I recently heard Jamie Foxx on a Tim Ferriss show episode from 2015, indirectly describe a “dangerous” comic as a comic who makes jokes that are highly questionable in taste, at least among the general public, if not any audience. The moment I heard that, I realized that’s exactly the kind of comic I was when I did amateur stand-up, and still is now but not as a stand-up because conservative Nova Scotia just can’t handle that kind of stuff! That’s even when I’m obeying the unspoken rule of subject matter hierarchy for what and whom you can make jokes about.
The unspoken hierarchy of comedic topic goes something like this: Do not joke about, especially in a demeaning way, people or topics generally perceived or treated by society, rightly or wrong so, as being less than what you are for the same characteristic. For example, if you were Caucasian, don’t make jokes about visible minorities. If you were not physically or mentally challenged, don’t make jokes about those who are. If you were a man, don’t make demeaning jokes about women, or any jokes about rape. But if you were Asian, you can make jokes about Caucasians because they’re treated better than you are, as well as Blacks because you’re on the same level, generally. I would disagree, if we were to scrutinize about degree of marginalization here, as I think we Asians are better off because we don’t have to fear for our lives nearly as much as Blacks do, tragically for them. But comedically, there’s no fine degree of difference, just the basics, and we Asians and Blacks are marginalized all the same, so we’re on the same level comedically.
I tended to obey the unspoken hierarchy of comedic topics allowed in my stand-up routines, and even in my general comedy today when I’m not self-editing. I was just dangerous in that I almost exclusively dealt with the topics that made people uncomfortable, exaggerated by how I dealt with it comedically. For example, when a guy once called me a chink, instead of fighting back with fists or fists or words, I simply corrected him and asked if he could at least use the proper racial slur if he were going call me one. Chinks are Chinese, and I’m Vietnamese. So he called me a gook, to which I decried angrily that they’re Koreans, and they’re worse. Not knowing what to call me then, he asked me what he should called me. Not knowing if such a slur existed, and now being on the spot, I simply came up with one. Since we Vietnamese were close to Chinese, why don’t you call me a Vink? Yeah, a Vink! I liked the sound of that, didn’t he? To my pleasant surprise, he did, so as much as I was mocked with racial slurs as a kid, I was really happy it was the right one, one which I had also approved. How’s that for soft skills and negotiation abilities?
Pending your sense of humour, or lack thereof, you might be flipping about that last paragraph for very different reasons. Those who find it offensive might also rightly point out that I could incur a whole new wave of racial injustice by proposing a new racial slur that could catch on! Dear Jesus that’s the last we Asians need, especially the big Vietnamese diaspora around the world! But don’t worry. This blog doesn’t have anywhere near the level of readership required to happen. But see what I mean why I say I’m a dangerous comedian? That shit is dangerous, man!
I’m also dangerous because I sometimes break the unspoken hierarchy of comedic topics. For example, I claim that as a Canadian, my favourite sport is actually not hockey, but women’s curling. I love a sport where women get on all fours and scream “Hurry! Hurry! Hard! Hard!”. I also like women’s curlers over other female athletes more muscular and/or more skinny, cause I love lots of flesh with my pleasures of the flesh. I never made jokes about the mentally challenged, though, and can only recall making jokes about vertically challenged people for the physically challenged category, often as part of self-deprecation about my own lack of height and weight that made me an Asian god elf in a dwarf’s world of midgets, when I’m almost a statistical midget in the white and black man’s world.
As dangerous a comedian as I was, though, I didn’t have a conscience about it because I was most dangerous to me to balance it all out! That’s right. I had all kinds of self-deprecating jokes, including the vink one above, and they were just as nasty as the dangerous materials I had on anyone or anything else! In another example, I was 5’1″ and less than 100 lbs at the time that I did amateur stand-up in liberal Vancouver, Canada, but I was a charismatic, healthy, and athletic guy as a fast long-distance runner. I didn’t need to talk about the part beyond my weight as part of the joke because by that time in my routine, you’d have heard or known those things about me already. So at 5’1″ and less than 100 lbs, the only people in North America that I felt were attracted to me were midgets, adolescent girls, and pedophiles. I look down on midgets for attractiveness. I can’t date and mate with adolescents. So, are there any pedophiles in the house? Don’t worry. You don’t need to identify yourself in front of others. Just find me after the show and introduce yourself as a pedophile. I’ll know what you mean. (wink, wink). Or I hate it when people say my running tights are too tight. Look, you don’t like us Asians when our dicks are too small. Now you’re complaining that our dicks are too big? What do I need to do? Order a medium sized dick from China and transplant it to make you happy? Make up your fucking mind, would ya?
Oh, such memories! It’s been a long time since I’ve sat and thought much about this, and you know what? I really like that dangerous guy! I don’t get to see him much any more in today’s world that’s lost its sense of danger, but is ironically more dangerous in so many more ways. Its dangerous words today are not comedic, just maybe dick, as in dick stupid. Still, I need to bring that dangerous guy back more often, even if only with myself in self dialogues where he can be acceptable and for which there are no consequences to pay. Where he can be himself, and I myself, without inhibition, and just have a lot of great, plain old laughs that is the best medicine… including that against aging.