Comedians are always pushing the envelope when delivering what they think is hilarious on paper.
Certain forms of comedy like roasts, dark humor, and one-liners for the sake of having shock value are all risky, but if the jokes are clever to start and delivered smartly, comedians can really knock it out of the park.
Or they could really have a negative impact on audiences.
Curious to find out about the boundaries within the world of standup, Redditor thebosomofthePacific asked:
"What should be off-limits in comedy?"
Pranks are a popular comedy tactic, but the result isn't always a laughing matter.
"Pranks on people who don't want to be involved, especially ones that physically or psychologically hurt people."
"Agreed, all those 'prank' channels where they say and do horrible things to their children and then go 'it's just a prank, you little baby!' while their kid is sobbing… that sh*t makes me sick."
"Physically involving people who didn't want to be involved (e.g. YouTube / TikTok pranksters)"
"ANYTHING should be allowed on pure standup comedy though."
The Golden Rule
"I had a practical joke book when I was a kid and on the first page and the back it had in big letters: 'The golden rule of pranks: A prank is supposed to make people happy and laugh' If you pull a prank on someone and they don't laugh or find it funny, no matter what: YOUR PRANK WASNT FUNNY! STOP, APOLOGISE IMMEDIATELY, EXPLAIN YOURSELF AND APOLOGISE MORE. If you don't do this, you're not a prankster you're just an a**hole!""
"At the end of every joke it had 'Remember the Golden Rule' It kinda stuck with me 20 years later."
Dark humor is perfectly acceptable, but even those can have hard limits.
Rule Of Thumb
"Nothing should be off limits, but Chris Rock gave a good rule of thumb on Talking Funny that you should joke about what people DO, not what they ARE."
"Frankie Boyle is possibly my least favourite comedian because, while some of his lines are funny (albeit dark and uncomfrotable) he usually goes for the darkest and most controversial thing he can say in a given scenario even if it is not really relevant or funny. His dark jokes are fine but they're ruined for me by the fact he clearly tries to make everything as dark and controversial as he can, and sometimes they end up being funny, rather than being as funny as possible and sometimes they're dark and controversial."
A Study In Contrasts
"Listen, dark jokes are fine. Nothing is off limits. But there's a difference between being funny and just saying disgusting sh*t."
"Shock comedy, and what I'll call 'bias comedy.'"
"If the punchline itself is just the fact that you said a racial slur, or made fun of somebody with cerebral palsy, that's pretty lame."
"Also, if the only reason anyone is laughing is just because you made a political statement and they agree with you, that's pretty lame as well."
Reading the room was mentioned as a key factor to successfully landing a joke.
Gauge The Audience
"Comedy is subjective, there should be no limits. However it is still a good idea to keep in mind who the audience is."
The Right Structure
"depends on the structure of the Joke."
"you can laugh: about it , or with it , or at it."
"if you laugh at someone or something on the other hand , you reeeaally gotta know your audience."
"I think it's a mutual trust thing, both the comedian should know the audience and the audience should know the comedian. I will not sympathize with someone who is offended at jokes Bill Burr makes and then simultaneously goes to a Bill Burr performance a few weeks later."
Racist jokes are tricky. I understand some of them are rooted in truth, but if delivered poorly, they can be downright offensive.
Being Asian, I'm indifferent to a comedian's dig at a minority group if it's based on a tired stereotype like, "Asians make terrible drivers"—which is absolutely not true.
To deliver hackneyed jokes like that is a mark of laziness in my opinion.
But even more unforgivable is when racial epithets are used. I cringe whenever a comic of any ethnicity uses a racist slur targeting themselves as if to demonstrate they have permission to denigrate their own community.
And it's not about being "too sensitive." The opposition stems from the need to prevent microaggressions from potentially evolving into bigger forms of hatred many ethnic groups constantly face in their everyday lives.
But that's just my take.
