Comic Amy Schumer has been quite controversial. Her jokes and skits have alienated and triggered many. Consequently, many dislike the comedian. Her brand of brash and woke comedy has been very polarising. Some love her for her work while others can’t stand her. Amidst all this, veteran actor and comic artist Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame discussed what comedy meant to him and delved into pressing issues facing the art in the times of cancel culture.
Mr. Bean Actor Rowan Atkinson Explains Comedy
Related: Why Hollywood Hates Amy Schumer Now
In an interview with the Irish Times, legendary British actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson explained what comedy meant to him. He said: “It does seem to me that the job of comedy is to offend, or have the potential to offend, and it cannot be drained of that potential. Every joke has a victim. That’s the definition of a joke. Someone or something or an idea is made to look ridiculous.”
This definition/understanding of comedy is repugnant to the prevalent woke culture and the cancel culture that comes with it. By this definition, comedy is inherently hurtful or potentially hurtful. This is inconsistent with the woke culture brand of comedy, which is very sensitive and refuses to offend.
Atkinson goes further and breaks the taboo that comedy should only ‘punch up’ and not ‘punch down’. He says:
“You’ve always got to kick up? Really? What if there’s someone extremely smug, arrogant, aggressive, self-satisfied, who happens to be below in society? They’re not all in houses of parliament or in monarchies. There are lots of extremely smug and self-satisfied people in what would be deemed lower down in society, who also deserve to be pulled up. In a proper free society, you should be allowed to make jokes about absolutely anything.”
Amy Schumer and Rowan Atkinson seem to have a very different take on comedy. What do you think of Atkinson’s comments? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.