5. You just started doing comedy a year ago.
You still think the dick joke you thought of is the most revolutionary thing ever because people are actually laughing at it.
4. You’re not breaking new ground.
Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor broke all the ground already. They had shovels. There's already a big hole in the ground now. With highrises built all over that ground.
In a time when that shit was taboo, they spoke it. They mastered the profane. It wasn’t ok to say, and so saying it was ok! And now that it’s ok, you’re really, really not sharing anything new with me.
3. You can influence people with your comedy, even if your comedy is evil.
Comedy is supposed to be subversive. That’s why we love to be edgy on stage. Edginess gets its strength from subverting the dominant paradigm. But guess what? The systems in place still support the people in power, who are STILL straight, white, relatively rich men (give or take a few). If you’re not poking fun at power, you’re not being subversive. If you’re not being subversive, you’re not being edgy, you’re just being shocking, and that’s empty and gratuitous. And I'm bored.
And now that straight white men think they’re oppressed, so they now think that telling their boring old dick jokes is actually edgy, subversive, shocking, revelatory, and controversial. guess what? It snot. It’s just more old paradigm bullshit, it’s uncreative, and it’s boring.
2. You’re not Louis CK.
You’re not bringing your own vulnerability, and I’m bored by that.
Any joke that doesn’t reveal something about your vulnerability is a missed opportunity for us getting to hear your true voice. people who are willing to be vulnerable with their dick jokes, like Louis CK.
People who are not being as vulnerable, but are poking fun at those in power are also doing something revolutionary. Jon Stewart. Stephen Colbert.
Truly vulnerable humans touch their own pain and their own hearts and their own insecurities, and when they do, they touch ours. It’s nice when somebody is finally getting touched. The audience can only go as deep as the comic can go, and if you’re playing at surface-level emotionality, or you’re in your head that’s where you’ll take the audience.
1. You’re not that funny.
Let’s say you’re brilliant. you’re on par with Emo Philips or Mitch Hedberg (I’d give you an example of female comedians, but you only know a few of them). You are really, really good. you could say something I totally disagree with and even find offensive. But it’s so creative and well-done that I'm still impressed or I laugh. If you do that, congratulations. Here’s your frickin tiara.