I was waiting for Jim to come to bed, and, as is my habit, began to entertain myself in the meantime.
Pull your minds out of the gutter, any of you people thinking dirty thoughts, because you will be disappointed. Sorry!
By the time Jim (finally) came in (that’s what she said!), I was singing my second musical selection from Disney’s animated film “The Lion King” with all the enthusiasm in the world. There I was, only my head sticking out of the covers, singing “I’m Gonna Be a Mighty King” like my life depended on it.
Both Jim and I remarked how surprised we both were that I knew EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. to the song I had just finished singing: The Circle of Life. Neither one of us had any clue that I knew EVERY word to that song. EVERY WORD! I know all the words to The Circle of Life!! How awesome and totally useless is that??
You absolutely have the right to make jokes about whatever you want to make jokes about.
However, 1 in 4 women in America has been sexually assaulted and/or raped. Do you know 4 women? Then you probably know someone who has been personally affected by sexual violence. So… most everyone knows someone whose been affected by sexual violence (although some of them might not realize this). So the odds of having people in your audience who have personal, traumatizing experience with sexual violence or know someone who has, is pretty high. It’s almost a sure thing that someone listening to you has been raped. And this isn’t even accounting for men who have been a victim of rape and/or sexual assault, which only adds to the total number of people who have experience with the topic of rape, and personally, because of their terrible experience, don’t find it that funny.
So, you can absolutely gamble that there will be enough people in your audience who will find rape funny and laugh at your joke. But the odds are NOT in your favor.
It is beyond me why so many comedians will defend their right to tell jokes about a topic that, statistically speaking, is just not going to be funny to their audience. You wouldn’t do a set in front of Army Infantrymen and joke about men getting their heads blown off by an explosives in Iraq, because that shit is too real and not one person is going to laugh. Similarly, it’s just a bad idea to tell jokes about rape in America, because rape is so prevalent in America. That shit is real. Someone in your audience has been through that. When you tell a joke about rape, you are showing how little you know about America, especially women in America, and you are setting yourself up for failure as a comedian.