An online controversy about the ‘legitimacy’ of Rape Jokes in our culture and specifically in our Comedy Community has erupted online recently as well as several times throughout the past year, I wanted to talk to a true comedy veteran about the “Rape Joke Debate” and the importance of showing tact and restraint in Comedy. I could think of no better comedian, than Fozzie Bear.
AbominableIndustries: Fozzie, do you think comedians should be able to say whatever they want to say without any repercussions whatsoever?
Fozzie Bear: Why would you need ‘raper cushions’ to tell jokes on stage? Ah-ahhhhh!
AbominableIndustries: What? Did you really mishear me or are you making a jo-
Fozzie Bear: Wocka wocka!
AbominableIndustries: It seems like there’s a real debate happening right now over “Rape Jokes,” with a heated discussion on both sides, so it’d be nice to get a sincere answer.
Fozzie Bear: Well, there’s no real debate here. No one has the right to tell anyone that they can’t say something. That’s just a thing for people, comics, muppets, weirdos, whoever. And for comedians, we obviously don’t want our audience to have a bad time. To lecture comedians that they need to think before they speak… as if that’s not an incredibly basic thing that one would do before talking out loud to a group of people or muppets, is insulting and naive. So, what’re we even talking about this for?
AbominableIndustries: Well, it’s become a much talked about issue, crossing out of the internet blogosphere, it was featured on FX talk show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, where feminist blogger Lindy West debated comic Jim Norton on Rape Jokes, as well as being a featured discussion on podcasts and radio shows.
Fozzie Bear: Well, didn’t Lindy West mention in that “debate” and in her articles that she’s not for “censorship” and she’s not telling anyone they can’t say something?
AbominableIndustries: Well, that was part of it, yes…
Fozzie Bear: And her opinion was that rape references were hurtful to a large percentage of our population, including potential audiences, so white male comics should think about what they say before they say it. Which… is reasonable, a little bit of a weird distinction she made there, but pretty reasonable. Where’s the debate?