The War on Humour


Ray Green

Racism isn’t funny. How do I know? Well, it’s what everyone says, and clearly nothing that goes against the grain of conformist attitudes, showing irreverence towards the standard-bearers of mainstream culture, could ever, legitimately or actually, generate any species of hilarity whatsoever.

The other way I know racism isn’t funny is that Trevor Noah did it.

Fairfax reports:

“A video of Trevor Noah making racist jokes about Aboriginal Australians has resurfaced ahead of his local tour.

“All women of every race can be beautiful,” he said during a 2013 stand-up routine. “And I know some of you are sitting there now going, ‘Oh Trevor… I’ve never seen a beautiful Aborigine.’ But you know what you say? You say, ‘Yet.’ Because you haven’t seen all of them, right?”

The comedian went on to speculate about Indigenous women’s sex lives while imitating the sound of a didgeridoo to imply he was talking about oral sex.

“It’s not always about the looks,” he said. “Maybe Aborigine women do special things. Maybe they’ll just, like, jump on top of you.”

Trev before he broke his funny bone.

Come to think of it, though, wasn’t that the whole thing with Deborah Mailman? I don’t watch much TV, but a few years ago she was in everything, always playing this frumpy, plain, typical-looking Aboriginal woman who would just jump on anyone’s bones. The nympho with the heart of gold.

Are you telling me that this was an invidious stereotype?

But it’s not just TrevNo. In perhaps less surprising news, an elderly white man who made a career as a deliberately unconvincing tranny back in the bad old days Before Current Year (BCY) has just burbled a few sensible words while turning over in his sleep, that in 2018 most definitely constitute hatespeech.

PSA #2: Transphobia, like racism, can never be funny.

From SMH

“In an interview published in the UK’s Spectator, where he was asked if his famous character Dame Edna Everage had sparked backlash among transgender activists, Humphries, 84, called “transgenderism” a “fashion”.

“How many different kinds of lavatory can you have? And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers,” he told the Spectator.

Responding to a statistic that “more than 40 per cent of trans men and women have attempted or considered suicide”, Humphries described activists’ calls to have transphobia “treated in law as a form of assault” as “terrible ratbaggery”.

He also brushed off the outrage he caused in January 2016, when he had described gender-reassignment surgery as “self-mutilation” in comments about Caitlyn Jenner.

“They had their genitalia chopped off and tucked in and whatever they had to do,” he told the Spectator, recalling his previous comments. “And that aroused a lot of indignation – probably among the people who’d spent a lot of money having it done. But I don’t think I’m right to pontificate. I’m really an actor.”

He thought he could walk it back!

The comments drew an immediate rebuke online, with activists calling Humphries an “ignorant bigot” and urging him to “shut up and retire”.

In a viral tweet, comedian Hannah Gadsby called Humphries an “irrelevant, inhumane d— biscuit of the highest order.”

In the interview, Humphries – who was promoting a series of gigs at London’s Barbican with Australian cabaret singer Meow Meow – also said he was “grateful to Trump for stirring up politics”, and that he was planning a new show based on his gross character Sir Les Patterson, as an “opportunity to cause maximum offence”.

“Oh it’s alright, see, I offend everybody!” The fact that this guy’s characters are all caricatures of extinct species of pre-boomer white people is somehow not relevant here. You’ve got the fussy, violet-haired housewife from the Melbourne suburbs and the crass, openly lecherous politician whose portrayal today is about as transgressive as a cartoon in The Age making fun of Barnaby Joyce.

But good on him, I suppose. If things get too uncomfortable for him now I guess he can always go and join John Cleese at his Seychelles resort, or wherever.

But hey! What do you get if you combine Humphreys’ generational handicap with Noah’s sense of racial invulnerability?

Why, you get Jewish boomercon Roseanne Barr, that’s who!


“Roseanne Barr has kept a relatively low profile since ABC fired her in May for a racist tweet that compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a monkey, but Barr returned Thursday with an explosive new video.

In a NSFW mock-interview clip published to her YouTube channel, an exasperated and newly blond Barr grows frustrated and interrupts her off-camera interviewer, who had been talking about presidential denials about sex with prostitutes to address the infamous tweet that got her fired from ABC. She reiterates her claim that she thought Jarrett was white, doing so loudly in a profanity-laced fashion.

“I’m trying to talk about Iran!” she interjects. “I’m trying to talk about Valerie Jarrett and the Iran deal!”

“I know,” the interview said, “But you’ve told me this 300 times.”

“That’s what my tweet was about!” Barr yells.

“I thought the (expletive) was white!” Barr screams. “(Expletive!) I thought the (expletive) was white!”

See, that’s one way you can tell your society truly does have a white supremacist power structure. It was actually because Jarret is, like, 15% white that it’s inadmissible to mock her. THAT’s what got the washed-up comedienne in trouble; she would have been applauded by the neo-Nazi establishment had she merely called Jarrett a “nigger.”


Jarrett, 61, is African American and worked under the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. Barr’s original tweet that led to her firing and the cancellation of “Roseanne” said: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby,” using Jarrett’s initials.

Poor thing, Roseanne just can’t accept that it’s over. She had her chance at a comeback, and she blew it. Of course, you can call President Trump and orangutan, but because brown people actually do look somewhat more like monkeys than whites, you’re not allowed to notice. It’s unsporting, like mocking someone with Down Syndrome for looking like a Mongolian. Conversely, calling President Trump an Orangutan is more like mislabelling a red panda as such simply on the basis of fur colour (not to mention proximal geographical location, I guess).

Anyway, look. Before we go getting side-tracked into pettifogging details, let’s not lose sight of the moral — which comes not as a rhyming couplet at the end of the fable, but rather as the shrieking of a siren accompanied by flashing red lights:

Don’t do racism, ever. Not only is it not funny, it’s not even favourably comparable to an acid attack on a three year-old, the rape and murder of a six year-old, or the fact that Sudanese “Australians” born in Sudan are 57 times more likely to commit aggravated robbery than the population average.

An Arab throws acid on a toddler? No problem, call him “a white guy.”

Physically mature “refugee children” rape and murder actual children? Keep their identity out of the media.

Africans acting up? Label anyone who raises the issue somewhere on a spectrum from “unhelpful” to “racist.”

I’m not laughing. Are you?