Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Can comedy go ‘too far’?

Essay » What’s funny, what’s offensive and what happens when one turns to the other.

< Previous Page

Among comedians on Twitter, Neatrour said, "there can be some pressure to be the first to get something out. … The news cycle is so fast, people get caught up with the idea of getting something out there right away, instead of thinking about it."

Stubbs follows a lot of comics on Twitter. "As soon as something happens, there’s stuff flying left and right," he said.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Stubbs books many of those comics at his three Wiseguys clubs in West Valley City, Ogden and at Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square. He said most audience members don’t get offended by even the most scathing comedian, in part, because he goes to great lengths to post content warnings on the club website. But comedy fans also can familiarize themselves with a comic’s work via YouTube.

In early March, Stubbs opened for the legendary Joan Rivers — and met her backstage before the show so Rivers could lay down the ground rules.

"She said, ‘I want to make sure you’re clean,’ " Stubbs said. "[She said,] ‘Nothing filthy, because I do that.’"

And where does Rivers draw the line between funny and offensive?

She doesn’t. The words "too soon" are not in Rivers’ comic vocabulary. (A lot of others are, including the aforementioned C-word.)

"Everything is fair game," Rivers said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune before her March 9 appearance at Kingsbury Hall. "I’ve always laughed through everything." Humor helped her cope after the suicide of her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, in 1987.

"This country is so damn uptight," Rivers said, and offered three words of advice to anyone who is offended by a joke: "Oh, lighten up."

David Burger contributed to this article.

story continues below
story continues below


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.