Amidst rape joke debate, The Onion envisions Daniel Tosh as a victim of brutal sexual assault

By | July 13, 2012 at 11:17 am | 18 comments | feature slider, News | Tags: , ,

In their News In Brief section, The Onion has taken on an incident at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, wherein Daniel Tosh addressed a heckler by saying — hyperbolically — that it would be funny if she was raped by five men right now. You see, the Tosh.0 comedian was doing rape jokes before the female audience member decided to shout out to Tosh that rape jokes are never funny.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you know that ever since, Tosh has been awash in controversy, issuing a half-hearted apology via Twitter, but otherwise taking a “pause,” as they say in political strategy-speak. Here’s what The Onion had to say in a story carrying the headline, “Daniel Tosh Chuckles Through Own Violent Rape.”

Embroiled in controversy following comments he made during a recent performance at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, comedian Daniel Tosh chuckled this afternoon while being violently raped by a group of men in a Hollywood alley. “You have to admit, this is pretty hilarious,” said the teary-eyed 37-year-old, his bloodied face slamming against a brick wall as he was brutally and repeatedly penetrated against his will for the 53rd straight minute. “Sure, I’ll be forever tormented by images of my attackers tearing off my pants and holding a knife against my throat as they viciously tear into my rectum, but c’mon, you gotta have a sense of humor about this sort of thing.” As of press time, sources said a disheveled Tosh checked into a nearby treatment center, where he quietly smirked after being diagnosed with HIV.

Now, I understand The Onion is a satirical news source, but as is the case with all good satire (and The Onion is the best we have today), there’s truth embedded and, at the very least, a subtle call for change. It’s pretty clear what side “America’s finest news source” has taken in this situation– or is it?

What do you think? Sound off in the comments section.

About the Author

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor in chief of Laughspin. He launched Punchline Magazine in 2005 (which became Laughspin in the summer of 2011) with childhood friend Bill Bergmann. Dylan lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and two sons. He hopes the Shire is real.

  • Juan G. Garcia

    I would be genuinely and deeply saddened if Daniel Tosh actually had HIV as a result of being brutally raped as the Onion depicts in vivid detail. Therefore I certainly understand why rape jokes can be a sensitive topic even in comedy. But it’s not what you say it’s how you say it…. Comedy can conquer ALL. You gotta laugh to disarm the pain. YOU have the ability to react however you feel

  • Andrea Loera

    The Onion is awesome.

  • jeff

    I’m sure they’ll be no international outrage over this rape joke.

  • Guest

    Yep, definitely a rape joke, though I think the true humor has been watching people post this as a “take that!” to Daniel Tosh. Guessing Tosh found this article hilarious.  

  • JSYM

    The amount of people quoting this article without realizing what the Onion did is unbelievable. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617459752 Josh Homer

    I amazes me how many people were like “No rape joke is funny, and ones that make fun of the victim are the worst” have posted this Onion article. It’s being a pure hypocrite at it’s finest. “Rape isn’t funny, unless someone I don’t like gets raped, then it’s hilarious!!!!”

    • Claire

      Exactly! The grand majority of people reposting/retweeting the Onion link who think they are anti-rape and anti-rape jokes are accompanying the link with things like “HAHA TOSH TAKE THAT.” The Onion article is also a horrifying rape joke. I was horrified by Tosh’s call-out ‘joke’ suggestion that a woman audience member get raped, JUST as I was horrified by this Onion article. Did they definitely mean it to be funny? Did they mean to trick the anti-Toshers into unconsciously publicly humiliating themselves?
      I don’t know, but stories covering both the Onion article AND the Tosh show should come with trigger warnings. So who knows what side anyone’s on here anymore.

  • mikeallcomedy

    Here’s the link just in case you didn’t get.  http://www.theonion.com/video/cubs-finally-remove-wrigley-field-ivy-after-third,28755/

  • mikeallcomedy

    Here’s what funny to me about this, they make a rape joke about this whole thing and it’s funny BTW but then moments later send out an “article” about a cubs player who hanged himself in the ivy, also funny. I am just waiting now for the people who are offended by suicide jokes to say something.

    • bittelee

      Suicide is, when it comes down to it, a choice. Yes, mental illness is often and involved and it is a complex issue, but it is still a choice. If you want to go to murder, then let;s talk about how 90% of rape victims are women. If 90% of murder victims were men, and female comedians yukked it up all the time about it, and most of those murders went unpunished, and the murder victims were called whores and sluts for getting murdered, then you;d have a halfway decent comparison. This issue is not as simple as you’re trying to make it, friend.

      • mikeallcomedy

        So are you saying it’s okay to do suicide jokes, I’m sure that someone that has lost of loved one to suicide with disagree with you. I have not but could see why someone would have as visceral a reaction to a suicide joke as someone would a rape joke. BTW this is not a competition to see which is worse, they are both terrible things that happen in this world that we wish didn’t.

