Note to so-called “edgy” comics: Amplified assholery does not make you a comedian. There’s a difference between being a Don Rickles and being just another Don Imus. Recently, I witnessed the latter occur at one of Los Angeles’ oh so inspiring open mics. The host was busy commenting on my resemblance to that of a “geeky serial killer” when a disturbance from the back of the coffee shop caught everyone’s attention. It was an elderly homeless lady in a filthy tweed coat, who repeatedly mumble-shouted, "You can't touch me back there. I'm a lady! I am a lady!" It’s been my experience that everything has a joke in it somewhere, as long as you go about finding it in a smart way (call it the non-Michael Richards way). Sure we can kid about the downtrodden, poke fun at stereotypes and such, but where’s the fun in breaking down the broken? It’s redundant, like throwing a pie in the face of a coma victim. Anycrap, this host decided it was time to take the mentally disabled down a peg. Those ghosts of society have had it too easy for too long, he must’ve assumed, while tearing into this frail, disoriented zombie with such slams as, "Ma'am, I know ain't nobody touch you back there because you smell like you ain't have a shower." In response she screwed up her face and shrieked something indecipherable.
The audience froze up like children who accidentally killed something for the first time. The host kept at it, instigating a wild tantrum of, "You can’t touch me back there! You can’t touch me back there!" When the homeless woman broke down into tears, the open mic host zinged, "I’m sorry I ain’t speak crazy," tagged with the ever so subtle closer "Get out now you stank bitch."
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