Navigating the politically correct world we now live in can be tricky, and no one feels the brunt of their past “inappropriate” quips like comedians.
During a discussion on The View, host and comic Joy Behar asked Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones her thoughts on several stand-ups being called out for past jokes that have resurfaced online of late, including The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, and even herself.
“I been doing comedy since 1986. You look back, y’all gonna see so much inappropriate … you can’t hold me accountable for what I said in 1987,” Jones said. “I wasn’t smart. I’m so happy social media wasn’t happening in my 20s. I would be the comeback kid. You all would be saying, ‘Oooh, she’s so respectable now!'”
The actress and comedian went on, “Stop holding comedians to this standard. Stop doing that! Our job is to make the ugliest stuff funny. That’s our job. We are court jesters, we are clowns, that’s what we do. We come out and make this terrible situation laughable. Unless you want to cry for the rest of your life, you want to cry? We can cry if you want to.
“I want to laugh. Laughter brings joy, laughter brings endorphins, laughter brings contagiousness. People love me so much because I have an energy of happiness. I want everybody to laugh and the best way to conquer pain is laughter. It’s the best way. So let comedians do their jobs; you’re not letting comedians doing their job, and you’re miserable! You’re miserable!
“Because laughter is a release that you are now cutting off. Stop walking around so offended; you’re not gonna be able to survive life if you walk around offended,” she concluded. “LAUGH! LAUGH! LAUGH!”
Last week, Trevor Noah was called to the carpet for a joke he made in 2013 about Aboriginal women from Australia. He offered his apologies via Twitter.
@joewilliams_tew you’re right. After visiting Australia’s Bunjilaka museum and learning about aboriginal history first hand I vowed never to make a joke like that again. And I haven’t. I’ll make sure the clip from 2013 is not promoted in any way.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) July 22, 2018
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.