaking, I’m not a fan of “shock-comedy.” It’s too easy to be mean and rude and ignorant and doesn’t strike me as very funny, most of the time. I’m of the mind that rape jokes are never funny, and yet I hear comedians use the word or make jokes about it all the time. I don’t think those jokes are funny even coming from a comedian I *do* like. Just my 2 cents.

    Thanks for sharing your words, you’ve gained a new follower!

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