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Month: May 2017

Can Some Jokes Be Offensive?

ByonwithComments Off on Can Some Jokes Be Offensive?

Throughout the years, comics have pushed the boundaries of what can be said on stage. From Lenny Bruce getting arrested for joking about Eleanor Roosevelt’s boobs to Louis CK getting angrily tweeted at for joking about child molesters, comics have always faced criticism from those who don’t see the humor in subjects that they deem as obscene.

But what do Bruce and C.K aim to accomplish with these jokes? Clearly, Bruce and C.K. weren’t making serious statements on either Roosevelt’s boobs or child molesters. They were JOKING. The first mistake that we’ve made as an audience is to take a joke seriously.

Secondly, we need to take the joke with the context that the comic is framing it. Louis C.K isn’t condoning child molesting in has famous SNL monolog. All Louis C.K. is asking you to do is think about it. He posits that “there is no worse life available to a human than being a caught child molester.” C.K then follows with the punchline “when you consider the risk involved with being a child molester, you can only surmise that it must feel really good, to THEM, not ME.” This is not a defense of child molesters or a slander of those affected by molestation, but rather a drawing of attention to how freaking crazy child molesters really are.

Ricky Gervais once said on a radio show that a comic’s intent should determine whether a joke is offensive or not. Before overreacting to certain subjects, we should always take into account the intent of a comic’s joke. But above all, we need to remember to just laugh.

Astrology Is A Joke

ByonwithComments Off on Astrology Is A Joke

We all know someone that believes in astrology a little too much. They somehow manage to teeter the line between general interest and a cult-like way of life far too often. They also somehow always smell like sage and own a lot of flowy blouses. 

These people oftentimes show up at the most inopportune moments. You are enjoying yourself at your friend’s birthday party when ol’ Sage comes up and starts constructing your birth chart. You are then shifted from laid-back party-goer to an innocent bystander trying not to wring star child’s neck.

When did the conversation turn from hypothetical, semi-amusing thoughts to a victim blaming ceremony? I’ve literally had people scream and jump away after learning my astrological sign. After transitioning from confusion to mild irritation, I quickly came to an understanding that it is best to weed out these people from my life anyway. And nothing is more clear cut than the billowy scarf-wearing person who just squealed while opening a birth chart app on their phone.

Call us crazy, but who cares what the moon was doing when we were born? We’re pretty sure it was doing moon-like things. Such as being in the sky. This also applies to water, fire, air or any other aspect of science that may or may not be attributed to astrology.

We understand that it may be hard to determine whether or not the person you are speaking to is going to take the conversation too far, so we have constructed a chart to aid in determining whether or not you need to get the hell out of there:

While the original thought of discussing personality traits may be initially entertaining, there is no need to take it further than that. The descriptions of the signs are so vague that they can apply to almost anyone at any given time and to see people freaking out over them is hysterical. 

Look, we wish they were true! It would be super cool. But it’s just too ridiculous. It’s nothing personal. We just think that taking horoscopes too seriously is an absurd character flaw and renders a person entirely unstable. That’s all.

10 Things That Will Always Be Funny

There are few worse feelings than the one you have when you say something intended to be funny and get silence instead of laughter.  For comics, this is especially true.  Some jokes simply aren’t for everyone.  But certain things are universally funny.  Here are five of them guaranteed to amuse:

School Assemblies

Whether it’s a special guest speaker or a preview of the upcoming school play, something always goes wrong.  And when what was supposed to be educational enrichment dissolves into nonsense, watching your teachers scramble to make something meaningful and worthwhile out of it is great entertainment.  So sit back and enjoy the show.  No, the real show, which is the absolute dumpster fire burning before your very eyes.

Being Scolded in Public

Sure, this can also be embarrassing.  But embarrassment, oddly enough, tends to make people laugh.  Besides, how often do you see someone just go off in public over something that actually matters?  Not often.  What infuriates them can seem to calmer observers totally trivial and inherently inconsequential.  Therefore the reaction itself is comically disproportionate.  Angry people don’t usually express their anger too coherently, either.  Sometimes just hearing someone fumble a few curse words is enough to get a laugh.

