The Roast of Gay Jokes

Comedian Guy Branum was recently on the TV show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell railing against the Comedy Central Roast of James Franco. There seems to be some debate over his take on the subject. Some people are applauding Guy, while others aggressively defend the roast. Take a look:

Guy Branum is right, Everyone– The gay jokes about James Franco were absolutely tasteless.

As were all the jokes about Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, and Jeff Ross being overweight.
As were the abundance of Jew-bashing jokes.
As were the jokes attacking Sarah Silverman’s age.
As were the jokes slut-shaming Sarah Silverman, Natasha Leggero, and James Franco.

In fact, I think an argument could be made that every joke told was inappropriate and insensitive.

Every. Single. One.

Almost as though that were the point of a “Comedy Central Roast.”

Like people are supposed to say awful, inappropriate, disrespectful things in the name of comedy. And no one takes it seriously… Because they know not to.

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If you really want to debate the amount, style, or vulgarity of gay jokes at the Franco Roast, let’s look at the examples from the “Totally Biased” clip.

The Seth Rogan joke about James Franco playing James Dean: “…makes sense because they both sucked some dicks and made three good movies.” To be fair, that exact same joke could be said when comparing James Dean and Angelina Jolie (or some other actress) and still get a laugh. In which case, the punch revolves around “three good films.” Comedy 101 tells us that the reason those words come last is because they are the most important part of the joke. The fellatio part is buried in the middle. Additionally, if blowjobs alone would invite comparison to James Dean, there would be a lot more people comparing Guy Branum to James Dean.

Jeff Ross said, “Personally, I don’t care if you fuck guys or if you fuck girls.” Hmmmm… I don’t see any gay insult there. Do you?

Sarah Silverman said, “I don’t necessarily think James is gay or straight…” Again, she’s indifferent about his sexuality, not attacking it.

Finally, the point Aziz was making highlighted how absurd it is to call someone gay for superficial reasons, such as hygiene and intelligence: “…you think if you read one book and take a shower, dicks are just going to fly into your face…”

And… Those were the clips! Those were the only examples given. You’d think that if the James Franco roast were so saturated with gay-jokes, surely the professionals who assembled this montage could have shown more definitive proof, some sort of evidence of the wrongdoing.

If you disagree with me, then I offer this challenge: Show me any “gay joke” from the James Franco roast and I will explain why it hinges on more than just, “Ha, ha! He has sex with men!” The comment section is below.

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I think the heart of Guy’s argument was more about the sheer number of jokes about Franco’s sexuality. Why was that hammered upon, over and over? Well, I don’t know where the line is for “too many” or “too few” gay-jokes. And I don’t know how that amount differs in the context of a roast.

But, I wonder, what if there hadn’t been any jokes about his sexuality? He’s played numerous gay characters. He’s simulated gay sex acts on film. He’s dressed in drag on multiple occasions. He just directed a “homo-sex-art-film.” It doesn’t take much of a stretch to connect “James Franco” and “gay.” But, what if all of that had been ignored?

Couldn’t some boisterous personality take to the television airwaves clamoring about discrimination because the roast avoided any link between the celebrity and homosexuality? Publicly speculating about how that part of his life was intentionally omitted because it was too shameful/disgusting/offensive/etc? What would prevent anyone from making that claim?

I think we can all agree that too many gay-jokes is bad, but no gay-jokes is also bad. So, how do you measure the proper amount of gay-jokes? Like all comedy preferences, the answer is subjective. And when the answer doesn’t suit someone’s liking, they attack the source of the comedy.

Am I surprised that Kamau would allow such a comedy-bashing stance on his comedy program?

No.

Do I agree with Guy Branum’s narrow opinion on which subject(s) should be highlighted and which should be overlooked when it comes to a roast?

No.

Do I find his comedic take on the subject to be acceptable?

Yes, I do. I approve of this whole-heartedly!

Why? Because, Guy Branum had a stubborn, one-sided opinion. He ignored all of the inherent hypocrisy of his statement and defiantly persisted with his non-nuanced, singular view-point. He was pigheaded in pursuit of his own agenda and his misrepresentation of the event. It was absurd!! Almost as if he were acting knowingly biased… Like 100%, all-encompassingly biased…

Almost as though that were the point of “Totally Biased.”

