I don’t love every stand up comedian equally, not by a long shot. Some comedians really make me cry laughing. Others only get a chuckle or two. If a comedian is being too offensive for my tastes (lots of fat jokes, or jokes about race or gender) then I skip their episode and move on. I don’t necessarily mind if a fat comedian makes fun of themselves, although it makes me a little sad (and also reminds me of this comic). I mostly ignore race and gender jokes if they’re one-offs, but if the comedian devotes a good bit of time to them (at least five minutes) then I move on. Otherwise, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Social justice is something that moves slowly, and comedians can be part of it, if they play their cards right, but it’s always easier, in show business, to play it safe (although some people are offensive because they know they can get away with it). I especially love female comics and openly gay comics, who are definitely in the minority. In the entire time I’ve been watching this series, there has only been one fat woman of color, and she was phenomenal. I wish they’d given her a special, because I’d love to see more of her (and not in some stupid TV show). I can’t remember any other fat women, although there were certainly women who called themselves fat (and I will not deny them their perceptions of their own body, but freely admit that what I view as fat is not what society as a whole views as fat, in the same way that what I view as tall is not what society views as tall).
The only stand up comedian I’ve seen live, to date, is Lewis Black. This is mostly because I am not a person who enjoys going out places by myself, as a rule, and while I know I would enjoy going to a comedy club, I don’t want to go to one by myself, and most of my friends are not interested in going with me. This is a common theme in my life, that I don’t like going places alone (mostly because half the fun of having an experience is sharing it with other people, and having a good memory to go over with them later and so on) and can’t find someone to go with me, but I blame this on the small group of friends I currently have, because Cincinnati is a shit town to meet people in. Anyway, the reason I even saw Lewis Black in person was because when I was in high school, my older brother (the middle of us three) became a fan of The Daily Show, and especially thought Lewis Black was cool. Upon discovering that he would be playing in a small club in our town, he begged our parents to let us to see him. And, for some unknown reason, my parents agreed. Me and my brother were the only people below 21 there, but we laughed as much as anyone else, and it was a great experience. Lewis Black remains one of my favorite comedians, and it’s because he generally makes fun of people when they’re being idiots. That is something that I can always get behind, and something that always makes me laugh. I hold him up as an example of how one can be funny without being offensive (unless you’re a politician or an idiot, I guess).
Sometimes I have fantasies about doing stand up comedy. If, for some reason, the opera singing fell through (a tragic accident where my voice was damaged beyond repair), I would probably give it a shot. I don’t know if I’d be any good at it, of course, but it would still be fun to try. And I like making people laugh, and I like being on stage, so where’s the downside? Hell, I love traveling too. ;D