The wife and I had a couple of free tickets to see Lisa Lampanelli here last night, so we went. Our bad.
I don’t mind coarse humor and am occasionally guilty of it. We get HBO. I’m a big Bill Maher fan. I think Lewis Black is funny not despite his profanity but in large part because of it. It flows naturally from the incessant outrage that makes up his on-stage character (but not the real guy, I hope).
But jeez. How many jokes about private parts can you fit into a two-hour show and still be funny? And jokes about Donald Trump’s hair? And jokes about amputees needing only half as many shoes?
The underlying cynicism of it all wore me down. There was this whole attitude: I can say whatever I want because everybody knows I have no brakes. I can make racist jokes because everybody knows I’m not racist. I can say awful things about people because everybody knows I’m not an awful person. I can use all the foul language I want because everybody knows that words are just words and never a cause for offense.
OK, I get it. Words are just words. But if your whole act is based around that sort of language, what’s left after you have extracted all of the meaning from the words? “Celebrity Apprentice” jokes, I guess.
When I told my wife that I could have managed the whole rest of my life without hearing another joke about Donald Trump or “Celebrity Apprentice,” she pointed out that lots of Lampanelli fans are also probably “Celebrity Apprentice” fans. She’s probably right.
So the last laugh may have been on Lampanelli. Two girls in the row in front of us spent the whole show talking and texting on their cell phones. I’m not sure they heard a single joke. But it was all just words, right?