So by now you’ve probably seen that Ricky Gervais is once again desperately clinging to a word that he desperately needs to…well, for some reason anyway, I’m sure. I first saw it on Facebook:
If you grabbed Hitler and shouted “stop killing innocent people you cunt”, someone on Facebook would call you out on your sexist language.
As I pointed out there, if you grabbed Hitler and shouted at him, people would rightly point out that he’s dead and hasn’t been killing people for nearly 70 years, which just raises the next question: What are you really doing that’s so vitally important you can’t spare a moment to deal with sexism?
When Ophelia posted more of Gervais’s “defense”, such as it is, it struck me how hard he was working to defend something that’s fundamentally useless. It just doesn’t work as a serious epithet, unless your entire point is the misogyny. It’s even more useless for a comedian.
A great deal of comedy relies on surprise and creativity. Calling Hitler a cunt? It’s one of the most trite, unoriginal, even boringly reflexive things someone could call him. It packs all the punch of a two year old stamping their feet and saying, “You’re mean.” Ooh, somebody swore. A big swear! How utterly sheltered does someone have to be for that to elicit even a titter? You called a genocidal tyrant the same thing you’d call the person who took your bar stool while you were in the bathroom!
If you’re going to seriously stake your personal reputation on that as a defense of your comedic art, I’m going point out that you’re telling us you’re out of real material. What rank amateur couldn’t start with Hitler and cunts and come up with funnier material? The simplest, most obvious way to make it funnier is to turn people’s expectations on their heads.
Doing this can make just about any material funnier, from ungrammatical porn comments:
i love carmen i wanna suk them titswhile i fingr her hitler
I kicked Joyce in the shin. I draw the line at Hitler.
You can forgive a young Hitler anything. A young Hitler doesn’t have to have brains. They’re better without brains.
Without honoring Whores, we cannot truly understand and transcend the dynamics of violence, destruction and ignorance fostered in our Hitlerfearing society.
To Adam Carolla:
Nature knew what she was doing when she figured out the penis and the Hitler.
Yes, giving Hitler and cunts literally the least amount of thought from a comedic perspective can even make Adam Carolla funnier, if only because it now makes no sense on purpose. So much funnier than calling Hitler “rude names”.
So what exactly is Gervais defending here? He’s not going to miraculously, retroactively prevent the Holocaust. He’s not going to make a remotely worldly audience laugh. Just what good use is he going to put the word to that’s going to make it worth wearing “cunt”‘s colors into battle?
A quick note on comments: Don’t even.