The student news site of Green Mountain High School

The Ram Page

Political Correctness in Comedy

Is Comedy being ruined by an overly politically correct youth?

Jerry+Seinfeld+refuses+to+play+at+colleges+due+to+political+correctness.
Jerry Seinfeld refuses to play at colleges due to political correctness.

Jerry Seinfeld refuses to play at colleges due to political correctness.

Jerry Seinfeld refuses to play at colleges due to political correctness.

Joshua Triplett, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After the recent presidential election, an issue on the mind of many Americans is political correctness. As defined by Merriam-Webster, political correctness is “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people”. While this is often observed in politics (especially with the presidency of Republican candidate Donald Trump), it is also prevalent in the world of stand-up comedy. Many comedians, such as Louis C.K. or Jerry Seinfeld have been in hot water after controversial jokes made on stage. On The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Seinfeld was quoted as saying “I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC’”. Some say that, if what a comedian says crosses the line, it should not be said out loud, especially in a comedy format because it trivializes issues of minorities. Opponents of this mindset say that, in comedy, no joke crosses the line if it is funny enough. With enough talent, a comedian could make the harshest tragedy hilarious. Some people reside somewhere in the middle. This is because every person has their own line. If a comedian crosses that line, they don’t get laughs. However, since every individual has a different line, a comedian can’t exactly be sure if something is okay to say unless they do some research on where they’re performing and if they can read the crowd correctly. The question is: Has the line really gotten closer, or have Americans simply changed their sense of humor? In an interview with professional comedian of 5 years, Nick Alexander, he commented that “ It seems that society has tightened up a little bit when it comes to jokes, but at the end of the day comedy is comedy, jokes are jokes, and if you’re funny people will like you”. He went to say that as our culture changes to be more accepting of varying lifestyles, sexuality, race, etc, we will naturally “clam up” when comedians joke about these topics. However, he also went on to say that a comedian needs to, “Be funny first, then have the crowd on your side. If you can’t do that, you failed as a comedian. It’s not always some super PC cry baby crowd. That joke, that set, that night, you just weren’t good enough”. This is a perspective contrary to that of Jerry Seinfeld, who refuses to play at colleges because of their hyper-sensitive PC audiences. While it may be hard to argue that Jerry Seinfeld, one of the most prolific comedians of this era could have just done a few dozen bad sets at colleges and then just gave up, it certainly is possible. Comedians must deal with rejection and bad sets almost as much as they deal with laughter and good sets. Not to mention that Jerry Seinfeld is just a person, and he isn’t a perfect god-like comedian. When the question comes up, “Is American culture too politically correct?”, the answer can vary from person to person. There is no definitive answer. However, comedy has and always will continue to evolve with the culture it is in. If comedians can’t keep up with society’s view on the world, they lose relevancy and die out. It is very possible America will see a big change in comedy very shortly, for better or for worse.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




The student news site of Green Mountain High School
Political Correctness in Comedy