Whether on YouTube, HBO or in a live performance, most people have listened in on a dirty comedy routine. This is the type of routine with vulgar and R-rated material that would cause parents to cusp their hands over their children’s ears. Yes, it is crude, offensive, insensitive and politically incorrect; yet this is what makes dirty comedy so outrageously entertaining. Dirty comedians tell it as it is and don’t care if they step on a few toes.
Popular Subjects for a Dirty Comedy Act
If no one is offended, then it’s not dirty comedy. The point is to elicit laughter on subjects that are normally considered taboo. Acts and one-liners may also appeal to a certain demographic, particularly those with a political leaning in one direction or the other. Comedians will often touch on subjects and current events in the following areas:
Belief in a higher power is something a majority of the world’s population holds sacred, which is why it is often a topic at the center of exploitation in a standup routine. Most religions have their controversies, which a good comedian can mold into material for an act. Consider some of the major religions and subjects within each sect that have garnered scrutiny:
Christianity – What the Bible says about homosexuality and the belief that there is no salvation without Christ often makes Christians the butt of late-night jokes. Jokes targeting Christians are often the main arsenal for liberal-leaning comedians.
Catholicism – The Catholic faith suffered a major black eye in the wake of the child molestation scandal. There are many jokes to be made regarding pedophile priests.
Islam – It takes a true comedian to take a jab at Islam. So many comedians shy away from this religion due to fear of violent reprisals. Talk about Christianity or Catholicism and you may get a few complaint letters or threats of boycotts, but talk about Islam, and you may need to hire a full-time security detail and sleep with your eye open.
Scientology – Supposedly, Scientologists believe in an entity known as Xenu, who 75 million years ago ran a Galactic Federation and destroyed billions of his own people by bringing them to Earth and killing them with a Hydrogen-like bomb before freezing their souls. This belief alone is enough to give comedians a field day.
Love of country is also something most of us hold dear to our hearts. Some comedians poke fun at their own country while others make other nations the subject of their target. Don Tjernagel is an excellent example of a dirty comedian that is not afraid to spit in the face of other nations in the name of patriotism. In one of his acts, he held a barbecue luau for his audience but not before burning several flags of the Middle East, citing that his act was retribution for the countless times demonstrators in those countries have burned the US flag and shouted anti-American epithets. Needless to say, Tjernagel received death threats for the act, but he wouldn’t be a dirty comedian in the truest sense of the word if he wasn’t willing to ruffle a few feathers.
Race and Ethnicity
Sure, racism exists to this day and is a serious problem, which is exactly why it is an irresistible subject that can be made into a plethora of laughter material. In order to avoid coming off as a racist, though, some comedians will poke fun at every race and ethnicity including their own. Racist jokes also make use of prevalent stereotypes. Some examples include:
- Asians are bad drivers
- Blacks are unemployed and uneducated
- Hispanics are all illegal aliens
- Whites are racist
On the sitcom Full House, Danny Tanner was the ideal soccer dad and everything that a child would want in a father. However, outside of Full House, Bob Saget was an accomplished comedian and a dirty one at that. His routines are laced with F-bombs and racy jokes about sex and other material that would have children asking their parents inappropriate questions about the human anatomy. Bob Saget is an excellent example of comedians that will tell the most perverted jokes to get a shock value out of the audience.
People love dirty comedy because nothing is censored in the name of political correctness. Even if the material raises the ire of a demographic or special interest group, it is that very offense that makes dirty comedy so golden. In a way, for dirty comedians, what they do for a living is their way of telling the speech police and the sensitivity-preaching PC crowd to get over it.