Mulaney & Chappelle

Ricky Gervais’ special, SuperNature, was just released on Netflix and includes several jokes about the trans community.  There are also pointed barbs about fat people, thin people, rich people, poor people, straight people, gay people, and every other imaginable group of people.  Gervais says of the trans community, “They just want to be treated equally.  I agree – that’s why I include them.”  Some of his jokes certainly made me cringe.  But I wondered – was I cringing about what Gervais said, or what it triggered in me?  Humor should hold up a mirror to society.  When a comedian makes you think about your own failings, they have done their job.  Of course, not every comic is for every person.  I suspect many people who are criticizing Gervais’ special have not even seen it.

I felt the same way about people criticizing Dave Chappelle.  So I was not surprised when many fans expressed outrage when John Mulaney surprised them with Chappelle as his opening act in Columbus, Ohio (where Dave lives).  I don’t know Mulaney, but he’s had a helluva year.  He left his wife and went public about his addictions, and connected with Olivia Munn – someone I’ve met numerous times yet can never quite place.  But any comedian who has the chance (and the balls) to follow Chappelle onstage is fearless.  I totally understand that some members of the audience felt ambushed having to sit through Chappelle.  Trust me, I felt the same way when Wild Orchid opened for Cher!  But just do what I did – put on your earplugs, go to the concession stand, and get drunk.


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