I’m surprised Jerry Seinfeld of all people said this, as opposed to one of the Blue Collar Cable Guys. But I guess they’re too busy making millions of dollars playing to their throngs of adoring fans to notice that the PC mindset is allegedly rendering comedy extinct.
All political correctness is doing is killing off lazy jokes that punch down with no satiric or other redeeming value. And those should die. Faster, in fact.
The increased sensitivity of college students (and society in general, despite loud exceptions) is a huge positive for America. No one should lament the fact that we’re more accepting of people for who they are, and that we’re increasingly repulsed by caricatures and stereotypes.
Our comedy isn’t worse for that; it’s better. Louis CK, Amy Schumer and Key & Peele, just to name three of my favorite current acts, deal in the exact topics Seinfeld complains are off-limits these days.
If anything, race and sex are the biggest topics in comedy right now. We adore comedians who make us laugh about those things — as long as we know their hearts are in the right place and that the real butt of the joke might just be themselves — or us.
It’s tempting to say Seinfeld is out of touch with today’s comedy landscape. Though his remark that, “I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that,” is so evocative of Stephen Colbert’s “I don’t see race. People tell me I’m white and I believe them,” that I wonder if Seinfeld is angling to be Colbert’s meta-successor. Maybe the joke’s on us. If only.