People Break Down The Best Examples Of 'You Have No Power Here' They've Ever Seen
Some people truly think the world revolves around them, which is why it's so satisfying to see them get what they want.
Consider: When was the last time you saw someone in public freak out in a store and demand to speak to the manager? Did the manager acquiese? Or did they stand up for their employees?
We're used to hearing about employees getting the short end of the stick, of course. But the moments when things go the other way—and a terrible nuisance finds themselves unable to get what they want—is truly a sight to behold.
In short: Saying "no" or putting people in their place is the ultimate power move.
People shared their stories with us after Redditor sormatodor asked the online community,
"What was the best 'you have no power here' moment you have ever seen?"
"The other evening..."
"This is a bit silly, but gave me a great feeling of satisfaction. Due to the bad economy and poor money management, my parents have moved into the spare room of the house my husband and I bought a year ago. Things are mostly smooth, tho I'm not the closest to them for several reasons I won't go into here."
"The other evening I was out gardening (because it's hot during the day and we have the luck of having a streetlight right next to our front yard, keeping it pretty well illuminated even after sundown, I mostly garden at night), and I thought I had gotten the hose twisted, as it kept getting stuck."
"This went on for a bit, when I realized that it wasn't stuck, but being pulled. I looked into the dim area just past the illumination of the street light and spied my father, crouched over and tugging the hose. Well I did the only reasonable thing to do, and I sprayed him. He yelled and ran inside with me chasing."
"Once he got inside he made a face and goes "You can't get me now! I'm inside!!" In that father-to-daughter-don't-you-make-a-mess tone of voice."
"I readied my hose, looked him in the eye and said, "It's my house." And just let loose with the hose. He was soaked. Worth cleaning up the mess for that moment of true fear in his eyes."
This story definitely made our day better!
"I used to work..."
"I used to work for a super nasty manager when I worked at McDonalds. This guy was horrible to us. He was constantly bullying us, s*it talking us TO CUSTOMERS, and doing everything in his power to make us miserable. Well, so many people complained about him that he ended up getting fired."
"New manager was great. He was super chill and understanding with us all. A couple weeks after he took over, the old guy comes in and starts talking about how terrible the store looks, how our service is worse than ever, and how much this store needs him. The new manager looked at him and said "If you don't leave, then the cops are gonna make you.""
"When the guy didn't move, new awesome manager stuck to his guns and called the cops. The dude is no longer allowed on ANY McDonalds property in the city and has a restraining order against him."
Wow, that is definitely a power move. So much for that guy. How embarrassing.
"And walked out."
"The first time I had dinner at my parents house after I got my own apartment. My dad was giving me grief as usual. Finally, I stood up and said, “ I don’t live here anymore. I don’t have to put up with you this way any longer. I’m going home.”
"And walked out."
"Most liberating moment of my life."
We're proud of you! Well done. Set those boundaries!
"Anticipating his next move..."
"I worked in management at a theatre for a while. If the concession counter was slammed and I was able, I'd leave my post and help them sling popcorn."
"One night while helping out, a particularly belligerent man started cussing out a 16 year old girl on a cash register for being too slow, even suggesting she quit since she clearly couldn't handle pushing buttons or scooping popcorn."
"It was pretty disgusting and I felt so bad for the girl, I stepped in and told the guy that our employees have the right to refuse service to customers who harass them as part of our anti-harassment/discrimination policy, empathized that the lines were longer than usual, and suggested he should apologize and move on. He was PISSED."
"Left half his order on the counter and started fuming off."
"Anticipating his next move, I went back to my original post that night - as manager of the customer service kiosk. Oh boy, the look on his face when he saw me. (Didn't want a refund of his tickets though so I assume he watched the movie, without popcorn)."
Sounds like you were a good girl. That teenage girl definitely appreciated you for sticking up for her!
"When an unhappy client..."
"When an unhappy client threatens to go hire a better lawyer. They don't seem to get that this isn't a threat when they aren't paying me..."
