It seems that there was a comedy festival at the Upright Citizens Brigade a few weeks ago. I love the UCB and have been to many, many of their shows over the years. As always with improv, you never know if you are going to get comic genius ("The Real Real World" - which had a cast that included Nancy Drew and Mayor Giuliani which I must have seen 6 times - and a fake wrestling show that I forgot the name of that I adored and also saw a lot) or serious dud material. Since the most awesome Amy Poehler, feminist extraordinaire, is a UCB founder, I would never expect a whole monologue about raping someone. Yet that is exactly what the audience was treated to on August 14. This "performance" is on tape. I decided that I already hate people enough that I don't need to watch it. (An excellent post by Balancing Jane has the link to it if you feel the need to see it.) I can't even imagine what I would do if I were in the audience, subjected to his vile story told as a hilarious romp.

I went to an amateur stand up show the week after this incident. Some of the jokes were raunchy and misogynist. I didn't say anything. Some were racist. I didn't say anything. Some were anti-Semitic (told, of course, by people who claimed to be Jewish). I didn't say anything.

Audiences are in many ways captive to the performers. Certainly it is possible for the audience to turn against the person on stage and revolt, as I read happened here. But there's also a risk that if the whole audience is not with the objector, then the person who objects will get double the wrath.

I don't know. The whole thing makes me sick.

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