This article was first written in response to an article that is no longer available.
Reading the article, ‘Does comic ‘bravery’ go hand in hand with being offensive and stupid?’ I can understand why some people may think that because a comic is edgy and offensive that this means they are validated. The article goes onto express that a lot of people in the media come up to comics after the gig and say you are very brave doing this, I can vouch for this being a stand up myself. But compared to a fireman and police officer, it isn’t. They save lives for a living, we watch the news and world around us and commentate on it.
The most harsh crowds, attacking a comic I have head of is The Bear Pit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I have heard of stories from when the Doug Anthony All Stars were there, although any merit of truth to any comics story can come into question as most comics have a tendency to sometimes blow things out of proportion.
A warning for any potential or professional heckler – most comics are skilled against you, they will cut you down quicker then a swiss army knife. Also, the audience won’t like you, as they have usually paid for this entertainment. Finally – a comic with a microphone is more dangerous then a weapon of mass destruction.
When it comes to what comics talk about on stage; the topics are unlimited and most comics know what is acceptable at the time. If they miss the mark, the audience will soon let them know. Where I stand on the issue is I; personally, feel there is no topic off-limits, however, I choose to to only make jokes about the stuff I am familiar with.
A successful Australian Muslim comic I know was talking about when he and his friend started comedy, how they were called racist in media for doing material that was considered edgy. They gave views that were not considered to be ‘Australian’ and they were slammed for that, when really – they were doing (and still am) material that they could relate too, also material that appealed to the majority of the audience.
They talk about Ricky Gervais’ material a lot, and how sometimes his comedy is below belt. However, all throughout comedy history there have been routines and comics that were considered taboo at the time, however now we see that as a great routine with nothing offensive about it because it is truthful. Two distinct routines I have in mind are, George Carlin’s 7 words and Doug Anthony All Stars – I Fuck Dogs.