LOS ANGELES, June 12, 2015 — Jerry Seinfeld is very serious about comedy. College students are very serious about identity politics. Both are serious about political correctness, which would be better described as political McCarthyism.
Seinfeld has added his name to a growing list of comedians who refuse to play college campuses due to political correctness. College students are used to boycotting anything and everything, but do not take kindly to being boycotted themselves.
One purpose of college is to learn to think critically, but naturally the students being boycotted chose to lash out instead.
This onion has several layers to it. The first is that Seinfeld, Chris Rock and others are late to the party. Political correctness has long been used by liberals to silence conservatives. Seinfeld and Rock are liberals, although Seinfeld has never been particularly political in his comedy routines.
Now that liberals are devouring other liberals, political correctness is finally getting some scrutiny. As for Seinfeld and Rock, all conservatives can do is file this under the category of better late than never.
The second layer is one of credibility. Many college students have an obnoxious habit of thinking they know more than their elders. Jerry Seinfeld is to comedy what LeBron James is to basketball. Seinfeld is a master of his craft. He has decades of experience. He built his business from scratch. He worked long, hard hours for very little money.
A wealthy man now, he still works hard. Many college students have never held a job. They have never contributed anything to society. This should give them a sense of humility that too many of them do not possess. College students have every right to argue that they know more about comedy than Seinfeld and more about basketball than James. This would not make them bad people, but it would make them idiots.
The third layer is that young people vastly overestimate their own importance. Part of this narcissism comes from being constantly targeted by advertisers. Television executives in particular are obsessed with younger viewers even though older people have almost all of the money. Why would anybody want to speak to college students?
Further, they are terrible at organizing events. They often do not bother to show up to events. An event with 100 likes on Facebook means that maybe 10 to 15 students will actually go. Even if they can afford the ticket to the comedy club, they will not spend money buying T-shirts, books, DVDs or anything else the comedian is selling.
Seinfeld would make far better use of his time charging significantly more money to older people who can afford expensive tickets and still purchase other items he may be selling at his events. Speaking at colleges is practically charity. If the students refuse to appreciate this, then they do not deserve to have people speak to them. Speakers are effective only with people willing and able to listen.
The fourth layer is that comedy is about offering a heightened sense of awareness. College students are the least self-aware people on the planet. The students have been taught by their professors that it is inappropriate to make jokes about people who have been marginalized in society. Only the powerful should be mocked.
This is why so many liberals worship Jon Stewart. His entire comedy routine consists of the boring, tired twin jokes of Republicans being stupid and Republicans being evil.
In reality, white college professors are the powerful. People with cushy six-figure tenured jobs with the power to mold minds are as powerful as it gets. The Republicans are the marginalized. The liberals are the bullies, not the bullied. Political correctness is nothing more than passive-aggressive bullying.
The fifth and final layer comes in the form of evidence. My own career as a comedian has been successful. It has also surpassed the careers of the many comedians who fail and quit. Certainly my income and level of fame have fallen far short of Seinfeld’s. But six years on the circuit have provided me enough income to make a decent living. Despite hundreds of successful gigs, two events saw my regular comedy routine bomb. In both cases, it was due to political correctness.
One audience was upset over jokes made at the expense of President Obama. They were even more upset about my positive remarks about Sarah Palin. This group could not understand how anybody could say anything nice about Palin.
In another audience, one lady got up, disrupted my remarks with a public temper tantrum, and then stormed out of the room. She had a homosexual son and felt that gay jokes were inappropriate. Had she bothered to listen properly, she would have noticed that the jokes were about metrosexuals. Metrosexuals are straight men who are obsessed with dress, grooming and appearance. The jokes had nothing to do with being gay at all. One woman’s identity politics and political correctness caused her to ruin an entire comedy night.
One reporter played the race card over an Obama joke. “Obama is such a snob that he looks like Françoise Hollande and John Kerry had a baby. Let me take that back. There is nothing wrong with being half black, but to say somebody is half French is unforgivable.”
It took this person a few minutes to realize that merely mentioning race did not mean racism. After it was explained to her that lawsuits are a way of discouraging false charges, she backed down. When she then threatened to say my joke was anti-French, my response was, “Good. It was. They suck. So do you. Print that.”
The worst college case of millennial political correctness gone wild came when a CNN reporter wannabe heard a joke that he failed to understand. Liberals were compared to special needs children because liberals are always begging for things. Palin was there, and an impromptu line went, “Unlike Trig, they (liberals) are not lovable.” This anti-Palin reporter insisted that my joke attacked special needs children and Trig. This was a lie.
Backing down would have only allowed to the political correctness monster to grow. My apology came three days later. “I was wrong to compare liberals to special needs children. They are nothing alike. Special needs children have value.”
Not every joke will appeal to every type of audience, but hyper-sensitivity is killing comedy.
Howard Stern can be as crude as Seinfeld is wholesome, but both men are at the top of the comedy food chain. They both understand that the only valid criterion in comedy is whether the jokes are funny.
George Carlin was a leftist, but he was not politically correct. He once joked that at the rate America was going, “rape victims would become known as unwilling sperm recipients.” Try telling that joke today. Feminists would get hysterical. But Carlin was skewering the very political correctness that is harming many aspects of society today.
College students can protest all they want, but being self-righteous is not the same as being right. People who have never done anything in life need to stop lecturing people who are experts in their fields. If college students do not find things funny, it is not because the jokes are lame. It is because they are. Seinfeld, Carlin, Rock and Stern have millions of fans. Sometimes the laughing majority is actually right and the uptight sniveling minority is wrong.
The solution to political correctness is more comedians telling more jokes and pushing the comedy envelope as far as it will go.
College students can remain uninterested and narrow-minded. Luckily, comedians do not need them to survive. If and when the students ever grow up, normal Americans can finally let them in on the joke.