David Spade says he only cracks safe jokes in comedy shows for fear of the cancellation culture mob.
During an interview with TMZ, Spade was asked if he stays awake at night worrying about jokes he told back in the day? His reply was that he indeed got worried about his old standup shows, hoping that his jokes don’t unleash the mob.
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Although, it can be argued that Spade recently got on the good side of cancel culture as he got a guest-hosting stint on “Bachelor In Paradise” after regular host Chris Harrison left the reality Tv show amid a racism scandal. He however warned that the “woke” phenomenon is actually making it “very tricky” to be a standup comedian.
“It’s very dicey. It’s very tricky,” Spade said when he was also quizzed about cancelling culture by Variety.
How Cancel Culture Affects Comedy
Still, in the interview with Variety, the 57-year-old who became prominent in the 90s also complained that cancel culture is destroying comedy. He said; “one wrong move and you’re cancelled.”
“You used to have to say anything to go as far as you could, to push the envelope, to get attention, and people would be like, ‘I like this guy. He’s pushing it.’ And in comedy clubs, audiences really appreciate that” he explained. “Now you say the one wrong move and you’re cancelled. It’s a very tough world out there.”
Spade further expressed his view on the issue, noting that one upside to cancel culture is the banding up of comedians. They’ve had no choice but to find the trend of losing their jobs because of jokes or comments that are deemed to be politically incorrect.
He said; “I think all the comedians have gotten together, in a way, to say we just have to keep doing what we were doing, and the people that come to the shows will appreciate it. But you get an outsider that comes in and goes, ‘I was so offended.’
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“The intent is not to be mean … If the intent is to do it as a joke or a spin on something, and it is mean to people, but you’re just making fun of that, I don’t think that’s horrible. I’ve been in the business doing it for 20 years, so I hope comics are allowed to be comics. I really hope so.” Spade continued.
From Spade’s point of view, saying bland and safe jokes has its collateral damage — it’s just not that funny anymore, and people will react to it in any way they want to. Better to be on the safe side always.
What Is Cancel Culture?
For those roughly unfamiliar with the term, cancel culture or a call-out culture is a form of social or professional ostracism in which someone is pushed out of those circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person.
Those people that are ostracized are said to have been “cancelled” and this often results in a huge financial and professional loss for that individual.
While cancel culture has its good moments when used as a tool to call out and remove problematic people from mainstream culture, it is not always the right approach, especially when it is done out of bias or spite.
With the public as the judge and jury, some people could wrongly influence decisions on someone’s profession and dole out the punishments, thanks to social media.
More On Cancel Culture In Comedy
Spade mentioned on his Comedy Central talk show that he asked his fellow comedians what they thought about cancel culture? They all seemed to have the same view and kicked against it.
One guest, comedian Bill Burr, bluntly commented, “When is this gonna f**king end?” Burr then blamed the cancel culture mob on millennials, calling them “a bunch of rats!”
Spade is hardly the first comedian to speak his heart out about the ills of cancel culture for entertainers in the comedy business.
He joined by Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, as well as his former “SNL” cohorts Jon Lovitz and Chris Rock, in speaking out about the tricky climate comedians find themselves in whenever they mount the stage to make jokes.
More Comedians Need To Speak Out Against Cancel Culture
Cancel culture has got the entertainment industry almost in a chokehold. Most celebrities have lost their nerves to speak up about some subjects for fear that they’ll end up “cancelled” themselves.
Comedians seem to have been shared the worst lot in the industry. It’s hard to be funny when you are worried that something you say will be misconstrued and cost you your livelihood.
Some cancel mobs even trawl back through someone’s Twitter feed to find something objectionable they posted years ago when they were drunk or very young. Then they use it to whip up an online uproar.
In reality, censorship in comedy seems unnecessary. Comedians already perform in front of a jury: the audience. If they say anything that is genuinely spiteful or prejudiced, people won’t laugh, because people generally aren’t horrible.