Joe Rogan knows a thing or two about comedy.
Plus, he interviews the biggest names in comedy on his “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
That helped him crystalize what comedy is during this week’s episode starring “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan.
The Joe Rogan Experience
Episode 2083 – Taylor Sheridan
— The JRE Companion (@TheJRECompanion) January 4, 2024
The two quickly hit it off, finding common ground on the need to have free expression given their requisite careers. That’s not always possible thanks to Cancel Culture and a willingness to put certain topics and targets off limits.
“My favorite movie you could never make today is ‘Tropic Thunder,'” Rogan said of the 2008 film featuring Robert Downey, Jr. in blackface. The character, meant to satirize stars obsessed with changing their appearance to earn awards-season glory, literally earned Downey Jr. a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
(He lost out to the late Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”)
Suffice to say no actor would tackle a similar role now, something Rogan noted. In 2020 multiple streaming platforms removed TV episodes featuring blackface-style elements.
Sheridan had the podcaster’s back on the matter.
“That movie was designed to offend, but also ridicule us taking ourselves too seriously,” Sheridan said of his fellow Hollywood denizens.
Rogan shifted the conversation to the woke ideology’s fallout.
“What’s happened in your business has happened in my business, too,” Rogan said to his guest, referring to woke’s stranglehold on comedy.
“Comedy movies are dead. They essentially killed the genre,” Rogan said, recalling films like “Animal House” and “There’s Something About Mary now seen as problematic.
“To go one step further, comedians since Lenny Bruce … whose job it was was to push the envelope as far as it can be pushed to help us look at ourselves,” Sheridan said. “You think of the great comics, Bill Hicks, Eddie Murphy, Sam Kinison, Robin Williams … you look at their acts. None of their acts would be socially acceptable today. And I don’t know if they were socially acceptable then, but that was their job. Richard Pryor couldn’t say 90 percent of what he said … ‘art’ to one person is offensive to another.”
“We say in the comedy world that we’re the last line of defense, where the woke meets the wall with stand-up comedy,” Rogan countered. “You can’t have woke comedy. It sucks. It’s impossible. You can’t always punch up and cater to everybody. No. That’s not what’s funny.
What’s funny is the f***ing weird things people do and all of our hypocrisies and all of our contradictions, all the chaos about being a human being. And if you wanna never make fun of marginalized groups or never make fun of protected classes or never make fun of anybody that’s downtrodden … that’s not stand-up comedy. It has to be everything, everything that’s funny, regardless of whether its socially acceptable to make fun of those things.”
Sheridan has a theory as to why we’re suddenly treating a comedian’s set list like a State of the Union address or legislation proposals.
“I think what’s happening right now is privilege. We’re coddled. This is the wealthiest nation and society in the history of civilization. People are so coddled that they’ve confused feelings with rights. And your feelings being hurt is a violation of your rights. And it’s not. You do not have a right to never be offended.”
“It’s worse than that. They’ve confused hurting your feelings with violence. They literally can say words are violence,” Rogan added. “Then you’ve never seen real violence. You’re talking nonsense.”