Dear Daniel Tosh,
Dude. You messed up. Big time.
I know you want to blame everyone else or blow it off and use the tired excuse of “just kidding!” but let me repeat, YOU MESSED UP.
Let me handle this the way I would if you were a teenager in my classroom and you just said that to a girl in class who was uncomfortable with you joking about rape.
I would have shut your big mouth down.
Now, I don’t know you personally. All I have to go on is your stand-up routine (which I don’t find funny at all). And it’s not that I am a prude or anything. I mean, Kat Williams is one of my favorite comedians EVER. I just don’t think you’re funny, that’s all), your show on Comedy Central (also, not really my cup of tea, but whatevs), and the recent press you have gotten for this ginormous Eff Up. I’ve read your lame attempts at an apology.
And you remind me of teenage boys (and some girls, but for this post, boys) I have had come through my classroom.
Not the legitimately funny ones who can point out the hilarity of how dumb humans can be, but the ones who use “it was a joke!” as an excuse to say inappropriate things. Threatening things. Sexist, racist, rude, hurtful things.
The boys who pretend they are not a giant bully by adding “just kidding!” when an adult points out their line-crossing words.
The kids who got their kicks shocking others with what would come out of their mouths.
It’s not smart. It’s not witty. It’s not new.
It’s being an ass.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think comedians need to go around worrying about who they might offend. Most of the funniest stuff is about unfunny subjects.
You just didn’t do it “right”.
The original joke was totally lame and meh. It was the same tired attempt at making rape funny that other mediocre and forgettable comedians have tried. It was off-color, but not enough for anyone to get into a huff over.
But someone in the audience did.
This post isn’t about what I think about “hecklers” at shows. The fact that this woman decided to voice her distaste on the spot instead of leaving didn’t mean “she deserved” what she got (I wonder if the people who think she did deserve it see the irony, by the way).
Instead of ignoring her or finding a professional way to deal with it or making an off-topic joke, you chose to say, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now?”
Read that again. Your words. The ones you said.
Why would that be funny? Because it would be ironic?
So irony is always funny? So then, by that definition, if YOU were to get raped by five guys right now and get severely hurt and possibly die, we should all laugh, right? Because, OH MY GOD, how FUNNY that that JUST happened after YOU thought it would be funny if a girl were raped after heckling you at your show about a rape joke!
OH HA HA HA! The hilarity just wouldn’t end!
But wait. That would not be funny AT ALL.
In fact, it would be tragic.
Just like you would feel insanely awful if a bunch of drunk dudes at your show took your joke the wrong way and DID jump that girl after the show, it would be horrific if the same happened to you.
NO ONE WOULD BE LAUGHING.
Except the assholes of the world.
See how that works?
Assholes laugh at people getting horrifically hurt and damaged.
Had you handled the heckler in a different way, this would be a non-issue.
But you made a bad choice, dude.
And as I tell my 3-year old, there are consequences.
Luckily for you, the consequences are just some bad press.
And apparently a marathon on Comedy Central the other day (really, CC? capitalize, much?)
As for me? I just think you’re a jerk.
So I will ignore you.
Because you are nothing but a coward bully to me.