Okay, there's the door. At the end of the day, you have a choice: Money or peace of mind? Your peace of mind will thank you every time.
"I told my ex..."
"I told my ex I was getting remarried. He told me he was going to stop me and put a lein on my house (which I bought with my money six years after the divorce). My son would come home from visitations telling me how his dad was going to stop the wedding and I'd have to pay him all of this money, la di da."
"Get to court. His attorney goes blah blah blah for what felt like forever. My lawyer (yes, I had to freaking get one) stands up and simply hands the judge the divorce papers showing the disbursement of funds and how my ex isn't owed anything."
"Judge looks at ex's lawyer and basically asks, "did you even ask for this document before filing?" and dismisses the case."
Did you get court costs? Any solution for his attempt at alienating your son? Hope it's better now.
"So my biological grandmother..."
"Not me, but a story my dad used to tell me all the time."
"So my biological grandmother was very emotionally abusive. She was very controlling and tried to keep people within her sphere of influence. There's a reason why my grandfather divorced her."
"In high school my dad had a job washing airplanes at an airport in our area, which he absolutely loved (he's a huge fan of aircraft in general). He had classes until roughly 10 am and then he'd be off to work until around 10 pm (it was what he loved, he didn't mind long hours being around aircraft all day)."
"But one day he came home a little too late for his mom's liking. She said she'd take his keys to his motorcycle and that he'd lost privileges to it."
"The fact of the matter is that he bought the motorcycle himself and he needed it to get to school as well as work. He laughed in her face and she didn't do anything. She couldn't do anything."
Your dad sounds like the cool loner from an '80s high school movie.
"When I got back..."
"I work for a trampoline park franchise. We opened a sister location that I ran for about a year and a half before moving back to take over the old location."
"When I got back, a lot needed fixing but in particular there were 2 teenage employees that had been fired/suspended on numerous occasions. They were generally lazy, rude jackasses that shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Problem was, they both had aggressive helicopter moms that intimidated the manager into rescinding any punishments."
"Once I came back, I took stock of our employees and had a long talk with the entire leadership team. I learned which employees caused which problems, who was unreliable, who had a regular habit of skipping shifts, texting on shift, etc. I fired about a half dozen that first week, including those two I mentioned."
"That night, both moms called my personal cell to scream at me (our numbers are listed in the online scheduling tool so employees can find shift covers more easily). They demanded to know why I fired them, threatened to sue, have me arrested, accused me of discrimination (against their white middle-class sons), etc."
"I simply asked, “Is your son over 18? Yes? So you’re demanding I illegally release personal information regarding a former adult employee? Bye.""
That's the way to do it!
The nerve of some people... especially parents who think their kids should bear no responsibility for their own actions.
There's something really satisfying about telling people like this off. If you've ever worked in customer service of any kind—especially in retail or in restaurants—then you know how satisfying it can be to tell the worst people "no."
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
People Break Down Which Franchises They Think Have Been Done To Death
Considering how much money these films make, I understand that I am in the minority when I say that Marvel films have absolutely overstayed their welcome. What once seemed fairly innovative—the current generation of the MCU really took off when Iron Man proved to be a tremendous hit—now feels stale.
I accept it, though. These films are not for me and never have been. That's okay. But it'd be great if we could have more room for other great blockbuster films other than yet another superhero movie.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor Ziggi28 asked the online community,
"What franchise has been milked to death?"
"MTVs Teen Mom. Although they still act like teenagers, the moms are in their 30s."
Part of me thinks the only reason it's still on is because MTV knows several of the cast members have no other way to make money and they're waiting to see if any of the kids become teen parents.
All of Them
"A better question would be what franchise HASN'T been milked to death. Something like 9 out of 10 "blockbusters" these days are remakes/sequels/rehashes etc."
If we have to have nonstop remakes, I wish they’d at least make good remakes of bad movies/shows that had potential but were poorly executed for whatever reason, instead of mediocre at best remakes of classics.
