Political correctness and comedians
Comedians have been encountering political correctness for at least 25 years. It may feel to off-campus-outsiders that on-campus-audiences are hostile toward non-PC comedy. But are they?
Most college audiences contain large blocks of the following:
1. kids raised on def comedy, and
2. committed activists
What often happens is that the def comedy lovers force the uptight 'offend-nobody' crowd to relax a little, while the self-appointed "fairness police" reciprocate by showing the def comedy fans, that smarter, more creative humor has a longer shelf-life.
We think students today are more judgmental but also more playful. Many are so post-modern that they play the racist/sexist cards, ironically. Often they see such concerns as "so 2014" even if the most strident among them, don't.
Like audiences, comedians are not all the same either. Touring comedians have to prove themselves every show. Famous comedians are no longer accustomed to that challenge. So audience pushback lands like a thud...on the famous.
But comedians should remember that reflexive judgment from 19 year olds is a daily trial for their professors. So traveling artists should mock it, as they mock all "posturing", rather than choose to be offended by it. Comics need to relax too, is my point.
Also, since it's a quasi-private-community booking, the comedian can see student's demands as similar to those of a church event planner, who lets the comic know well in advance that she needs "zero F-bombs". All this should be ironed out before a contract is signed and before a fee is quoted, of course.
What's most needed, when there's an incident/objection are for comedians and campus administrators to issue proportional responses to disproportional reactions.
And a warning: if you're easily offended, please consider that such an inclination begs for safe comedy that is tired & unimaginative. Most 'edgeless' comics live in the "corny field". So be careful what you wish for.
Contact us at KB Entertainment. Our comedian booking agency will find the perfect comedian for your audience and for your event type. But no college gigs, please. Those kids are idiots. See? Irony!