Comedy is a strange thing. It seems nowadays people can’t win. I thought I was beginning to understand it but after Sunday night’s Emmy Awards I’m back at square one.
For much of this year, people have been laughing about former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s tenure at the podium. Most notably he’s been skewered by Melissa McCarthy and her bang-on impersonation on SNL.
Spicer was known for having battles and confrontations while addressing members of the press and it started on day 1 with his “largest crowd size ever” rant that he was tasked by President Trump to spout.
So when Spicer wheeled out a podium onto the Emmys stage and the crowd went wild, I expected the comedy bit would have gone down as an epic moment. It did. But epic in a bad way.
The show (and I guess that includes the producers, the writers – anyone who was in on the bit) got shredded for “normalizing” Spicer. It was the talk of Twitter that night. The political commentators were all over it Monday morning. They didn’t like that Spicer was making a joke about the job he had and making a mockery of his antics.
I viewed it as Spicer making fun of himself. Which it was. To me, it was funny.
For some reason it is OK to laugh at an actor pretending to be Spicer on a sketch show like SNL but when Spicer spins it around to mock himself, it is not OK. Is it a double standard? Why is he not allowed to play himself and lampoon an infamous moment that everyone laughs about?
I guess the same could be said for all the Donald Trump jokes that were told. It’s OK for Emmys host Stephen Colbert to make them, and for Emmy-winner Alec Baldwin who took home gold for making fun of the president, but if Trump were to come out and make fun of himself, it would be taken the wrong way. Trump would be viewed as not taking the presidency and his job seriously.
I’m confused more than ever about what makes something OK to laugh at and what is deemed offensive that should have me enraged. Thankfully I’m carefree so it takes a lot to get me revved up about something.