Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David sparked some controversy when he joked about trying to get a date at a concentration camp while hosting SNL last Saturday. The joke starts about 5:40 into the video clip but there is a reference to the recent fusillade of sexual assault allegations in the new at 3:40.
Whenever controversy du jour like this occurs, I tend to see what my favorite pundits have to say about it. It seems there are two camps. The “It’s always too soon” to joke about The Holocaust Camp and the Remember to Add ‘to you’ When you say Something is Offensive Camp.
The Always Too Soon Camp feels that the victims and the goings on in the camps should be treated with reverence. Making them part of stand up routines is not treating them with dignity.
#ReallyMakesMeCringe when we have people denying the holocaust & Larry David opens the door for them to think it’s fine to joke about it. pic.twitter.com/w8SFjpieTa
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) November 5, 2017
Larry David’s SNL monologue is another example that “anti-semitism” like “racism” is simply pattern recognition.pic.twitter.com/3cFHDOB6ie
— Will Westcott (@westland_will) November 5, 2017
The Not Offended Camp think that finding humor is empowering and a way to take back power. That he wasn’t being disrespectful to the people who suffered in the Holocaust. He was finding humor in the situation, not in the suffering, the pain, or the trauma. If he was making fun of anyone, it was himself.
If Larry David isn’t allowed to make holocaust jokes then what is the point of comedy or being Jewish
— Kath Barbadoro (@kathbarbadoro) November 5, 2017
Oh no. Larry David told an offensive joke. Countless are emotionally scarred. My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims.
— David Rotella (@ninjadave26) November 5, 2017
I’m seeing Larry David getting a hard time for a holocaust joke. He’s Jewish. Am I going mental here?
— Limmy (@DaftLimmy) November 5, 2017
My warmest condolences to all you non-Jews who were injured by Larry David’s joke at his own expense.
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) November 5, 2017
I don’t think his joke was funny, but I don’t share the outrage everyone else is feeling. I’m not Jewish (as far as I know) but my grandparents did spend time in a work camp in Germany, long enough for my mother and an aunt to be born there.
Honestly, I don’t know enough on this and addressing this topic right now feels like it would be sticking my head into a hive of angry hornets and why would I want to do that? Instead, my only question is, can he walk this back?
Back in the day, when a comedian told an off-putting joke, people responded by not laughing and the joke was quickly and unceremoniously removed from the routine. In the Social Media Era of the Internet Age, the offending joke gains a life of its own and goes viral.
Can Larry David walk this back? If so, what is the path to do so?
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