It's a "No" for Netflix
"Certainly nothing netflix has created. Get hooked on a show with solid potential and bam....its canceled."
Netflix’s Dark Crystal amazingly resurrected a Jim Henson masterpiece, set up an entire world to explore, and cancelled it after one season.
"Is the next Halloween really going to be the last one or no?"
Don't forget, guys: Evil dies tonight!
We'll repeat it 10,000 times just so you know for sure.
Friday the 13th
"When Jason started killing in Manhattan, possessing people’s bodies, and killing on a futuristic spaceship in outer space, I felt the Friday the 13th series was getting a bit ridiculous. Although Jason X wasn’t that bad."
Honestly, the franchise died with Jason X. The remake of the first—which actually combined the plots of the first four films—was actually pretty good but didn't go anywhere after that.
"Ben 10. I enjoyed the first 3 shows, 4th one is mixed for me, but that 5th show which is that reboot that came after was unnecessary and just shows that Cartoon Network is reliant on making money from toy sales rather than telling a good story from that reboot."
There were more than two? This is news to me.
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead. I stopped watching when I found myself actively hoping the protagonists would be killed in gruesome ways."
I stopped after Beth died, didn't watch it for a long time, went back to it—though I started from the beginning—and gave up right when Glen was killed. It was exhausting and a meandering mess all in all.
"I just got an ad for the Jurassic World: Dominion extended edition. Pretty sure nobody has been asking for more runtime of that movie."
That movie had no reason to be as long as it is and Laura Dern and Sam Neil are really slumming it.
90 Day Fiancé
"90 Day Fiancé."
"There must be like 20 spinoffs from that show, including Pillow Talk (which has former cast members commenting on episodes) and then a Pillow Talk for the Pillow Talk episodes. Not to mention the individual spin offs like The Family Chantel and Darcey & Stacey."
I can't believe this is still on. I must be dreaming.
"Grey's Anatomy. It’s so repetitive and just ridiculous now. I gave up in season 10, then tried again and caught up a few seasons but it’s just kind of relentless, ruins good characters and rapidly churns out new, forgettable ones."
This should is the definition of a soap opera. And to think it was once a big Emmy contender for a few years!
Admit it: You're so over these too, aren't you? We might as well be living in a time loop because some of these franchises keep coming back over... and over... and over...
Have some thoughts of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
People Confess Which Things They Find Absolutely Cringeworthy
We've all displayed embarrassing behavior or actions at one point or another, and we can't seem to shake off the regretful moment.
It just replays in our minds like an endless boomerang.
We are equally embarrassed for those who may have done something spontaneously foolish and have no clue of the mortifying impact of their actions.
It's called cringe, and strangers online had plenty to say about the all-too-familiar phenomenon when Redditor brownGoddess01 asked:
"What is something you find REALLY cringe?"
There is a time and place for things. That doesn't mean the unspoken rule is broken.
"A disastrous engagement during someone else's wedding."
"This happened at my cousins wedding. My other cousin was proposed to by her bf during the reception. The cousin getting married eventually got a divorce and the cousin who was proposed to never got married. My grandma went to her grave calling the guy who did the proposal 'El Diablo.'”
Inappropriate Declaration Of Love
"I used to work wedding receptions. One time during the speeches I witnessed the best friend of the bride profess his love to her, in front of the groom and everybody. It was one of the most awkward/cringiest moments I’ve ever witnessed."
There are some things we do that we can't take back.
How Far We've Come
"my past self."
"That means you’ve grown. Respect."
The Moment We'd Like To Forget
"My mind randomly replaying an embarrassing moment I've done that I want to forget."
"Listening my recorded voice."
Some people love living their lives on camera. Some participants don't have a say in the matter. And others just don't wanna see it.
All The World Is A Stage
"Family bloggers. Constantly having your life recorded as a child can really f'k you up. Especially since a lot of the time the parents are just using their children for content."
