Or so says this guy I met at lunch at work.
“They’re the last group of people you can make fun of!” he says “The rednecks!”
Then he went on to make a bad redneck joke. See, yes, I’m sensitive about all this stuff, so I don’t think you can make fun of Southern White Christians (never mind the fact that I doubly can’t b/c they are now my in-laws), but my biggest beef with these jokes? They’re not friggin funny.
My husband says a lot of comedy is based on lowering the status, usually someone else’s, and I feel like, as writers, maybe we should try a little harder then. It’s not that I’m pro-PC blandness when it comes to ethnic/demographic groups; I just need believeable characters and some dang funny jokes. Make me laugh damn it!
For example, let’s take Tina Fey. She’s done good and bad race jokes.
Bad Tina Fey: On SNL weekend update, she had a schtick about how this Chinese person in China couldn’t find his house b/c everyone looked alike. I thought 1) wow, you’re really not as liberal as we’re supposed to think you are 2) that’s kinda racist but MOSTLY I thought 3) You’re friggin lazy!!!! What is this, the 1950s? Am I destined to hear jokes from Dean Martin’s era forever?
Good Tina Fey: Recent “30 Rock” had her Middle Eastern neighbor seem like a terrorist, playing on all her sneaking paranoid feels. She calls Homeland Security, but then later finds out, he was just training for “Amazing Race.”
Okay? Got it? Racism = Bad Jokes. Subtle, social satire on racial relations = Good Jokes.
That’s all. I’m so sick thinking about all this stupid stuff. What is comes down to–just give me a good friggin part already.