Today wasn’t the first day comedian Colin Kane tweeted a series of questionable jokes. It was, however, the day comedy watchers got really angry– due, in part, to an open letter, accusing the comedian of degrading just about every marginalized group of humans, but noting that “women are definitely getting most of [his] vitriol.”
“What are you doing? Seriously Colin, do you ever think about what you’re doing?” asks Mark Leggett on the Tumblr post. “Your timeline reads like an all-out assault on women. You also make jokes at the expense of overweight people, blacks, pretty much everyone except white males (your target demographic?), but women are definitely getting most of your vitriol. I don’t really understand why.”
And although Kane is used to getting retaliatory tweets from the constant stream of jokes on his timeline — after all his bio reads, “Some people might call me an insult comic. Those people can go fuck themselves.” — it’s never gotten this bad, where an actual hashtag (#ThingsFunnierThanColinKane) was created and used many, many times. Someone even made a reaction video (and later set it to ‘private), and still, another comedy fan wrote a post on Kane as a follow up to Leggett’s. Well-loved comedian and writer Chelsea Peretti even sounded off: “Colin Kane seems cool,” she sardonically tweeted. And there’s even a Colin Kane parody account on Twitter: @KolinCane, which has amassed a respectable following of 470 — some well known comedians included — as of this writing.
So, why are people upset? What compelled Leggett to tell Kane, “…you’re basically working as support crew for misogynists and sex offenders everywhere. You are the wind beneath their dirty little wings. They read your tweets and it makes them think that the way they think and act is not only acceptable, but that it’s funny and popular opinion.”
A look at some of his jokes might answer the question.
And there’s this video, which is proudly splashed on the front page of his official site. As of this writing, it has received 88 likes and 173 dislikes on YouTube.
I asked Colin what he thought of all the backlash online, and he kindly sent Laughspin this statement “I don’t spend much energy thinking about detractors. Comedy is subjective and everyone has their own idea about what’s funny. I’d hope that someone would come see one of my shows before forming an opinion either way, but at the end of the day its much more productive for me to focus on the fans that love what I do, rather than waste time worrying about people that don’t.”
I think the main problem here is that a lot of Kane’s jokes — in Tweets or on video — are clunky and honestly just don’t make much sense. If you kiss a Grey Goose bottle and put a photo of that on your Facebook page, it means you swallow semen? What does this even mean? Kane would spend the last 15 minutes of his life fucking a girl from behind and then drinking a smoothie? Ok, so I guess what you’re saying is those two things are your favorite things? That’s cool. Those are two nice things. Where’s the joke? It’s like Kane’s playing Cringe
Comedy Mad Libs– just dropping the most traditionally vile words and concepts into the blank spaces in order to get a reaction out of people.
And it has worked! He’s certainly gotten a rise out of some people. And I can’t imagine he’s upset about the attention he’s gotten. And he’s got even more, now that I’ve spent time writing about it. The attention will likely not hurt his chances of scoring a television gig, which I guarantee will happen, soon– based on his work ethic, marketing prowess and yes, traditional sitcom good looks.
My reasoning for addressing this, however, isn’t to give him more press or to “take him down.” I’m sure he’s a fine person and doesn’t really make women blow rotten bananas. Whether you’re into his humor or not, it certainly can be the start of a good discussion about comedy. I’ve said my peace, and would really like to know what you think about the whole situation. Sound off in the comments section.