Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Should I Laugh?

This man, John Pinette, poses a moral conundrum for me. I have two of his DVDs and two of his CDs. (I like to listen to to comedy CDs and play Mah Jong on the computer right before I go to bed. It sends me to bed calm and laughing, no matter what else has happened in the world that day.) I love him. But, should I? Is he inviting people to laugh at him rather than with him? Is he making fun of fat people? Or, is he finding the humor in fat and playing with it? Almost all of his humor is aimed at himself, and since his most salient characteristic is his size, he does a lot of jokes about eating and the predicaments his size gets him into. Is this different than the jokes Chris Rock makes about growing up poor and black? Is John's routine about his friends taking him places (skiing, water skiing, white water rafting, water parks) to see what will happen to him because of his size different than Chris telling us he could guarantee an A in school by writing about Martin Luther King?

I don't know, and I would like to. Having battled fat-hatred most of my life, I wouldn't want to add to it. And yet, he is soooo funny. And part of the reason he is so funny is that he is talking about things, in the extreme, that any person who is or has ever been fat expeiences, if only to a lesser degree. He brings laughter to some of the moments that we would otherwise have to cry about. Things used to be easier before we all became so enlightened, you know?


J at said...

I don't know how I feel about this seems like making fun of fat people (and blondes) is the last safe place for cruelty and bigotry. But there's something to be said because he's fat himself, and if his jokes aren't CRUEL, that it might be OK. We have to laugh at ourselves, right? Hell, it's your house, feel free to laugh if you want to. Maybe in 20 years you'll be ashamed of yourself, but why waste 20 years of laughs?

Betty said...

I love John Pinette. Watched him last night, in fact. I don't think he's making fun of fat people. I think he must have learned at a very early age that he might as well make jokes about his own weight, to kind of insulate himself from the cruelty of other kids. And, he is now making a good living doing the same thing. At any rate, he has a hilarious, clean act, which I appreciate.