Daniel Tosh has stumbled upon the best way to avoid the P.C. police. Keep them laughing so long they forget why they wanted to make a citizen’s arrest in the first place.
The new home video release from Tosh’s Comedy Central program, “Tosh.0 Deep V’s,” finds the comedian dishing out so much potentially offensive material it’s a miracle the censors let it on the air in the first place.
Tosh doesn’t lean over the line of decency in this collection culled from the show’s second season. He throws his gangly body across it, wiggles his big toe and sticks his tongue out for all to see.
His impish behavior dares you to be hurt by his jokes, all the while he sports deep V-neck shirts that lengthen his already tall frame. It’s part of Tosh’s talent that he doesn’t come across as smug or indifferent, even when he feigns precisely such a pose. He’s too busy recreating the bizarre behavior shown in the web videos he professionally mocks, and he’s never afraid of getting naked for the cause.
None of that would matter if his jokes weren’t as ruthless as smart bombs, his slapstick blissfully unrestrained. It’s still tough not to squirm over bits like this:
“Do you think there’s a ghetto in heaven?” he asks a black preacher.
He recommends a perilously untalented black comedian to embrace the catchphrase, “beans and cornbread” to amp up his routine.
A video of a man who appears to have a severe physical disability is mocked mercilessly.
“Don’t stop watching, but we’re going to show women’s basketball for a couple of seconds,” Tosh cautions, one of many misogynistic-flavored lines.
He fires off a battery of jokes at a picture of a large black man holding a tiny cup – “might I have a spot of Kool-Aid? … 40 ounces of tea, please …”
Tosh’s “Redemption” interviews may be sliced and diced before we see them, but his questions put his guests on the defensive in ways most interviews are afraid to do. He says what we’re all thinking while watching a series of absurd video clips, and if one question feels too punishing he’s got another, funnier retort in the chamber to break the tension.
The bonus features include extended “Web Redemption” interviews, an extended “If Daniel Fought Celebrities” sketch and the uncut 24-minute spoile of “The Human Centipede.“
The latter is like sitting next to a film geek who can’t help deconstructing the plot holes in a horror movies. It’s a better idea than execution, but fans of the sublimely disgusting horror film may grin at his shtick.
The irony behind the latest “Tosh.0″ home video is the trouble the comedian got into for making rape jokes in a comedy club earlier this year. The incident forced Tosh to apologize to the offended patron, yet he has yet to apologize for any of the content on his show. It literally takes just one person to start an apology cascade in our culture, yet “Tosh.0″ thrives despite our knee-jerk ability to be outraged.
Tosh’s secret may be how transparent his offensive gags tend to be. He’s got a running bit dubbed, “Is It Racist,” letting us know he’s in on the comic boundaries buckling under his wit.