There’s little doubt where Lenny Bruce would stand on Louis C.K.’s recent kerfuffle.
Bruce would defend the disgraced comic to the bitter end, no matter if he “agreed” with the jokes in question. Bruce repeatedly risked jail time, and occasionally earned it, for simply telling jokes on stage at the height of his career.
Modern comedians are cut from a very different cloth. Jokesters like Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman kowtow to the PC Police, apologizing for their not so woke jokes.
So it’s no surprise some of comedy’s biggest names assailed Louis C.K. for jokes targeting snowflake Millennials, the political cache of school shooting survivors and other sacred liberal cows.
Director Judd Apatow, slammed Louis C.K. for supposedly punching down. The routine proved “hacky, unfunny, shallow,” said Apatow, a far-left comedy mogul who blocked this reporter on Twitter for reasons unknown.
“Louis CK is all fear and bitterness now. He can’t look inward,” Apatow said.
Jim Carrey followed suit, sharing an illustration comparing Louis C.K. to one of the targets of his barbs, Parkland High School student Emma Gonzales.
Louie can’t C. K? pic.twitter.com/8Ii0GVIotK
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) January 3, 2019
Many comedians stayed silent, either unwilling to take a stand or fearing potential blowback for defying the new woke rules.
Not these comedians.
The following nine performers either stood by Louis C.K. or routinely defend a comic’s right to attack the targets of his or her choosing. These are genuinely brave souls. The media’s tilted coverage of Louis C.K.’s recent act shows their quiet allegiance to the PC Police.
This longtime broadcaster’s shtick would make Lenny Bruce wince. He’s open about his unique sexual appetites, separating him from some of his raunchiest peers. He’s also consistently funny, sharp and real.
His attitude toward the woke movement is one more comedians should embrace.
But when you look at like standup, my job is to be funny as I see fit. If I am going to allow other people to break me of that, then I am not a particularly great comic to begin with. I am not afraid of catching backlash on Twitter. I don’t have jokes that I can’t defend.
Oh, and he tackled Apatow’s suddenly woke persona recently, defending his craft better than most could.
Deuce Bigalow himself rose to fame by starring on “Saturday Night Live.” The once-great show is now the pinnacle of hard-left comedy. “SNL” rarely scorches liberal targets and ignores the freedom-snuffing spirit of the PC Police.
Even when a former “SNL” writer, and a person of color to boot, got arrested by the PC Police for telling a woke joke.
Not Schneider. He rose to Louis C.K.’s defense in recent days as well as former Oscars host Kevin Hart. His Twitter feed teems with support for his fellow artists, along with an ominous warning.
History has not and will not look kindly on those that suppress others freedoms of expression.
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) January 4, 2019
A sad postscript: Schneider’s Twitter account is frozen as of Jan. 5 … there isn’t an indication yet what happened.
This bawdy stand up spends four days a week co-hosting “The Anthony Cumia Show” on Compound Media. The show hearkens to a time when comedians could say literally anything for a laugh. Naturally, Landau is firmly on Louis C.K.’s side, as well as defending a comedian’s right to work on material in a comedy club setting.
“Context is so important,” Landau said while discussing the matter with Cumia, focusing on Louis C.K.’s jokes mocking the Parkland Students’ activism. “You’re f***ing 17, I don’t give a sh** what you have to say … do you know how many people in black communities have lived through a shooting at their school … you’ve never seen them come out and go, ‘we were all victims.'”
The British cut-up is one of free speech’s staunchest defenders. While too many liberals recoil at unfettered speech, the left-leaning Gervais stands tall for our right to speak out. His response to the Louis C.K. debate reaffirmed his faith in the First Amendment.
“Please stop saying ‘You can’t joke about anything anymore’. You can. You can joke about whatever the f*** you like. And some people won’t like it and they will tell you they don’t like it. And then it’s up to you whether you give a f*** or not. And so on. It’s a good system.”
The PC Police didn’t just knock on Benjamin’s door. It forced him to dramatically restructure his stand-up career. The right-leaning comic now rents out venues and sells tickets via his own web site in order to avoid protesters trying to stop him from telling jokes.
And he’s not changing his act one bit. For all the hot air shared about show business “bravery,” Benjamin is the real deal.
The disgraced comic understands the path to mainstream redemption doesn’t involve jokes aimed at the “new” gender pronoun rules. He told them anyway, and much more.
You can be appalled by his personal behavior. When it comes to show business guts Louis C.K. has few equals. And he might have to start following Benjamin’s career path moving forward.
The “Loveline” host turned a high-profile firing into a game changer in more ways than one. He left terrestrial radio against his wishes while pivoting to a new format, podcasting. Since then he’s built his own “Pirate Ship” where he says what he wants to say without repercussions.
Go ahead. Try to fire him. He’s his own boss.
He doesn’t use that power to say terrible things. He simply observes the culture and riffs on it as he sees fit. The best part? He won’t apologize for his jokes. Don’t even ask him.
Here’s another podcast success story. The stand-up comic and former sitcom star found a new level of fame with “The Joe Rogan Experience.” The podcast offers very long interviews with a single guest, the kind of content you’d think would flop in our short attention span age.
Not even close. The show is a smash, and Rogan features guests who push the boundaries of free speech. Think Roseanne Barr and Nimesh Patel, to name just two.
Rogan’s politics are hard to pin down. His devotion to free speech is etched in stone.
The “Monty Python” alum spends much of his time these days mocking President Donald Trump and his supporters. He’s also outspoken about the PC Police and how devastating they are to comic expression.
At 79 Cleese could rest on his massive laurels. Instead, he’s standing tall against the comedy scolds trying to stop funny people from plying their craft.
NOTE: This list doesn’t suggest this reporter’s total, or even partial, agreement with the comics’ material. It applauds those who stand up for free expression, period.