“Cancel Culture” is a term that has become more prevalent. In the world of comedy, it’s one step further down the path of political correctness. Today we talk about what it is, how it affects comedy, and what comedians can do to neutralize its invasion of our art form.
Webster defines cancel culture as “a way of behaving in society or group, especially on social media, in which it is common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or done something that offends you.”
But here’s here is the thing. Stand-up comedy specifically is your opinion, your thought, and your attempt to make somebody laugh. That’s what standup comedy is. It’s your opinion, your thought, your attempt to make somebody laugh. And that is important. It should be about trying to get people to laugh.
Standup comedy is an art form with its primary focus on generating laughs, but it has evolved over time into an art form that can also be used to address social issues, advance one’s agenda, or potentially lead others to change their thought or alter their beliefs.
And then evolution is the tricky part because that’s what is rubbing up against the edges of cancer culture because now you’re taking your belief system and challenging someone else’s or challenging someone else’s with yours, and you start taking a stance against things. That tension can lead to some friction, some push back.
We tackle this evolutionary overlap in today’s episode.
COUNTERING CANCEL CULTURE
Specifically, we talk about:
- The definition of comedy and cancel culture
- What causes people to be offended
- How comedians leave themselves vulnerable to it
- What comics can do to prevent attacks
- The reason you need to know your target in a joke
- Different types of targets
- “The Planet is Fine” routine by George Carlin
- How to back up your opinions like George Carlin
- What I think about Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Why you should work on your craft
- What Jon Stewart thinks about Thanksgiving
- How assumption and cancel culture go hand in hand
And a whole lot more!
CRISP AND CLEAN COMEDY COMPETITION
Also, don’t forget to enter an audio clip in the Crisp and Clean Comedy Competition! This showcase of clean comedy is open to all comedians. Whether you are brand new, full-time, or fooling yourself.
Here’s how it will work.
The clip can be stand-up, sketch, musical comedy – as long as it is clean and clearly understandable.
Send your TV CLEAN audio clip, 60 seconds or less to SchoolofLaughs@gmail.com before May 21st.
In your email make sure you put:
- Your name,
- The name of the joke,
- Where you are based,
- How long you have performed comedy.
I’ll do a quick listen for clarity and audio quality.
All clean clips, with good laughs and quality audio, will appear together in an upcoming episode of the podcast. So, it’s important I have your name and joke name to introduce the comedy clip.
Voting happens in three phases.
- The Crisp and Clean Comedy Competition episode will be posted on the School of Laughs YouTube channel and you can encourage your friends to listen and leave a comment on your behalf. Every comment will go towards your overall tally. This will account for 1/3 of your total vote.
- Each clip will be judged on a scale of 1-10 by at least three judges. Their vote will weigh 1/3 as well.
- And the final 1/3 of the score will be done by the other listeners of the show. I’ll encourage our listeners to vote for their favorite clip from the episode by visiting the School Of Laughs website and clicking their vote in a form.
The 3 overall favorite submissions will get a replay on an upcoming episode as well as a brief interview with the comic behind the joke.
Also, the top 3 will receive:
- A one-hour roundtable coaching call with Rik and the other winners,
- A free SILVER Edition Comedy Writing Course,
- And a free one-year subscription to Club 52. Club 52 features a weekly email with comedy challenges as well as a quarterly Zoom hangout.
So, when you have your Crisp and Clean Comedy Competition clip ready:
- send it to SchoolOfLaughs@gmail.com.
- In the subject line put “Crisp and Clean Comedy Clip”.
- Make sure the clip is under 60 seconds
- And in a wave or mp3 file. (I cannot rip audio from your YouTube clip or do the editing for you.)
All entrants will be notified prior to the initial episode that they have made the “cut”. I guarantee I will listen to all the clips but cannot guarantee that they will all make the cut. So, do your best to make it funny, clean, and under a minute.
All of these details are on the SchooOflaughs.com show notes page for this episode.
Good luck and I can’t wait to hear from you.