I feel compelled to point out this obvious fact: arseholes aren’t funny. The reason I do this is there’s an increasing trend in “comedy” to put together a show or an act that simply consists of people being fuckwits.
Arguably, people like Sacha Baron Cohen (AKA Ali G, AKA Borat) are responsible for this. His comedy revolves around behaving in a way that makes people uncomfortable. At his best, he really pushes the envelope of what he can do without being punched in the face. Why I think he gets away with it is (a) he’s almost always funny and (b) he makes himself the “stupid” one and acts in such a disarming way that other people end up making fools of themselves.
It seems that other people see his success and think: “I can be more successful that him if I act like a total prick.” Funny doesn’t enter into it. Some of these shows go for full on physical assault and call it comedy. There can be a fine line between having fun and humiliating people but not in the case of these shows. They take the express train over to Fuckpeopleoversville.
It isn’t as if I’m a shrinking violet – I go after people all the time. But not defenseless people in the street. It’s marginally funnier when they go after celebrities but they still don’t seem to think it’s necessary to be funny. “Hey, if we hit a celebrity, what more do we need to do? That’s pure comedy gold!”
There was a time when being a sociopath was an impediment in life. These days it seems like a guarantee of getting a TV show. Or even elected president.