Pregnant men, ‘gay looks’ and late night talk show hosts: What’s funny and what’s not

Today Jay Leno apologized, not for making Ryan Phillippe squirm like a Cirque du Soleil performer on uppers, but for offending the gay community with his “gayest look” comment.

In a world where gay people still struggle for equality I am all too aware of the flip homophobic comments that performers and people in power make without stopping to think about the implications. But in a world full of real hatred and fear, complaining about a “gay look” hardly seems productive. We all fail at wit sometimes (just ask some of the girls I’ve hit on) and very little about his comment seemed offensive to me. Not funny, but not offensive.

This brings me to Letterman. In a Top 10 list that makes me chortle before inevitably choking on my own laughter, The Dave manages be be both hilarious and cruel.

In his “Top 10 messages left on the Pregnant man’s answering machine” Nos. 10 through 2 are punchy and funny. They poke fun at celebrity and TV culture. But by the time we get to No. 1 Letterman has resorted to calling him an androgynous freak show. Truthfully, this isn’t even really funny when referring to Michael Jackson. We can make much funnier jokes about him. But it’s certainly not amusing in reference to a courageous man putting himself out there in a way most public figures wouldn’t.

Is it really too much to ask for a little respect with your irreverence?

2 comments to Pregnant men, ‘gay looks’ and late night talk show hosts: What’s funny and what’s not

  • judahlevi

    Respect is earned, not given. You don’t demand respect. Humor, by nature, is irreverent and should be applied to all groups of people without anyone ever apologizing. There is no group that Leno (or any other comedian) should not be able to make fun of anyway that he wants. It is time for America to grow up and stop censoring comedians.

  • qpdx

    I agree that some amount of skewering is a part of humor. But I disagree that a group of people shouldn’t demand respect.

    But like I said, I didn’t find Leno offensive, just not that funny. As for Letterman I just thought the last comment was over the top and also not funny, especially since the rest of the list was.