Race and ethnic jokes, what is your level of tolerability?

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  1. TN21 profile image59
    TN21posted 13 years ago

    For some reason, I don't mind it if I knew I was going to a show or watching a show that will have racial and ethnic jokes. However, if it's something out of the blue or caught me off guarded I may find myself offended by it.

    I ask this because I was watching George Lopez's Lopez Tonight's premiere night and thought it would be more of a traditional late night show but he told and did race and ethnic jokes a little too much for the occasion. I under that most of the subjects of his comedy act is race related, which I'm find with it but however, for a late night show I did expect a better quality and more general comedy show and not just infatuated race and ethnic jokes and stereotypes.

    If I was going to a George Lopez stand up comedy act, I would expect all of these stereotypical punchlines but on a late night show where he's targeting a more diverse audience I wanted a more diverse and well-rounded act and not just stereotypes.

    You don't see that often with Leno, Letterman or O'Brien and yet they are just as funny.

    And a second part to my question is, why can't non-white comedians be FUNNY without using race and ethnic jokes and stereotypes in their act? I mean, white comedians do it too but usually it's a small portion of their show. Non-white comedians on the other hand do it about 75% of their act.

  2. profile image0
    Michelle Grooveposted 13 years ago

    I'm not familiar with the show you mention, but find the subject of race fascinating. If you're interested, go to http://www.abc.net.au/tv/racerelations/ … -show.htm. John Saffran has produced a show questioning how we live in a world where people from different races are forced to live together. You can see some of the show on youtube as well.

    I think the most amazing thing that I see is people (white and non-white) complaining about other people's racism but absolutely denying that they themselves hold racist beliefs. To some extent I think it's human nature - people want to stick with their own and don't like what's different. But to hate a race simply because they aren't the same as you is a horrible reality. We could go on...

  3. Uninvited Writer profile image78
    Uninvited Writerposted 13 years ago

    Bill Cosby does not use race at all in his comedy.

    The way I see it is that they are making fun of the stereotypes that many people have about minorities and turning it around on them.

    The majority does not have to make jokes about race since they are...the majority.

    I'm not a huge fan of that kind of comedy myself and prefer Cosby. Although, Richard Pryor was hilarious when he talked about race.

    1. profile image58
      C.J. Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Two of the greatest comics IMO...amazing how different they are in style.

      1. profile image0
        A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I never thought Cosby was all that funny. Pryor was and still is the funniest I have ever heard, Eddie Murphy is a close second.

        1. Uninvited Writer profile image78
          Uninvited Writerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          You obviously have not hear The Chicken Heart that Ate New York smile or this:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBqY6cJD … eature=fvw

          1. profile image0
            A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I watched a little of that and never even smiled. Cosby has never been funny to me

    2. Don W profile image84
      Don Wposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That's my take on it too. Although I think it's fair to say some comedians are just lazy and will rehash stereotypes for the sake of it. Old jokes are old jokes whatever the subject.

  4. caranoelle profile image80
    caranoelleposted 13 years ago

    TN21, I'm not sure why you are suprised that George Lopez did ethnic and race jokes on his own show.  Typically performers stick with what they know, what they do well, and stay with a "Shtick" that works for them.  If I watch Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List, I expect that she will make fun of popular celebreties and comment about her "gay's" becuase this is common place for her.  I would be shocked if she deviated from this. 

    This is just my opinion though.  Thanks.

    1. dejajolie profile image59
      dejajolieposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I agree comics stick to what they know and I personally don't get offended it's innocent and they usually talk about all.... life is too short to take anything so seriously.

    2. TN21 profile image59
      TN21posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I wouldn't have been so surprised if it was a George Lopez stand up act because race and ethnicity jokes are what he's known to do but even so when he had the George Lopez Show there were other elements he brought other than just race.

      I guess, for me it more to do with the platform rather than the act itself. For a late night show that is trying to get ratings, I thought he's have more diverse materials than just race based subjects. I mean, you don't see Leno making Italian jokes every monologue or Conan O'Brien do that with Irish jokes. And even Ellen, who he had on, doesn't even use lesbian jokes on her show but that's probably more to due with the time slot.

