RCL 9: TED Talk Script

Comedy is a deeply routed facet of our society. Records of comedians go back all the way to Greece in 425 B.C., and in all likelihood extend back even further. As with literally everything that has existed in this time period, comedy has undergone multiple drastic changes to its style and form.

There have been major stylistic changes in comedy since its creation, but the changes that it has undergone in just the last 70 years are some of the most drastic and most civically intriguing. Comedy in the post-war era was very limiting creatively. Foul language was a huge no-no, language relating to the bathroom was right out. Words relating to sex? Forget about it. But those constraints became less and less stringent as the years went by. By the mid 80’s comedy was becoming less and less family friendly.

Comedy today often talks about social and political issues in unflattering ways, constantly employs foul language, and does absolutely nothing to avoid topics that are controversial in nature.

The controversy and vulgarity are extremely polarizing in today’s society. Many people think that comedians shouldn’t discuss these topics.

Society has a huge effect on comedy and comedy has a huge effect on society.

Popular comedy says a lot about our society. It shows what we think is funny, what we’re comfortable joking about and laughing at. It shows how far comedians will go to get a reaction out of the audience.

Why is comedy becoming more inappropriate?

What caused this shift?

Comedy is an ever-changing art, even more so than many others. We, as a society, shape it so that it, in return, can shape us.

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