In comedy, how far is too far? Con: Comedians need to think before they joke

As the world progresses, so does comedy. Many of the things that were once okay to joke about are no longer on the table.

With a new-aged sense of understanding surrounding different sensitive subjects, we need to adjust the things we joke about.
Not everything is suitable for a punchline.
As of late, there have been a lot of controversies over jokes that comedians have made and whether or not the content was “free game.”
From Comedy Central roasts to the recent Oscars fiasco, it seems as though it’s time that we iron out what jokes are appropriate and which need to be retired.
Let’s take a closer look at comedian Chris Rock’s routine at this year’s Oscars.
As Rock was on stage doing his set, he scanned the audience and landed on actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rock then made a joke, comparing her to G.I. Jane, a character from a 1997 movie of the same name, who sported a near-bald buzz cut.
The camera panned to Pinkett Smith and it became clear that she was not happy with this joke.
As many viewers knew, Pinkett Smith has been very public about her struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.
Rock was aware of her medical condition prior to making the joke.
Completely ignoring the fact that the joke itself wasn’t necessary, timely, relevant or funny, it was insensitive.
Of course, this does not excuse actor Will Smith, Pinkett Smith’s husband, infamously slapping the comedian over the joke.
Nevertheless, jokes like these aren’t funny and really shouldn’t be made at high-class events, such as the Oscars.
Comedians should take this incident as a wake-up call to start putting more thought into the jokes that they make.
While this was a highly publicized event, this is just one of countless jokes that fell flat with their content.
A huge contributor to these line-crossing jokes are the famed Comedy Central celebrity roasts.
In these televised events, Comedy Central brings together a handful of celebrities to exchange jokes targeted at one another.
While a roast is meant to poke fun and serve “low blows,” there have been a few instances where the shots fired were too low.
One example of this includes comedian Amy Schumer poking fun at the death of comedian Steve-O’s close friend and co-star Ryan Dunn during the 2011 roast of actor Charlie Sheen,
Another example was when comedians Rick Ross and Pete Davidson made jokes about actor Paul Walker’s death during the 2015 roast of Justin Bieber.
Even more disturbing, actor Bob Saget’s 2008 roast was flooded with jokes about his rumored history of sexual assault, specifically targeting the Olsen twins, who were toddlers while working on “Full House” with him.
Now, 11 years later, we find ourselves facing the same issue of comedians crossing the line with their comedy.
It’s time that we sit down and take a look at the world around us and how many uses of this kind of “dark humor” are being cringed at more than laughed at.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to poke fun at one another; we still need to have a sense of humor about ourselves.
The difference between playful poking fun and these jokes is the content.
The next time that a comedian writes a speech or roast set, they should probably leave out any jokes about disabilities, illnesses, dead loved ones and sexual assault.
I think we can all agree that it’s time to grow up and move on from these insensitive jokes.