Public Transport

This is funny simply because it’s awkward.  And it’s awkward to get that close to total strangers.  It’s awkward that some of them are seated and some of them are standing because inevitably someone’s face is in someone else’s crotch and others end up wrapping their legs around poles not for tips but for injury prevention.  Throw in all the bizarre fashion statements, unsolicited music performances, and private conversations you couldn’t help but overhear, and it’s hard not to at least crack a smile when you finally have the room to breathe.

Customer Service

Not when you need it, because then it’s no laughing matter.  But just in general, the concept of customer service is laughable.  There are people who make a living out of pretending to care about the quality of your experience with their company.  Imagine that!  And how do they all suck at it?  How droll!

The Faces We Make Just Before Sneezing

Some of us look terrified, unsure of exactly how or why our bodies are deceiving us.  Others look downright disgusted, fully aware of the horror to come.  Either way, these have to be the least glamorous moments in any of our lives, and yet we prolong them with our distorted facial expressions for all in our vicinity to see.


There is nothing in this world that brings us more happiness than watching someone fall. This is especially true when their confidence level is high- talk about being brought back down to reality. Tripping and bumping into things can also be included in this category. Part of what makes this so funny is watching the person’s reaction and their attempt to play it off after the fact. Watch your step, girl.

Eating Snacks In A Quiet Room

This is when you are in a quiet room. It could be a movie theater or conference room or church for some reason (or basically anywhere with a somewhat serious atmosphere) and then someone disrupts it all by slowly opening a bag of chips. From there on out, every single movement of that bag is heard, making whatever stupid sentence coming out of Mike’s mouth seem a little less important.

P.S. A drink with a plastic lid and straw squeaking also works.

Awkward Situations

Sometimes you witness something so completely awkward that all you can do is laugh. Oh, your cat broke its legs and needs a series of casts? That’s hilarious. You found out that your child hates you? We’re dead. Look, sometimes we can’t be held accountable for our uncontrollable laughter and this is absolutely one of those times. If you want us to stop laughing, stop making terrible decisions in life.

Dropping Something

This one throws everyone off. Everything was running smoothly until someone messed up. It gets even better when the stakes are higher like when making dinner or handling something valuable. Oh, you were one step away from finishing baking that cake? Guess what? Now it’s on the floor and so are we from laughing.

Misplacing Straws

This one is great because it usually takes place during a serious conversation at a restaurant. A friend in crisis will be pouring their heart out and then all of the sudden the entire thing is ruined by some piece of sh** who can’t figure out where their straw went. Hint: it’s in your f****** glass, Tiffany.

Is Laughter the Best Medicine?

No.  Medicine is the best medicine.  Laughter may have been the best medicine before there was medicine.  And laughter was probably still the best medicine before there was real medicine.  You know, back when healers were still cooking up potions in cauldrons and concocting powders out of, well, mostly dirt.

But today the old adage is not only hackneyed, it’s also untrue.  Laughter is no match for modern medicine.  There’s a reason why doctors make the big bucks and comics, with a few notable exceptions, don’t.  It’s a question of skilled versus unskilled labor, and the work of a doctor is just about the most skilled form of labor out there.

Doctors, in order to be doctors, go through a rigorous rigmarole.  They each must earn a bachelor’s degree (four years), get admitted to a medical school, earn a medical degree (six to eight years), complete a residency (minimum three years) and finally obtain a license to practice medicine.  And that’s before they get certified or specialize.

Anyone can tell a joke.

This is not to discredit any of the many medicinal properties of laughter.  And there are many.  Medical researchers, including doctors, have found that laughter improves immune function, alleviates pain and helps prevent chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.  It even burns calories, and we all know the importance of that.

Despite all this, laughter is still very much unlike medicine.  Laughter doesn’t get prescribed like medicine.  There’s no insurance and no copay.  Laughter doesn’t get administered like medicine, either.  Laughter doesn’t come in specific doses.  You don’t have to take it with food.  It doesn’t taste bad or have any negative side effects.  You can’t accidentally overdose.  You can get hooked on it, though, but this is actually encouraged.  Especially around here at Stand Up NY.

So actually, laughter is better than medicine.