Hey 3.5 readers.
I weep for the future of comedy.
Several years ago, comedian Kevin Hart wrote a tweet, the gist of which was if he ever saw his son playing with his daughter’s doll house, he’d shout, “That’s gay!” and then break the doll house over the boy’s head.
My two cents? Comedy is like gymnastics. Imagine yourself as one of those tiny Russian gymnasts at the Olympics. You could push yourself to leap in the air, do seven airborne backflips and land into a rolling somersault. Maybe you’ll pull it off and get the gold and the accolades, or you might mess up a complicated move and end up with a broken foot.
Similarly, comedy can be hit or miss. If you’re going to break taboos and push lines, the joke should be outstandingly funny, so humorous that it brings a begrudging smile to the face of even the most dour of school-marmish scolds. Otherwise, the risk that you just end up looking like an asshat instead of a clever joke-smith is too great.
This joke was only so-so. People need to grasp the context. The joke isn’t on the son, it’s on the father. Hart was making fun of his own sense of manliness, his own insecurities, his own insane fears that the slightest showing of a softer side can turn someone homosexual.
Imagine if this joke hadn’t been in a tweet but rather a sitcom. Kevin is a typical dumb sitcom dad. He comes home from work, sees his son playing with his daughter’s dollhouse. Close up on a freaked out look on Kevin’s face. Close up on Kevin as he looks off in the distance, imagining what this could lead to. Cut to grown up son performing as a drag queen, accepting “Best Drag Queen of the Year Award,” and he says, “Thanks for the doll house, Dad!”
Cut to Kevin freaking out and like the Incredible Hulk, he smashes the house into a thousand pieces. The daughter cries. The son says, “Dad, what the hell, man? I was pretending that doll house was Cobra Commander’s secret base and I was attacking it with my GI Joes!” (or whatever today’s equivalent toy is.)
Enter mom, livid that she has married such a buffoon. Cut to Kevin staying up all night gluing all the pieces of the doll house back together.
I don’t know. I get some of the backlash to the tweet. It wasn’t the best joke and it comes across as mean spirited to gay people. As a society, we’re trying to get parents to accept their kids as they are instead of trying to mold them into something they don’t want to or can’t be.
But at any rate, I think Kevin was just making fun of himself.
I’ve never thought Kevin was a great comedian or a terrible comedian. He was somewhere in the middle. He plugs along. A ham and egger. But one thing I give him credit for is he is one of the few comedians left who TRIES to be funny. He tries to think up funny situations for his acts and movies and rarely delves into politics but rather is into the humor for humor’s sake.
Meanwhile, and look I don’t care if you love Trump or hate Trump, but mainstream comedy has basically gone from actual comedy to this oddball world of people just standing up, saying something to the effect of, “Orange man bad!” and then cue the canned audience laugh track.
On top of that, why is Kevin being singled out? Alec Baldwin was arrested and he’s still on SNL. Jimmy Kimmel once appeared in blackface. He was still allowed to host the Oscars. Sarah Silverman once appeared in blackface. She’s still allowed to do voices in Disney movies. Overall, I’ve enjoyed Family Guy and have looked at Seth MacFarlane as an example of someone who made it in Hollywood by sticking to it and pushing himself, but there have been some times where I’ve watched that show and been like, “Wow, this is going way too far” and then I’d change the channel. And he was allowed to host.
I don’t know. Just seems like there should be one standard. Why are we combing JUST through Kevin Hart’s past? Either the rule is that anyone who hosts the Oscars must be as clean as a whistle, or some past transgressions are ok as long as they aren’t doing it now….but to hold Kevin Hart to one standard and others to another is lame.
Oh well. Who cares? No one watches the Oscars anyway.