Comedy In Today's Society

1324 Words 6 Pages
Comically Crude
The line drawn between comedy and vulgar references have become blurred in today's society. A comedian may make a joke which offends a great body of people all for the purpose of making a few laugh. Famous comedians make a living off of exploiting both groups, and individual peoples, with derogatory comments in order to make large masses of money. In the past, comedians would cross social lines and force society forward using both obscene language and seemingly deranged or lewd topics. In present times, whichever way it may be intended to be received, the majority of humorists works create more problems than they solve. The First Amendment to the US Constitution and the the Bill of Rights, Freedom of Speech has long since
…show more content…
The first well known, and possibly oldest, was the Jester. Primarily the Jester would be telling jokes, but his purpose was the same and that was the make the audience laugh no matter the cost. They were used in courts, but also out in the army lines. They would perform for the armies before they were sent out to fight, in order to boost moral and forget about the horrors they would surely witness. The comparison between the Jester's of medieval times and humorists today is astounding. A Jester named Archibald Armstrong was employed to King James VI of Scotland, but was eventually thrown out when he insulted too many nobles. Other notable names such as Thomas Killigrew, who in 1668 said, "The King's fool and jester, with the power to mock and revile even the most prominent without penalty". This still stands true today, humorists on TV are more than opinionated on the political leaders and receive no penalty other than possible public disgrace. While the Jester's ability to say things others could not had been beneficial, those circumstances are no longer the same. Americans have the right to say things, but that does not imply they should be said especially where race, religion, culture or disabilities are …show more content…
Speaking in terms of entertainment, the 1950's and 60's were particularly monotonous. Preceded by the Roaring 20's which were a lively atmosphere with elaborate parties, so by comparison, it was peculiar when the programs such as the "Tonight Show" by Steve Allen was broadcasted on NBC. They were need for light entertainment because those times were especially trying. After roughly 20 years of fighting in a seemingly endless war, many called for the conflict to end, multiple presidents tried but failed to back out. Between Vietnam and Civil Rights movements, mindless fun was what the waiting audiences were ready for. As evidenced by the Sexual Revolution, the rebellious youth were yearning for a change from their conservative parents ideology as well. President John F Kennedy recognized this and his awareness and understanding of the power of comedy greatly affected his campaign positively. Mort Sahl was a humorist who spoke out against politics, but was hired by JFK to write jokes for his campaign. Sahl was Kennedy's personal jester, he won the crowds over with humor. However once Kennedy gained the office, Sahl continued his satirical criticism of the incumbent much to the Kennedy campaign, and others disapproval. A journalist once said this of Sahl, "[Sahl] doesn’t tell jokes so much as he tells the truth.", and that was the defining

Related Documents