Should Comedians have boundaries on jokes?


Today we look at a debate over something as fundamental as What is comedy really for? And what's fair game in the comedian's world ... and how and whether you should tell a joke about sexual assault.

Today's guest host was Mike Finnerty.

Part One of The Current


It's Tuesday July 17th.

Police in Iran have shut down dozens of coffee shops in an effort to cut down on immoral behavior.


In response, Tim Horton's has announced Timbits will now be covered with fig leaves.

This is The Current.

Should Comedians have boundaries on jokes? - The Raw Story Online

We started this segment with a clip from the late George Carlin. He went to his grave defending the idea that you can and should joke about anything ... even -- or maybe even especially -- the most terrible of things.

Comedian Daniel Tosh stumbled straight into that debate last week when he got into a verbal spat with a female heckler at his show in Los Angeles. She was upset that his act included jokes about rape, and she let him know it with persistent heckles, shouting out to him that joking about rape is never funny. He was in the midst of a set of jokes pUrporting to demonstrate the opposite.

Now, there's no audio recording of the exchange. But we've voiced the transcript of how he responded to her heckling.

People are reported to have laughed at the line, and that reporting of the event is from the female heckler herself. It's in a blog post. Daniel Tosh doesn't deny the incident, in fact he wrote this on twitter: all the out of context misquotes aside, I'd like to sincerely apologize.

Megan Carpentier survived a sexual assault and has strong feelings about the boundaries of humour based partly on that experience. She's the Executive Editor of The Raw Story which is a news politics website. She was in New York City.

Should Comedians have boundaries on jokes?

Comedians are known for pushing boundaries, but there's a lively debate opening up over whether it's a good idea to joke about topics as traumatic and personal as sexual assault. For their thoughts, we're joined now by two comics.

Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comedian and creator of Blaria Blog. She was in New York. Jonathan May-Bowles is a comedian and activist and he was in London.

* Please note some may find this conversation offensive, and it may not be appropriate for younger listeners.*

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins and Idella Sturino.

Other segment from today's show:

From Malware to Warfare (Doc Repeat)

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