Recently, Don Rickles bombed on David Letterman. Many of you youngins won’t remember Don Rickles. The Master of Venom, he was a comedian that some of us watched when televisions were still in black and white and our mothers were stirring – not shaking – martinis for our fathers, who lounged in their big comfy chairs after a hard day at work. We were allowed to watch Rickles’ standup comedy, even though he had an in-your-face, un-PC type of humor that was borderline irreverant and offensive. But I would catch myself giggling, suppressing my laughter with my hand over my face, like a kid in the back of a classroom who just witnessed the nun accidentally farting in front of the entire class.
On David Letterman, Rickles made a joke about Obama telling his advisers not to bother him because he was busy playing basketball. The joke bombed, even though I’ve heard a lot worse come from some female comediennes these day – sometimes in the same sentences in which they were bashing Princess Palin.
It is understandable that many Americans are proud of the advances we’ve made in this historical event. But in all fairness, and across the board, we need to LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE!!!!!!
I can just see the bulleted lists being hurriedly scribbled down and sent out in faxes by the Directors of Programming for the major channels: “Please have comedians immediately refrain from the use of the following words when referring to the President-Elect: basketball, athlete, cotton, chicken, curly, watermelon, tall, fast, butler, ribs, wings, black, ride, momma, cotton, brother, nappy, blues, ax, slave, servant, sister, race, colored,…” and other so called stereotypes that can be either negative or positive in tone.
Stereotyping is the existence of a group of people who share a characteristic, and many of these groups have become the butt of some very humorous jokes: Lawyers (ill reputes); Salesmen (smarmy); Cheerleaders (ditzy); CEOs (thiefs).
I’ll be glad when the sensitivity level drops about ten notches around here and people stop feeling so protective. We need to learn to laugh again – a lot – and we need to be a tad more self-depracating, and embrace our differences…with our coffee blurting out our noses.