Funny, or funny odd? Or funny not? Try as we all might, it is sometimes very difficult to arrive at those things that are universally funny. In this pile, I would point to the films of Charlie Chaplin. Charlie's movies are considered by many to be the pinnacle of slapstick, while others see them as the work of a communist sympathizer. What's so funny about socialist propaganda? Well, lots when you take into account all those folks falling down and such.
Then there's the work of comedian Louis C.K. I am not certain of Louis' political affiliation, but I am familiar with the public relations train wreck he experienced when his rather sordid and unfunny bouts of tormenting women and harassing them sexually came to light. As many public figures did over the past couple of years, he took some responsibility for his actions and then his bosses did what they do, which was stop giving him a place to be "funny." So off Louis went to comedy jail, with little or no hope of parole.
But just recently, Louis broke out. Comedy jail isn't that hard to break out of, what with the sleeping guards and rubber bars. He showed up on stage, including in his act a little riff on the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting: "How does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot," CK can be heard saying. "You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I got to listen to you talking?” Pretty edgy stuff. Or pretty awful stuff coming from a guy who has proven himself a poor judge of what is and is not appropriate. He wound up the bit with, "Everybody gets upset when there’s a shooting at a high school, I don’t see why it’s worse than anybody else dying, I don’t.”
In baseball, we might call that "swinging for the fences." Say or do something so outrageous that the world will forget that you were showing off your private parts to female subordinates in an exchange that can best be described as "pitiful." Not funny. So now the legacy of comedian Louis C.K. is a sad tale of poorly judged circumstances and the relative power of words. His apology from a year ago hasn't given him the freedom to mock victims of a mass shooting. To take his own tack, it's sad when anyone's career dies, but I don't see why it's worse than anyone else's career dying.