Technology, Taboo Topics, Then & Now of Comedy | The 4:20 Report
Every once in awhile, I get questioned about the nature of the content of my material. They ask if it’s Rated R or PG-13. When it comes to language, the only real difference between PG-13 and Rated R is use of the F-Word. That’s it. The F-Word can be used exactly one time in a PG-13 movie.
I feel like that’s kind of arbitrary, borderline-bizarre standard. But there’s the thing… at least it’s an objective, measurable standard. When people ask if your comedy is Rated R or PG-13, what they mean is they want an adult show, but leave no one offended or have to deal with any complaints. In other words, it’s entirely subjective. Measured only by the individual’s personal taste.
And given today’s complaint-culture, it’s practically an impossible task, forcing the performer to cater to the most sensitive person in the audience. But here’s the thing… if everything is now off-limits and taboo, that means everything is on the table. If everything is equally taboo, we’re re-liberated to talk about it all. No topic is off-limits.