Like people are supposed to say one-sided, hypocritical, partisan things in name of comedy. And no one takes it seriously… Because they know not to.

My conclusion: The Roast did exactly what it was supposed to. And Guy Branum responded in a manner, exactly as he was supposed to.

Both were perfect in their own contexts, despite being complete opposites.

If you want to debate these two out of context, you are being stupid.

Instead, calm down and have a sandwich.

Love,

Ryan

PS: Full disclosure, I’ve been friends with W. Kamau Bell and Guy Branum for over a decade. Additionally, my girlfriend, Vanessa Ramos, was a writer on the roast. So, I have plenty of reason to find middle-ground on this topic. But, as a comedian, the logic of the situation is enough to keep me calm while anyone else gets worked up.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear Psychopaths, Maniacs, and Perverts,

Good news: I’m doing a television show!

As the host of AXS LIVE on AXS TV, I will be broadcast into your filthy homes and drug dens every Monday thru Thursday for a live, one-hour program. Covering everything from viral videos to chart-topping music, I’ll be spewing all the information you’ll need to stay on top of what’s cool right now. All you have to do is tune in at 7pm (EST) and– boom!– you’ll finally have something relevant to talk about at your court-ordered group-therapy.

And, remember, the show is LIVE!! So, you can can watch me do what I do while I’m doing it. You won’t have to touch your remote control at all, which will leave your hands completely free to work on your true passion: Making dolls out of human hair.

So, there you have it. Plenty of reasons why you should be just as excited about this show as I am. I hope you love it and obsess over it so much that I need to take out restraining orders on every single one of you.

Until then, here are some relevant links to help you start your stalking:

http://www.axs.tv/programs/axslive/
http://www.facebook.com/AXSLive
http://twitter.com/axslive

Well, that’s it for now.

Until next time, keep scaring those children.

Love (not really),

Ryan

NEW VIDEO – What’s a Comedy Club??

Unfortunately, plenty of people don’t know their place when they enter a comedy club. They take entitled attitudes and begin to operate under the delusion that the comedian on stage should provide whatever “type” and/or “style” of humor that they, the paying customers, find suitable. It’s a room full of people, all with different ideas of comedy, and, yet, it seems that everyone expects the comedian to cater to them.

Even when 99% of the crowd is laughing, there are still individuals saying, “This is inappropriate.” “That was loathsome.” “The comedian is vulgar!” Meanwhile, the comedian’s name is on the marquee outside the building. The comedian’s name is on the ticket. The comedian is the product that was purchased, whether you “like” the comedian or not.

I admit, it is disappointing when you see an act who does not give you the thing you want. If you love dirty comedy and the guy on stage is only doing family-friendly puns, you should consider politely leaving. But, you don’t interrupt the show; you don’t blame the performer. You should blame yourself for not researching the product you are purchasing.

Even worse is when an audience member seems shocked by the content. When they try to claim that the humor is unfit for public consumption. When they generalize the subject of a joke while ignoring the content of the joke.

“A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says, ‘Why the long face?'”
“Oh, really? You think that’s funny?! Animal cruelty is humorous to you?!”
“It was a goofy joke. I didn’t hurt any anim…”
“News flash: Alcohol is a poison! And I’m not going to sit here and laugh while you poison a horse.”

That may seem like an extreme example. But, similar things happen all the time when the subject is suicide, or domestic violence, or whatever topic that a particular audience member deems unacceptable. They irrationally argue the topic instead of the context.

Now, if you are at a comedy club, and you think any topic is unacceptable, let me just remind you of where you’re sitting:

There’s a time and a place for everything. And I think a dark bar, at night, with a bunch of drunken adults is probably the best time and place for a child molestation joke. If you disagree, that’s fine. But, you should just stay home. Don’t blame the comic.

The more you know…

Cheers,

Ryan

Punch Line – San Francisco

Dear Abnormals,

I am proud to announce that I’ll be headlining six shows at The Punch Line in San Francisco.

