In this day and age, it seems like all the movies that are considered comedy are typically rated R. This means it is likely to have inappropriate jokes, foul language, and probably has full nudity throughout. It is almost like you can’t have comedy without the dirty and inappropriate behavior. So this raises the question, can clean comedians also be funny?
Maybe it’s because a more inappropriate comedian is considered “adult” and a clean comedian is considered more juvenile, or maybe it’s how society is changing, but it seems like dirtier comedy is more preferred. Perhaps it’s easier to make a crowd laugh when you throw in some foul language or inappropriate jokes. But does that make clean comedy less funny? If you were to book a comedian for a gig would you choose a dirty comedian over a clean one?
These days, TV and movies aren’t looking for clean. 30 years ago, clean comedy was much more common. In fact, to be on TV or in movies back then, you had to be clean. However, now can you be inappropriate and not have to be so concerned if your comedy is suitable for the whole family. This may have been what caused the shift from clean to dirty in society. It’s easy to take a clean joke and throw some bad words in it, and have it still be funny. On the other hand, if you take the bad words out of a dirty joke, it causes the joke to lose its “funny”. In other words, it’s easier to go from to clean to dirty than it is dirty to clean.
The fact is, there are some very popular comedians who keep it clean. Jerry Seinfeld, a very famous comedian and actor, is known for keeping it clean when doing stand up. Another comedian known for staying clean on stage is the very famous Jeff Foxworthy, who is well known for his Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Another member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour that sticks to clean comedy is Bill Engvall. There are many other well known comedians who are considered clean as well. With there being so many well known names that do clean comedy, it shows that there is still an audience for it.
Another way to tell that clean comedy is far from being out is by looking at recent box office hits. While there are plenty of dirty R-rated movies, there are just as many clean family movies that have hit theaters and are doing just fine. Movies such as “Finding Dory” and “The Secret Life of Pets” are both box office hits. It’s clear that the cartoon movies do well with drawing a crowd. Of course lots of children enjoy going to the animated movies, they find clean comedy funny, but what about adults? Surely not all adults get a kick out of those cute animated movies. Believe it or not, there are clean PG-13 rated movies that are intended for adults, one of them being “Central Intelligence”. This was another box office hit that had clean language. The reason it was rated PG-13 was for bloodless violence and a scene with rear-male-nudity.
When it comes down to it, the ultimate deciding factor in determining if clean comedy is still funny is whether it makes you laugh or not. Everyone has their own opinion on what is or isn’t funny. Some prefer dirty comedy and others want to stick with clean comedy, but a great clean-cut comedian is going to make everyone in the room laugh. If you’re looking to hire a comedian, you might personally want one who uses foul language and talks about offensive subjects, but that might not go over so well with other people at an event you’re running. Regardless of preferences, the facts all point to clean comedy still being funny and certainly isn’t something you need to avoid.