In the world of comedy, what is the significant difference between controversial Louis C.K. jokes and controversial Daniel Tosh jokes?
The creator of breakout FX show Louie went on the Daily Show this week to give his take on the controversy surrounding a joke about rape that Tosh made during a recent stand-up routine at the Laugh Factory.
“I’ve been called a rape apologist because I said hi to a guy,” said C.K., who tweeted praise to Tosh about the comedian’s TV show without knowing of the backlash against him for suggesting audience members rape each other.
Louis—who has made his own career by turning unspeakable thoughts into hugely popular stand-up material—argued that controversy is good for dialogue.
“I’ve read some blogs during this whole thing that have made me enlightened,” he told Jon Stewart, noting that bloggers angry with Tosh made him understand how the threat of rape can narrow women’s ability to go out late at night or visit certain neighborhoods. And of course, he can “still enjoy a good rape joke.” Ah, Comedians: capable of improvement—but maybe not perfection.