Todd Philips tried really hard to get me not to see “Joker.” He had interviews where he went on and on about how “woke culture is killing comedy.” It’s not Todd, sorry we don’t want to see Shane Gillis tape his eyes slanted to play Andrew Yang on SNL. Woke Culture isn’t killing comedy at all. Unfunny a-holes punching down is killing comedy.
Sure, I’m just some looney liberal at a liberal arts campus, so maybe my criticism of Todd Philips isn’t justified. So I’ll just let Marc Maron, who has a supporting role in “Joker,” give his opinion: “There’s plenty of people being funny right now. Not only being funny, but being really f—ing funny,” Maron said on his podcast, “WTF With Marc Maron” last week. He continued: “really, the only thing that’s off the table culturally at this juncture, and not even entirely, is shamelessly punching down for the sheer joy of hurting people.”
This whole “cancel culture” thing isn’t real. Dave Chapelle (an absolutely incredible comedian, I will not pretend that he’s not a funny man) claims in his new special that “you can’t joke about things anymore” before going on to deliver a ton of jokes featuring the trans community as the butt end. No, people didn’t dislike your new special because they’re “woke,” they dislike it because it just wasn’t funny. And no, you weren’t cancelled, you have three more Netflix Specials coming out.
I keep seeing, ahem, a certain type of person, online complaining about how everyone is cancelled and what not. No joke, I saw someone defending Louis CK, saying how cancel culture destroyed his career. I’m pretty sure masturbating in front of those women is what destroyed his career, but I digress. Someone else claimed Kanye was cancelled, when really it’s just him refusing to release his album.
If cancel culture were real, Chris Brown, a man who tried to push Rihanna out of a car going 60 miles per hour down a highway, wouldn’t be playing sold out shows at the Staples Center. If cancel culture were real, Kodak Black, an alleged rapist, wouldn’t still have a record deal. Logan Paul wouldn’t have 20 million subscribers on YouTube. Cardi B, who admitted to drugging men to rob them, wouldn’t still be recording music. And, quite frankly, if cancel culture were real, Donald Trump wouldn’t have become president.
Controversy aside, “Joker” is an absolutely phenomenal film. Impressive cinematography, a haunting score, and an absolutely incredible performance by Joaquin Phoenix make this one of the best movies that I’ve seen this year. I’m glad Todd Philips felt he couldn’t make comedies anymore, because he’s a much better drama director than a comedian. That being said, I’ll give the man credit, his bad take about “woke culture” aside, he made a stellar movie.