With the death of Joan Rivers at 81 Thursday, we lost one more icon in a dwindling breed: the comedian who does not seek the good opinion of the powerful media and entertainment elite.
Just two months before her death, Rivers mocked President Obama as “gay” and First Lady Michelle Obama as a “tranny,” and caught hell for it from the likes of the Huffington Post. Those servants to power chided: “Rivers took her ‘jokes’ too far yet again this week, when she hurled a trans slur at the first lady.”
Think about that: a supposed LIBERAL publication said that a comedian “took her jokes too far.”
Barack Obama’s terrorist friend Bill Ayers standing on the American flag isn’t as offensive and un-American as someone saying a comedian “took her jokes too far.”
Now Rivers is gone and outside of a handful of comedic insurgents like Don Rickles, Dennis Miller, and Adam Carolla, we’re stuck with Politically Correct Palace Guards like Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Lena Dunham, Ricky Gervais, the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” and pretty much everyone associated with Funny or Die — all big government-loving cowards desperate to fit into a comedic class that believes political correctness is a virtue and those who buck it should be held up to ridicule.
Today’s comedic class isn’t about pushing the boundaries of free speech towards sacred cows, they are Speech Enforcers using their talents and the power of ridicule to marginalize and silence those who do not conform to the left’s standards of accepted speech.
Gays, blacks, women, immigrants, Muslims… off limits.
Fat white southern heterosexual male Christians… katy bar the door.
Joan Rivers attacked everyone — from Michelle Obama to Sarah Palin. Whether you enjoyed her style or not, it was nice knowing that someone — someone! — was out there with the courage to invite the kind of outrage that causes a Huffington Post to accuse you of going too far. Pissing off Christians is a career-enhancer. Pissing off the Left and GLAAD is a career killer.
Before his untimely death, 80’s comedy legend Sam Kinison almost lost his career for the sin of believing no subject (starvation in Africa) or group (women, gays) should be innoculated from satire. Andrew Dice Clay was the biggest comedian in the country until even cast members of “Saturday Night Live”(!) organized to effectively destroy his career over crude jokes about women.
What makes this even more horrific is the double standard. Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin a “c*nt,” Louis CK says things about Palin that are too grotesque to repeat, David Letterman jokes about Palin’s underage daughter getting knocked up… that’s fine in America. These three men remain well-paid, critically-adored living legends because they are men of the left who chose the right target.
Rush Limbaugh, however, who is both an entertainer and commentator, uses the word “slut” and for weeks becomes public enemy number one in the media. Reality television star Phil Robertson is massacred on cable news and almost fired from “Duck Dynasty” for crudely expressing his Christian beliefs. GLAAD’s totalitarian re-education rampages against anyone who doesn’t treat a homosexual like a snowflake are straight out of the McCarthy era.
No free-thinking American would have a problem with non-stop PalinChristianConservativeMaleSouthern jokes if it weren’t so obvious that our media and entertainment overlords are aggressively stacking the deck into a politically-conceived double standard against us, and using the likes of Stewart, Colbert, and Ferrell to do it.
We’re fair game to be marginalized and made uncool.
The left is not.
That’s not comedy, that’s fascism.
I wasn’t a Joan Rivers fan, and I’m old enough to remember the mid-eighties when she was one of the biggest stars in the country. While I believe comedy should have no limits, that doesn’t mean I enjoy all of it. For years, at the height of her fame, Rivers made a cottage industry of mocking a middle-aged Elizabeth Taylor’s weight. Rivers could be a little too cheap, easy, and mean for my taste.
Regardless, part of me was always glad — no relieved and grateful — that there was someone out there who, in the name of comedy, was willing to say something cheap, easy, and mean — especially at a sacred cow like Taylor.
Now Rivers is gone, and any up-and-comer who wanted to take her place, who dared call Michelle Obama a “tranny” during open-mic night at the legendary Comedy Store, would be booed off the stage and blacklisted until she publicly recanted.
No one will ever call Michelle Obama a “tranny” again, and that is not a good thing, nor is it progress.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC