Night after night late night comedians deliver jokes from angles we see coming miles away.
- Trump bad, Fox News worse
- Lockdown good
- Lockdown protesters? Nazis or just plain dumb
- Biden’s gaffes? Memory holed for our protection
Kevin James saw something else in the landscape, something funny and truthful about our current crisis. And he did something about it.
The erstwhile “King of Queens” created a comedy short called “Out of Touch.” The clip, with no network behind it or marketing muscle, quickly went viral.
The video mocks how overzealous we’ve become over social distancing rules.
The reaction on YouTube proved illuminating. While taking a stand on any tough subject earns a barrage of both pro and con comments, this video earned overwhelming acceptance.
The raw numbers tell the story.
- 2.7 million views in just one week
- 85K “up” votes
- 998 “down” votes
Here’s a sample of the positive reactions:
This absolutely makes my day 😂😂 I work in healthcare but this is EXACTLY how I feel! It’s like “oh sorry I can’t touch you!! I don’t want to get in trouble!” THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR THIS KEVIN!
Kevin James is officially getting me through quarantine
I’m surprised YouTube hasn’t taken this down yet.
Meanwhile, the far-left Esquire magazine dubbed the video “the worst thing [James] ever made.” And, of course, the writer reminds us the actor made TWO “Paul Blart” films, nyuk, nyuk.
It’s “frighteningly bad and irresponsible,” the author continues.
Like most James comedy, it doesn’t require much intellectual rigor to figure this out—he’s mocking social distancing and the public response to a global pandemic. In this short film, James and his buddy are the victims, hunted like criminals for their disregard of public safety. That’s about as deep as the commentary goes, but it’s enough to fuel the right wing anger against social distancing restrictions that have been established to stop the spread of a deadly virus.
Naturally the writer plays the Race CardTM next.
It’s a very small request to ask Kevin James to wear a mask and maybe not high five his buddy, but even if he did, there would be no repercussions for him, a famous white man.
Finally, the Esquire culture editor brings in … wait for it … Orange Man BadTM.
And that’s what he’s doing here, playing into the exact same tough-guy attitude that many Americans, like our own president [emphasis added], display: believing themselves so manly they couldn’t possibly catch a virus and so, social distancing is for wimps. That type of thinking is deadly.
What’s missing from the Esquire piece? We’ll start with the science stating catching the virus outdoors in a sunny setting is rare. Note the time of day James and his buddy commit the dreaded handshake.
Secondly, we don’t know everything about the virus yet. We may never. A few weeks ago we were told, “don’t wear masks!” Now, some cities insist on them.
Which is it?
Humor exists to poke and prod these inconsistencies and to exaggerate cultural norms, both old and new. It should never play by the rules or simply follow government dictates. This is the kind of clip National Lampoon would make back in the proverbial day.
Not the current version, though.
There’s also the thought of people snitching on their fellow neighbors, even if well intentioned on the surface. That’s what good satire does -- it makes you think through conventional wisdom. It’s precisely what late night comedians fail to do.
James does it in less than two minutes.
Esquire wasn’t alone in its finger wagging. Mic.com also railed against James. The site says James is “out of touch,” ignoring the massive acceptance his video earned on YouTube.
It, too, plays the race card against James while calling the short “problematic.” Again, think of the savings if they only installed the Woke Editorial software discussed earlier.
The Race Card here is dealt, shuffled, made to disappear and then reappear like a Penn and Teller routine. Follow the link if you’ve got the stomach for it.
The article ends with a bit of Thought Policing:
At a time when many states are loosening stay-at-home guidelines and health officials are bracing for a resurgence of the virus, it’s the absolute worst moment to release a dumb, divisive video mocking a practice that saves lives.
Yes, just like Georgia and Florida, two states making a mockery of the so-called “experts.”