Magazine January 27, 2020, Issue

Panning the Globes

Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Is comedy right-wing? It can’t be. After all, comedy is all about pantsing the establishment. Since we live in a tightly constricted culture run by Mrs. Grundys, naturally all the cutting-edge jokes are about the hypocrisies of our ruling caste of church ladies. 

Good luck making that material work down at the Laugh Shack. In fact, today’s cultural lawgivers are Greta Thunberg, Caitlyn Jenner, and the Me Too movement. Mocking them is where the laughs are. During last August’s Edinburgh fringe festival — an early-detection system for the hottest trends in transgression — a very worried headline in the Guardian asked,

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