        • Claire

          In the last couple of years, I lost two loved ones to suicide. In my childhood, I myself have attempted suicide a few times. I have also been raped. 
          Hearing someone joke about suicide in a way that makes light of it can definitely be very sad, because it reminds me of how two of my dearest friends in the world are no longer with me. A suicide joke can technically be a trigger, in the sense that I can be triggered into feelings of extreme desolation over the loss. But it’s not offensive in the way that making light of rape is offensive- it’s just not a parallel happening. That is, if Tosh had responded to me- if I were that female audience member- with something like, “Why don’t you just go kill yourself” even with a past of severe depression, I would not feel like that was a statement I couldn’t just shake off. (If he’d said, “Why don’t you just go kill yourself  like your best friends?”- I would have felt sad and personally hurt- because that’s just a personal and unfunny insult that’s just socially inappropriate.) Even if I was currently depressed when I heard a “Why don’t you just kill yourself?” statement thrown at me, I would still be able to realize that depression is treatable- and suicide is, simply, a choice that has to do simply with me. And if I don’t choose it, it’s not there, it can’t be forced on me. And if anything, that my friends committed suicide makes me want to be a survivor and keep on living- for their sake. I can suffer from depression, work to get better, and turn my back on it.But I can’t turn my back on being a woman who has to live in this world, and walk on these streets in a supposedly developed country that thrives on a culture that minimizes the need for viewing women and our lives in a positive, hopeful, supportive light. There is nothing hopeful about this in a world where it’s “funny” to suggest as a “joke” something that is a daily horror reality in the lives of women all around the world.  I can’t leave this role, I have no choice in it at all. None of us women can.Rape jokes- any kind of rape joke, that is, anything that makes light of rape- are awful because they are reminders not only of this role/world we’re stuck in where women daily plan routines in ways that protect us the most (something all the men in my life are confused by- see:http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/ ) but also the really heartbreaking- and honestly, TERRIFYING- reminder that society as a whole doesn’t care. Listening to rape jokes being told- and having them laughed at by large groups of people, even though we’d consider close family or friends- makes me feel so hopeless and alone. I was raped by a stranger last year- dragged off the street, drugged, etc.- and didn’t report it to the police. I’ve received a lot of criticism about this- from the same people who laugh at rape jokes. So what do they care, really? Those kind of people really just MUST NOT UNDERSTAND  how demoralizing it is to be violated in the most extreme of ways because of who and how you are born and THEN have to face mostly skepticism, anger, slut-shaming when all you’re desperate for in a little comfort. For the three previous sexual assaults, I had done the whole shebang- reported it to the police, undergone a rape kit. The kits had gone nowhere, one case was thrown out of court because I was an intoxicated college student who’d been at a party wearing a skirt (even though my rapist was sober), and all policemen had treated me with suspicion and contempt. 
          Making light of rape tells us to keep on feeling hopeless.

  • http://twitter.com/_SeanBrody Sean

    They have made a rape joke.

    • bittelee

      No, they have made a joke that includes rape. 

      You can make a joke about race that is not racist, and you can make a joke about sexuality without making a “gay joke.” Similarly, you can make a joke about rape that is not necessarily what we call a “rape joke.” A rape joke trivializes rape and makes fun of the victims of rape (9 out of 10 of which are women. Also, PS, 1 out of 6 women are faced with sexual assault). The Onion made a joke that makes Daniel Tosh and rape culture the butt of the joke by pointing out the absolutely idiotic absurdity of what he said and the fact that he has obviously never been raped or he wouldn’t say something so fucking moronic. 

      HUGE difference.

      • JSYM

        Comedy needs more people with rules like you.

      • PissedOffEgalitarian

        You are obviously a feminist reject, who regurgitates made up, exagerated, and biased statistics go the fuck home and look in the mirror then smash your face into it. Once you have a good pile of mirror pieces I think you’ll know what to do. its debated on what Tosh even said and quite frankly he is a shock comic if someone was uncomfortable they should have shut their fucking idiot mouth and left. No one attacks female comedians who make fun of men you know why because unlike most feminists we are not idiots who take everything too seriously we dont even care about. Comedy has no fucking rules and the Onion is a piece of trash for going along with the fucking sheep.

      • http://www.facebook.com/johnstreets John Streets

        Listen to George and shut the hell up. 
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUVjZPVj1Pk

      • http://twitter.com/NewYorkCreator Ryan E. Hoffman

        “A rape joke trivializes rape and makes fun of the victims of rape”

        Describing Daniel Tosh’s brutal rape in detail and having him chuckle through it is not trivializing the rape?
        “The Onion made a joke that makes Daniel Tosh and rape culture the butt of the joke”

        Yeah. They rape joked rape culture jokes. It’s a rape joke. You laughed at it. Deal with it.

© 2011-2013 Laughspin. Some rights reserved. Hosted by ServInt