      Since I'm not a comic I'm not sure how many routinely use their "schtick" as you said and how many are able to diversify their act to a general audience rather than just to a certain demographic. But I do understand your point though as I shouldn't have been so shocked knowing that's what he usually do.

  5. TimTurner profile image70
    TimTurnerposted 13 years ago

    Chelsea Lately, Kathy Griffin, Kat Williams and many others are not ashamed to use racial jokes and I think it's hilarious.

    We all joke around about everything that we are not.  It's human nature.  It's just sometimes you gotta look both ways over your shoulder before you tell the joke because some people will be offended if you're not that race, religion or sex.

    Family Guy and South Park are notorious for making fun of everyone under the sun and both shows are/were very, very popular.

    As long as TV gets more and more liberal with showing it, racial/ethnic/sexist jokes will be more commonplace.

  6. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

    I'm not fond of racial jokes because of the PC demands on white comedians and entertainers. It's all good until a anglo tells a joke then they come crawling out of the woodwork looking for blood. So if we can't be fair handed then it shouldn't be sacred ground for minorities, if equality is important then lets be equal.

  7. livelonger profile image90
    livelongerposted 13 years ago

    Some insult comics do great business trading in racial stereotypes. Lisa Lampanelli comes to mind. The key to enjoying that particular type of humor is understanding that none of it's serious (and it's really the stereotypes themselves that are funny).

  8. Ivorwen profile image67
    Ivorwenposted 13 years ago

    When done as comedy, I usually don't mind it... I see it as being no different than Jeff Foxworthy's redneck jokes.  I do get sick of hearing 'Pollock' jokes, even though they are usually just blond jokes retold.  I think jokes are funnier when told by the race they are about -- to be able to laugh at yourself and have others laugh with you.

  9. Cagsil profile image76
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    Race and ethnic jokes, what's is your level of tolerability.

    I have no tolerance for racial or ethnic jokes.

    One- they are not to be considered humor, because each are a direct insult to another race.

    Two- racism needs to be eliminated, so society can flourish and by elimination of racial or ethnic jokes adds stability to what is already unstable ground, as far as race relations.

    In America- racism is alive and well, and breeding/spreading.

    The simple fact that the person who posted the OP piece, apparently has some unresolved issues and needs to address their inner-self for guidance, because until people stop pointing out 'racial' or 'ethnic' difference in a bad light - racism will continue to be fueled by blind ignorance.

  10. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    I think Cosby is hilarious - and a great role model. I love his stand-up routines.

    As far as jokes go, I don't think anyone should be immune - blacks, whites, Asians, blondes, fat people, Mexicans, etc. One of my favorite jokes is about a Presbyterian, and I'm Presbyterian! I agree with the OP's statement about laughing at ourselves.

  11. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    I think there's a difference between racial, ethnic jokes and blonde jokes. you can't compare this kind of 'comedy'.

    I have zero tolerance for racial/ethnic jokes, they're not funny.

  12. JaShinYa profile image60
    JaShinYaposted 13 years ago

    I think ethnic jokes are hilarious. What offends me is when a black person can talk like a nerd, and says "I'm a cracker. I can't dance", but when a white person says something about "I'm a gangsta. I like to eat chicken on my porch." they get pissed.

    And it's not just black and white people. it's anyone.

  13. Ralph Deeds profile image63
    Ralph Deedsposted 13 years ago

    Seems to me that whether racial or ethnic humor depends on the context and intent. Stand-up comics are okay with me. The intent of Borat's movies is to expose bigotry through humor. Ethnic jokes have no place in the office or anywhere they are likely to offend others. Here's one by Chris Rock that struck me as hilarious--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-JZtPQh0FQ

  14. prettydarkhorse profile image57
    prettydarkhorseposted 13 years ago

    it is ok with me, but at times it is off already specially if they joke about me eating rice all the time..when they say it once and laugh it is ok, but when they always laugh about it and kind of insulting way, I am sad


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