Not only is this one of the nicest and most prestigious comedy clubs in the world, but it’s also the comedy club at which I began my career, back in 2001. Of all the rooms I’ve stepped foot in, this is the one where I’ve spent the most time:

PunchLine1

If you live within walking, driving, or flying distance, you should really try to make it out to one, or all, of the shows. Here are the details:

April 24 – 27
The Punch Line
444 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
415.397.7573

(Go to the address listed, you’ll see a green awning, go up the stairs to the top of the building, walk around to the front of the club, and look for another green awning. Walk in the doors. Boom. You’re there. It’s tough to find. That’s what makes it extra cool.)

If you absolutely can’t make it to one, or all, of the shows, you still have the opportunity to watch me on a brand new episode of Chelsea Lately on E! Entertainment Television on May 2nd. Yeah… You can watch me on TV… For free… Lucky pricks…

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Consider yourself served.

Love,

Ryan

Music Video

Dear Music Lovers,

Are you upset that I only enter your lives through the world of television, film, and stand-up comedy? Are you suicidal over the fact that you love music, but I have nothing to do with the music industry? Well, don’t kill yourself yet– I’m in a music video!

On Valentine’s Day, my manager called me and said, “Bob?”
“No, this is Ryan Stout.”
“Aww, shi… Ryan! Hey, listen, I’ve got a job offer just for you!! It’s a music video; they need a host character; it pays $xxxxx.xx. But, here’s the catch, you have to be in Long Beach in 4 hours. What d’ya say?”
“Let me ask my girlfriend. …Honey, can I leave you on Valentine’s Day to go make a music video? It pays $xxxxx.xx…”
She said, “Get the hell out of here.”
So, I told my manager, “Yeah, I’ll do it.”

I had no idea what I was getting into. But… Turns out: Good decision!

The video is for Drop City Yacht Club and the song is called “Crickets.” A-Wolf, Kristo, and THX were friendly and nice (which is always appreciated). The director was great and did a great job keeping the concept from getting too cheesy. And I really like the song!

Overall, I’m glad I could be part of this. Enjoy!

Love,

Ryan “The Suit” Stout

Live dates!!

Dear Deviants,

This weekend I’ll be headlining FOUR shows at the Mad House Comedy Club in San Diego.

For more info, click HERE.

MadHouseComedyLogo

If you don’t live in or near San Diego, you should check my SCHEDULE to see when I’m near you. It’s real easy to do– Just one click. That simple. But, for some reason, people prefer to ticky-type out a long message to me asking when I’ll be in their area. They could save themselves a lot of typing just by giving a click, but, no, they waste their time… And mine… So, just to punish them, I never respond.

I currently have shows on the books for Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, and more. So, give a click!

And come to a show!

See you soon, Freaks!

Love,

Ryan

Presidents’ Day

Dear Patriots,

Happy Presidents’ Day!!

To celebrate, tonight I will appear on Chelsea Lately at 11pm (EST) on E! Entertainment Television.

I’ll join the Round Table alongside the undeniably baseball-capped Josh Wolf and the over-your-head Jen Kirkman. Chris Franjola will also perform a bit of stand-up as our first President! (If you can’t name our first President, you’ll miss the all of the punch lines and, quite frankly, should be studying instead of watching TV.)

Here’s a pic of the gang:

chelsealately2

Tune in.

Alright, time to squeeze this eagle into red-white-blue tie-dye t-shirt.

America.

STOUT

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT – Phoenix

Dear Winners,

I’ll be headlining four shows this weekend, January 25-26, at STAND UP LIVE in Phoenix, AZ.

If you have any intentions of using your time wisely, you’ll be there.

Call the club in advance to make reservations: 480-719-6100

Or buy tickets online: http://standuplive.com

STAND UP LIVE
50 W. Jefferson St.

Phoenix, AZ 85003


If you can’t make the show, or don’t live anywhere near Arizona, don’t worry. You can watch me on CHELSEA LATELY next Tuesday, January 29th.

You’re welcome.

Love,

Ryan