"I will extend this to normal people who post every second of their child’s lives, they often hide under ‘it’s so my family can see it’ but it’s not really, is it? Or else you’d have an account just for family not your 900 additional ‘friends’"
Crying You A River
"Recording yourself crying on social media."
"when individuals share sobbing selfies. No joke, when my friend's sister and her children put their dog to die, she tweeted selfies of them both crying. and the deceased dog."
"Like, is it a private moment of mourning and not a chance for a selfie?"
"All these 'prank' videos getting millions of views."
"Edit: To be specific, I’m referring to 'prank' videos that are clearly staged."
Unsolicited Life Coach
"People whose lives are an absolute self-induced disaster and post selfies with motivational quotes telling other people how to think and live."
Being in the entertainment industry and knowing how humbling it is when there are more rejections than there are bookings, we tend to be our own worst critics.
So there's nothing more cringey than revisiting an old recording of myself performing at a high school talent show when my interest in theater was fresh and exciting and I already thought I was a pro.
Unfortunately for teenage me, I was blissfully unaware I had ways to go before honing my craft.
Let's just say that all those old VHS recordings of me performing an imitation of Michael Crawford as the Phantom of the Opera need to be burned.
People Share The Best Ways To Apologize To Your Partner After Calling Them The Wrong Name In Bed
Sex. It's great, but there can be a lot of drama involved.
We're human, how could there not be?
One way to make it easy is to say the right name when you're in the heat of things.
Seriously, we know this sounds like a small thing, but it's monumentally important.
Make sure you know your date's name.
If you don't, take your date to Starbucks and have it written on their cup.
It might be REALLY important later in the evening.
Redditor throwaway2356765 wanted to know your best excuses in the worst moments of intimacy.
"How do you apologize to your girlfriend after accidentally calling her by your ex’s name during sex?"
Sex makes our minds crazy. I say all sorts of nonsense.
ExtremesRun Away Nuclear Bomb GIF by IdentityGiphy
"Burn the house down. Fake your death. Move to Peru. There's no recovery."
"You're gonna have to run out the clock on that one. Just say you're sorry and take the consequences."
"Yup. Persistence is key. Apologize a thousand times until she forgives you. Cook her favorite meals a thousand times until she forgives you. Massage her back a thousand times until she forgives you."
"'I'm so sorry [Ex's Name].' Trust me it'll work."
"Unironically maybe if you can convince her you have early onset dementia."
"Call out a guy's name next time and really throw her for a loop."
"Call out your own name."
"Or her father's name."DZLars
And Piggy?Press Conference Kermit GIFGiphy
"Call out Kermit’s name next time."
Sex makes us all crazy.
SorrySad Cry GIF by TheFactory.videoGiphy
"Oh man, trust me as someone who calls everyone by another person's name... there is no amount of apologies to make up for that in this case. Just hope she cares enough to forgive - she won't forget though and may bring it up many times."
"Not sure, but if it helps to know, I accidentally called my wife our dog’s name during an argument."
"Update: It totally killed the tension, and we laughed about it. I am safe."
"I just had a baby and now no one’s name is sacred in my house. Every cat’s, dog’s, or human’s name is Interchangeable with the others."
"Tell her you called her name while having sex with your ex and you're just trying to even everything out."
"Perfectly balanced, as all things should be."
"Just say you're sorry and you didn't mean it, but don't expect that she will get over it easily."'
"This seems like the most sensible answer. My answer was basically grovelling, grovel and grovel some more and hope she can forgive you but don't expect that to happen right away but definitely expect to hear it in every argument for a few years to come as well."
#1 AnswerLouis Litt Genius GIF by SuitsGiphy
"The only way to salvage this is at the time by adding ' ...was never this good!'"
Be better y'all. It's an intimate moment and your partner deserves the basest level of respect that come with knowing their name.
Do you have other ideas to share in the unfortunate event of this happening? Let us know in the comments below.