Before Martin Scorsese dismissed comic book movies, Twitter’s sacrificial lamb for the slaughter last week was “Joker” director Todd Phillips for his remarks about comedy.
Phillips got his start helming popular comedies last decade like “Road Trip,” “Old School” and “The Hangover,” but his output this decade wasn’t so well received from “The Hangover” to “School for Scoundrels” and “Due Date”.
As part of a Vanity Fair piece, Phillips said he began to find it hard to make comedies anymore due to “woke culture” and that comedians run the risk of offending people so easily that it’s simpler not to try.
Understandably those comments spurned much talk but the most frequent responses seemed to be people listing comedy shows and films that currently air that are having no problems making people laugh from “Rick & Morty” to “Fleabag,” “Big Mouth,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Good Place,” “South Park,” “Succession,” “It’s Always Sunny,” “Jojo Rabbit” and comedians like Bill Burr, Nikki Glaser and Dave Chappelle.
Another modern acclaimed funnyman is Marc Maron, the WTF Podcast host who actually also has a small role in “Joker”. On a recent episode of the show, Maron talked about Phillips’ recent comments and disagrees – saying that there’s a place for all sorts of humor even as those who push the limits should expect some backlash:
“There’s plenty of people being funny right now. Not only being funny but being really f-king funny. There are still lines to be rode. If you like to ride a line, you can still ride a line. If you want to take chances, you can still take chances.
Really, the only thing that’s off the table, culturally, at this juncture – and not even entirely – is shamelessly punching down for the sheer joy of hurting people. For the sheer excitement and laughter that some people get from causing people pain, from making people uncomfortable, from making people feel excluded. Y’know, that excitement. As I’ve said before, it’s no excuse. If you’re too intimidated to try to do comedy that is deep or provocative, or even a little controversial, without hurting people, then you’re not good at what you do. Or maybe you’re just insensitive.
Bottom line is no one is saying you can’t say things or do things. It’s just that it’s going to be received a certain way by certain people and you’re gonna have to shoulder that. And if you’re isolated or marginalized or pushed into a corner because of your point of view or what you have to say, yet you still have a crew of people that enjoy it, there you go! Those are your people. Enjoy your people.”
Maron also says that he believes that there are comedians that want to ride the line of decency and are doing it for the art rather than any malicious reasons. Maron can be seen as the assistant to Robert De Niro’s talk show host in “Joker” which is currently playing in cinemas.
Source: The Playlist