We clearly don’t remember what shocking means.
Now, this was a horrible and very rude routine. Morgan went on a ten minute rampage about how homosexuality is a choice, a topic which does not usually get a lot of chuckles at a comedy club. Then he talked about how gay kids should stop whining about being bullied.
He went further, saying he would stab his own son if he were gay. Not only did he have the people who respect good taste against him, but that fervent anti-child-stabbing group was mad at him too.
In all respects, this was a bad routine.
Despite its status as a bad routine, though, can we really say that this coming out of Tracy Morgan’s mouth is even a little shocking?
Everyone in the world would, at one time, say “Whaaaaaattttt?”
Or, in a more realistic story, let’s say a member of our congress tweets pictures of his…you know. That is a shocking story, though sometimes fitting based on said congressman’s last name.
When a comedian like Tracy Morgan goes off of the deep end, though, people’s shock is surprising. Tracy Morgan is the same comedian that, when asked about Sarah Palin, referred to her as, for lack of a better way of saying it, really good material for men’s perverse fantasies. This was on a national NBA halftime show, by the way.
Clearly Tracy Morgan likes to walk the line between humor and make-people-hate-you-and-want-to-throw-heavy-objects-at-your-head.
Now, obviously I’m not going to defend Tracy Morgan. First off, the jokes weren’t funny, so they failed in that realm. Secondly, even if they were funny, they strayed past the area of uncomfortable laughs into the area that makes people reference Michael Richards using the n-word. That seems like an area you might want to avoid if you’re a comedian.
But, why is anybody really shocked? Horrified, yes, I can understand that. But shocked? It seems like you’re playing pretty fast and loose with the word shocked here.
If you’ve ever seen standup comedy, you really shouldn’t be shocked at anything that is said or done. If you haven’t seen standup comedy, congratulations. You are the only person in the world who has never seen standup comedy.
Here are the guidelines from now on: You can be shocked at a comedian’s behavior if he kills a person or spends his entire set in the fetal position crying. That’s about all that should come as a surprise at this point. (There are exceptions to even these rules. For instance, there is a good chance Andy Dick would do either one of these things.)
To Tracy Morgan, I have only one piece of advice: don’t be stupid. You should know people aren’t going to laugh at that. No one laughs at the Westboro Baptist Church when they protest natural disasters because they are “caused by the evil of homosexuality.” Instead, they just want to hit them in the face.
That is probably why Fred Phelps’ standup career has never really taken off.
The good news for you, though, is that you have officially ironed down that line. You know exactly where you can’t go to get a laugh.
So go ahead, toe that line, get as close as you would like to falling back into the “public apology” zone. Just don’t go back over the line, Tracy. Don’t do it.
Of course, if you do, we won’t be all that shocked. Just unhappy.
- Ryman Auditorium Site Of Anti-Gay Rant By Tracy Morgan (dekerivers.wordpress.com)