The New Vulgarity

Geez, I wish the media — especially Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, Jay Leno, Letterman, etc. — would get off the Weiner penis jokes. Is this what the level of American comedy has descended to, literally and figuratively? I am so tired of double entendres and visual gags based on genital references. What, are we all like 12-year-olds now?

I used to be a huge Daily Show fan, but it seems to have gotten progressively more juvenile in the past year, while at the same time Stewart will then try to make serious comments on politics or ask probing questions when he has politicians on the show (no pun intended). By contrast, Stephen Colbert and his writers generally aim higher. His jokes tend to be more cerebral and witty, instead of writing down to the audience. Does the Daily Show staff believe they have to cater to the puerile tastes of adolescent boys, or do they really think just saying “dick” or other euphemisms for penis is inherently funny?

Sex jokes can be funny in movies. But you know, after you’ve seen one semen ejaculation gone wild gag, you’ve pretty much seen them all. So writers and directors try to top the last one with bits that are more “out there” — i.e., disgusting or distasteful. Okay, I’ve laughed at a few adult-rated sex jokes in movies, and maybe it’s me, but it seems to be getting real old. And sad. If that’s the way people in their 20s and 30s talk nowadays, just letting loose with unfiltered stream of consciousness penis/vagina commentary, I really don’t want to be writing that type of dialogue in my screenplays. Who cares about your sex life, or what other people are doing behind closed doors with consenting adults or by themselves? I certainly don’t — not if I’m paying to be entertained, that is. If you want sexual stimulation, watch porn instead. At least porn is honest about what it is.

As for me, I’ve been hitting the Fast Forward button on Jon Stewart more often, and pressing the Eject button on a lot of R-rated movie DVDs lately. It’s not because I’m a prude either. It’s because I have taste, while many of today’s filmmakers and writers apparently do not. When we abandon our sense of what’s tasteful just to get a cheap laugh or sell a ticket, I call that being a Hollywood whore. I wish politicians, comedians, writers and men in general would just put their penis back in their pants when in public, which is where it belongs… not on the movie screen or on my TV during prime time. End of penis rant.

Am I alone in this sentiment? What was the last truly funny R-rated comedy you saw?

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