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Comedians split on whether to coddle prissy, PC-obsessed college kids

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Screenshot (358)What does Jerry Seinfeld know about comedy anyway?

Comedians like Seinfeld — the most successful, famous and outrageously funny comedian in America — just aren’t progressive enough, according to the exceedingly progressive Sarah Silverman.

Seinfeld, fellow funnyman Colin Quinn, and even the nauseating comic/commentator Bill Maher have said they avoid performing comedy at colleges because the PC police are simply too intolerant, but Silverman says these legends of comedy just aren’t evolving with the times.

Speaking to Vanity Fair from the Toronto Film Festival this week, Silverman explained that comedians should look to the progressive culture of higher education as a guide, not a threat.

“To a degree, everyone’s going to be offended by something, so you can’t just decide on your material based on not offending anyone,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “But, I do think it’s important, as a comedian, as a human, to change with the times. I think it’s a sign of being old if you’re put off by that.”

Silverman argued the liberal environment found on colleges are part of a “revolution” that will make America a better place.

“You have to listen to the college-aged, because they lead the revolution,” Silverman added. “They’re pretty much always on the right side of history.”

Silverman – who has made a career by pushing the envelope with offensive and often “politically incorrect” performances – pointed to herself as an example of how comedians should “change with the times,” by highlighting her decision to stop using “gay” as a pejorative in her act.

“I [had] become the guy from 50 years ago who said, ‘I say colored, I have colored friends,’” she said.

Despite the vocal concerns of an increasing number of comedians, Silverman insists the change isn’t difficult.

“It’s not hard to change with the times, and I think it’s important,” she continued. “And when you have new information and when you become more aware of the world around you, you can change.”

Silverman can “change” all she wants, but hopefully comedy legends — like Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and others — decide to keep their sense of humor instead.

But what does Jerry Seinfeld know about comedy anyway?

[Relevant comments around the 2:45 mark]

Michael Schaus


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