A friend of mine: “Basically I’m an admin in sexual health for men with prostate cancer. They have erection issues and all of that fun stuff after the chemo.”
Me: “So your work has a barrel sized viagra dispenser?”
Friend: “Nah, their issues are more serious, they either need injections straight to the penis, have curvature that requires surgery or worse. I also get to ask people about the intensity of their erections on a scale of 1 to 10. 5 is where they’re barely able to penetrate.”
Me: “Wow, you must really like boners… This could be comedy gold. If you could take such an uncomfortable topic, and make an appropriate joke that releases the tension, it’ll kill.”
Friend: “Nah, nah. I don’t like to talk about work during stand up. It’s not good to make fun of people with cancer… Almost everyone knows someone who’s had it… AIDS jokes are okay though.”
Me: “I don’t think any topic is off limits. Just some topics are much harder to make funny. But those topics have the most payoff potential. And this is so uncomfortable, if you could make it inoffensive, it’ll be great.”
DISCUSSION FOCUS: What topics, if any, do you consider off limits for comedy? Death? Diseases that you can’t avoid? 9/11? God? Why? If nothing is off limits, why?
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