Rules of comedy: When is a joke not funny?


Rafiq Wagiet

83 days ago
Rules of comedy: When is a joke not funny? US actor Will Smith (R) slaps US actor Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on 27 March 2022.

  • **Will Smith smacked comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Academy Awards after he made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett-Smith**

  • **The joke was about Pinkett-Smith's bald head which is a result of alopecia diagnosis**

  • **Rock received criticism from some for mocking Pinkett-Smith's health**

Opinion has been strongly divided after comedian Chris Rock made a joke at Jada Pinkett-Smith’s expense, leading her husband Will Smith to slap Rock, live on TV during the Oscars.

Pinkett-Smith has alopecia, a condition that causes hair to fall out.

It begs the question, When is a joke, not a joke? When does it cross the line and become too offensive to not be funny?

Who decides what’s funny and are comedians facing more and more censorship and threats of being cancelled?

Offence just comes from your level of self-esteem.

Noko Moswete - Comedienne

I might come across as insensitive, but it's not like Jada has a life-threatening disease.

Noko Moswete - Comedienne

RELATED: VIDEO: Will Smith slaps presenter Chris Rock, minutes before winning Oscar

There's a line, [but] who draws that line? Who decides that alopecia can be funny, but HIV can't be funny? Who decides that misogyny can be funny, but race can't?

Sara-Jayne King - Weekend Breakfast presenter

Former president Jacob Zuma. How many comedians have made fun of him and his head?

Noko Moswete - Comedienne

RELATED: Hair loss: Causes, symptoms, treatment

If we are going to put rules and regulations on comedy, we might as well shut it down totally.

Noko Moswete - Comedienne

Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Rules of comedy: When is a joke not funny?

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