Comedy Myth #2: If your “edgy” joke didn’t work, it’s not your fault. It’s because POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

As we’ve already determined, every audience is different, and some aren’t going to vibe with what you’re slinging. That’s fine. But if what you’re slinging is a bunch of jokes about race, abortion, religion, etc., you’ve severely narrowed the demographics that are potentially receptive to your material, and that means you’ve multiplied the number of crowds that will hate you. There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily. There’s a market for blunt, mean, angry comedy. But understand two things:

1. It’s a relatively small market. Sure, there are people who will want to hear your hot take on abortion, and once you get HUGE (like, Chris Rock huge) you can reach any demographic—no matter how niche—and can afford to say whatever the hell you want. But when you’re starting out, the audience you’re trying to impress includes soccer moms, PTA presidents, police officers, teachers. It also includes bookers for your local comedy club…and they may not appreciate those topics and/or be worried that their patrons won’t share your taste for controversial subjects. When you’re starting out, “edgy” material puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

2. Let’s be real: your abortion joke probably isn’t funny. Because
a. Abortion jokes have been done to death (I’ll show myself out) by every comedian who wants to be edgy and
b. It’s really hard to make with the funny about awful, tragic shit.

If your race/abortion/religion humor isn’t working, it’s not because the crowd CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. You’re just not good enough or famous enough to make baby-death funny. Learn to get laughs with other material, get good, then feel free to revisit the controversial stuff.

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