It’s the ultimate hypocrisy destruction weapon, yet its power unites by exposing us all.
Carroll O’Connor had passed away, and some cable channel ran a marathon of his classic TV series All In The Family in tribute to Archie Bunker, America’s Most Lovable Bigot. I finally understood the adult political humor my parents’ generation adored in the early 1970s.
Nineteen years after All In The Family’s introduction, In Living Color debuted, a sketch comedy show largely produced by blacks. They slaughtered enough sacred cows to threaten McDonalds’s bottom line. Their favorite target? Racial stupidity, ALL of it. They made fun of women and men; they even offered humor bombs like the disabled superhero Handi-Man and a fire safety burn victim. The characters didn’t look ‘less than’ or inferior. Anyone caricatured on In Living Color could become a member of Our Tribe if they chose: The ones who know to be human is to be funny, and if we can laugh together we can stop fighting each other.
One of us! One of us! Gooble-gobble gooble-gobble!
Do you know who was most offended by the Handi-Man sketches?
Not the disabled. They thought he was funny.
Performer Damon Wayans reported criticism came from those who weren’t handicapped, or with handicapped relations they didn’t support very well.
Wayans himself grew up with a club foot, the butt of far crueler humor than anything on the show.
Handi-Man: He brought laughs, and justice for for the physically disabled
The late quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan’s assessment of the offense his disability cartoons caused was far more blunt. “My only compass for whether I’ve gone too far is the reaction I get from people in wheelchairs, or with hooks for hands, he said. “Like me, they are fed up with people who presume to speak for the disabled. All the pity and the patronizing. That’s what is truly detestable.”
Seems the disabled felt a lot less ‘untouchable’ once allowed into the fraternity/sorority of fun.
Set hypocrisy phaser to Stun, Lefty!
The Left’s politically correct, hypersensitive, oh-so-woke War On Humor faction is largely oblivious to how exclusionary it’s become. Their well-intentioned search-and-destroy missions for the moral and spiritual toxins poisoning North America, metastasized in the Age of Trump, has unwittingly obliviated avenues for confronting our fears and discomforts, and most critically, to bond with others who are different.
Hard to imagine today, but in the days of Archie Bunker and In Living Color’s prison-release inmate Homey D. Clown, the Left possessed an actual sense of humor. Before ‘cancel culture’ and career-destroying ‘call-outs’ and J.K. Rowling wizard hunts, the Left understood the bonding benefits of laughing with each other, at each other, and at ourselves.
Homey D. Clown: He hated kids and white people
The Left’s head would explode if Netflix re-created these comedic takedowns for 2021. Although I can’t think of a more desperately-needed time to Make Humans Funny again. Oh, the comedy motherlode for the Abhorring Twenties…!
I’d love to see Blaine and Antoine, the flamboyantly gay movie critics from In Living Color’s ‘Men On…’ sketches remade with two narcissistic overprivileged transwomen.
Humor’s greatest gift is in exposing the foibles and fundamental heart of what it means to be a human being: We’re bloody hypocrites.
Liberals loved laughing at Archie Bunker’s ignorant vitriol, but The Meathead’s social justice views got challenged too, like when his childlike wife Gloria discovers ‘women’s lib’ and spreads her nascent feminist wings, telling her husband she wants to be an equal partner in their marriage. That goes over like a Watergate break-in.
When is humor a hypocrisy blaster, and when is it ugly bullying? We need to ask ourselves an important question.
Do the targets deserve it?
In 2021, Generation ‘Snowflake’ replaces pinch-faced aunties and bewhiskered, monocled moralists of yore with pursed-mouthed purists obsessed with the haunting fear that somebody, somewhere, may be having a laugh at someone else’s expense.
What America needs now, more than ever, are outrageous new challengers to our assumptions of what we think we know about the world.
Archie Bunker was an ignorant racist, (take that, you conservatives!) but he also possessed a human, kinder side (And you too, liberals!).
Who knew bigots weren’t 100% evil? Even Mary Trump describes a few occasions of kindness from her notorious cousin.
If you think no one should ever be made fun of, because they might hurt someone’s feelings, I have one word for you: Trumpistan.