Sunday, November 25, 2007

I received this letter from Comedy Central:

Dear Mr. King,

We're not a big fan of how you work our letters into your act. DO NOT do it again.

In furtherance of our talks to include yours among our stable of edgy comedy shows, we have had our attorneys, advertisers, and focus groups mark up your proposed material. Our suggested changes follow:

Your joke reads, "Hey. How come Congressmen are even still alive? Shouldn't we just kill them all immediately and drag their stinking corpses around Capitol Hill and hang their entrails from lampposts as a warning to incoming freshmen? ...That would clean up Washington pretty quick, don't you think?"

Instead, we suggest the following: "Hey. What's with the, uh, elephant symbol for the, um, Republicans? His trunk looks like a trumpet or something! Doo da doo! He's the bugler of freedom...freedom to suck a guy off in the bathroom! Ha ha ha!"

Now don't you think that's funny? And safe? Just change your act up a little bit. That's all we're asking. Don't disturb people. It's the secret to playing to worker drones whose lives are thrown into disarray when their favorite shows are preempted by ten minutes. "Know your audience," that's what we in the biz say.

We like your avant garde sense of race humor. But this one didn't pass our Knitting Moms focus group: "What's with all those Jews and their fangs plunged into the heart of this country?! Shouldn't we thrust a rifle in their hands so that they can fight all the wars they gin up? ...Now that's funny... Jews getting their hands dirty. ...They'd probably need a field therapist in addition to their MRE's."

We suggest the following, which still captures your edgy, rapier wit: "Those Jews... Can't stand 'em... When I'm at the movies, there's always one of 'em sitting down right in front of me... And who can see through that yarmulke of theirs?! ...Am I right? ...Can I hear it?"

So if you can incorporate some of our suggestions, let us know!

Suits at Comedy Central (or Viacom or wherever we work that sucks.)


I will poke fun at Jon Stewart. He's a stand-up comedian. He HAS to do material. It's killing him that his show isn't on. (I would not want my show to be interrupted by events outside my control, either.)

And, yes, I fully understand the nature of television. There are boundaries which your material must respect. There is a trade off. I get that part.

I may work at a gas station, but I consider myself the most fortunate comedian anywhere: I get to do whatever material I want. And that is why I consider the gas station job to be a perfect fit for me.

And not covering some of this material is not Jon Stewart's fault. It is the nature of the medium in which he operates. His show takes place on a respectable TV channel. My show takes place in a shit-hole bar that stinks of beer and piss. One's expectations will be different. "You're complaining about the material? Why are you even in this shit-hole bar? Go somewhere respectable where you belong."

So though I may tweak his prodigious nose, know that it's out of love.