Ricky Gervais is in trouble. Again.
The Comedy Police pulled the Brit over this month for telling more inappropriate jokes. Seems the “Office” alum shared a teaser for his new Netflix special “Armageddon” on social media that didn’t go over well in some quarters.
The material in question?
He referenced his real-world contributions to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“I’ve been doing video messages recently for terminally ill children — and only if they request it, obviously. I didn’t burst into hospitals and go, ‘Wake up baldy!’ Watch me twerking on TikTok,’” he said. He adds that Make-A-Wish is “great, and they give these dying kids they’re like one wish. If it’s me, I always say yes, and I always start the video the same way. I go, ‘Why didn’t you wish to get better? What, are you f***ing r—— as well?’”
Some quick reactions:
- A. It’s a joke.
- B. Gervais often plays an amoral jerk on stage.
- C. Comedians don’t set laws or otherwise impact the Body Politic.
- D. Being nice isn’t always funny.
- E. The routine won’t land well with parents of terminally ill children.
- F. Have his critics similarly donated time and energy to Make-A-Wish?
Comedians have played various roles on stage for decades. Andrew “Dice” Clay became a late ’80s sensation for channeling the ultimate alpha male, the “Diceman.”
So did Judy Tenuta, Emo Phillips and many more. “Bobcat” Goldthwait doesn’t talk like that in real life.
Jim Gaffigan once echoed his critics, via a high-pitched female voice, in his earlier stand-up appearances.
These are the tools of the trade, and the woke Left wants to take them away.
Gervais isn’t having it. He told an interviewer early this week what he thinks of what he dubs manufactured outrage.
Gervais said 99 percent of the criticism he faces is “faux” offense from people who “want to be heard” and would “go the other way if it meant getting noticed. But he concedes, “people are allowed to be offended.”
“They’re allowed to hate it. They’re allowed to not come to the show, but it’s not going to stop me doing what I love, and I’m not going to stop it at the expense of all the other people who love it. No one has to watch this,” he said.
Matt Rife mirrored Gervais’ stiff-spine approach in a related “controversy.”
The young, handsome comic is the Flavor of the Month thanks to his “crowd work” TikTok videos. Rife earned a Netflix special of his own with “Natural Selection,” and it similarly caused a kerfuffle with the Comedy Police.
Rife told a story about going to a restaurant and noticing the greeter had a black eye.
“And my boy who I was with was like: ‘Yeah, I feel bad for her, man. I feel like they should put her in the kitchen or something where nobody has to see her face, ya know?’” Rife said during the special. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye,” suggesting that the woman’s inability to cook led to her abuse.
Rife immediately called out the joke as a way of measuring the audience’s ability to absorb cruel humor.
Outrage ensued. Again.
Like Gervais, Rife didn’t back down. He doubled down.
He shared a fake apology on social media and steered his critics to a web site selling helmets for special-needs people.
The criticisms are similar to recent attacks on country crooner Jason Aldean. His “Try That in a Small Town” spoke to frustration over “mostly peaceful” protests that burn down cities.
The bigger question that must be answered here is, why? What drives the Left’s performative outrage?
The answers are complicated.
The woke Left wants to control speech. Period. It’s why the homeless are now “unhoused” and we’re no longer allowed to reference “master” bedrooms. What’s acceptable today will be verboten tomorrow.
Those changes don’t positively impact anything or anyone in society. No homeless person suddenly got the keys to a condo after being officially reclassified.
It’s virtue signaling 101. They do restrict speech and, potentially, lead to cultural cancellations for anyone who uses the newly “wrong” phrases.
Hypocrisy also rears its head in this matter.
The woke Left won’t punish comedians for being cruel to conservatives or Christians, of course. They aren’t afforded the protections other groups receive.
Nor will approved members of the club suffer for breaking the woke laws. Ask why First Son Hunter Biden wasn’t cancelled for repeatedly using the “n-word” in texts. (Or why the liberal press didn’t pounce or seize on the issue)
Singers, like comedians, have long been able to channel voices and characters in their art. The woke Left doesn’t say a word about the rampant violence and misogyny in some rap lyrics, for example.
Aldean, however, somehow crossed a line.
Right-leaning Megyn Kelly got fired by NBC for noting it wasn’t problematic for children to dress in blackface for Halloween during the 1970s. Liberal comic Jimmy Kimmel repeatedly donned blackface on cable television and will host the Oscars for the fourth time come March.
There’s another key reason why the woke Left does what it does. The modern Left isn’t making the world a better place. They’re in charge of the government, the press, academia and the culture at large.
And look where we are today.
The Left stands by as crime soars across the country, promoting Defund the Police measures and voting for soft-on-crime politicians. They look the other way as cities like Denver become tent meccas where block after block of homeless people live in abject poverty.
They watch with arms folded as the price of gas and food skyrocket, unable or unwilling to make the changes that will help ordinary Americans pay the bills or put food on their tables.
They crank out Fake News story after Fake News story while silencing platforms allowing for necessary dissent. Progressive corporations are at war with Elon Musk’s X, the only major platform trying to preserve free speech for all Americans.
The Academic Left can’t even condemn calls for genocide.
And, now, the Left shares social media outrage over naughty jokes, pretending to have made the world a better place in the process.
It’s about cultural and political power for the Left. Always. Never forget that. And it’s no laughing matter.