Lisa Kudrow, on Black Mirror as a parody of a right-wing pundit, said something along the lines of, “Conservative voices are being silenced! It’s like I said on Joe Rogan, on Jordan Peterson, twice on Tucker Carlsson, and in my best-selling book ‘Conservatives are Being Silenced!’ And I’ll keep saying it, because conservative voices are being silenced!”

Here is a common rookie move, one I’ve made myself- comic tells a joke, someone in the crowd has an unusually strong reaction, typically negative. In future sets, comic tells that joke, then the story of what happened that one time they told it. I once saw a comic get a strong reaction to a joke, then, at another club while telling the story of what happened that other time they told it, someone reacted strongly to his story. I then saw him, a month later, tell the joke, then the story of what happened when he told the joke, then the story of what happened the time he told the story of what happened when he told the joke.

Anyway, I was reminded of this while watching Dave Chappelle’s latest special.

Good Lord, I am so tired of hearing comics complain they’re not allowed to say anything while saying anything they want. Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe in limits to speech, but I also believe in consequences. Gilbert Gottfried lost his job as a duck because he made insensitive jokes about the tsunami in Japan. Let me repeat that- he lost his job as a fucking duck. Bummer. I’m sure it took a short-term financial toll. In the long-term, he got to die a titan of the comedy industry.

I love John Cleese but I don’t love hearing him in interview after interview, oh waahh everyone is so sensitive these days and you can’t say anything anymore. Except he is. I’m reminded of a phrase I heard shouted on Monty Python many, many times: “Get on with it!”

I’d have more patience if these iconoclasts, these rebels, would have something profound to say in the face of relentless censorship. They don’t. I’ve seen Chappelle and Jimmy Carr and several others do, instead, the following- “Oooh, I’ll get canceled for this, but here it comes! [insert joke a rookie with two weeks’ experience could write] Uh oh, I was kicking down, now I’m canceled, wink wink!”

It’s just so fucking boring. I don’t think Chappelle returns to this well, over and over, because he’s lazy or following the path of least resistance. I don’t even think he’s pandering to his base. I think he’s obsessing over a not unsubstantial amount of people reacting poorly to his jokes. Like a rookie recounting the story, he can’t let it go. I expect better. I don’t know why I keep watching his specials; maybe it’s me being self-destructive, purposely watching something I know will annoy me, or maybe it’s out of hope he’ll pull himself out of this creative nosedive.