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Comedian James Acaster tears into Ricky Gervais and ‘brave little cis boys’ who think transphobic jokes are ‘edgy’

Vic Parsons January 5, 2021
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James Acaster has the best response to comics making transphobic jokes

James Acaster, coincidentally wearing the pink and blue colours of the trans flag, said people were more comfortable laughing at trans people than at transphobic comedians. (Twitter/Lalalogay)

Stand-up comedian James Acaster has the perfect, two-minute-long response to comedians who rely on transphobia to make jokes.

Proving it’s possible to be funny without punching down, Acaster’s bit about comedians who think it’s “edgy” to make jokes about trans people comes fresh off the back of Frankie Boyle calling out “lazy” comedians like Ricky Gervais for using cheap transphobic jokes as a crutch.

In a resurfaced video of a live show (remember them?) from December 2019, Acaster – whose credentials include being called a “pasty-faced weasel” by Piers Morgan – rails against using transgender people as a punchline for two glorious minutes.

“Most edgy comics look like me,” Acaster begins. “Race and gender wise. They say whatever they like, edgy comedians. No one tells them what they can and can’t say.

“They walk straight on stage, top of their specials sometimes, do 10 solid minutes of slagging off transgender people. Straight out the gate, just making fun of transgender people.

“If people on the internet get upset about it, the comedian’s always like, ‘Bad luck! That’s my job. I’m a stand-up comedian, I’m meant to challenge people. If you don’t like being challenged, don’t watch my shows. What’s the matter guys, too challenging for you?'”

Repeating the last part twice, to light laughter from the audience, Acaster then delivers the punchline.

“Oh yeah,” he says. “Because you know who’s long been overdue a challenge? The trans community!”

“Oh, they’ve had their guard down for too long, if you ask me,” Acaster continues. “They’ll be checking their privilege on the way home now thanks to you, ya brave little cis boy!”

James Acaster says audiences are happy to laugh at trans people – but not at Ricky Gervais.

Continuing his bit, James Acaster told the audience that he used to name Ricky Gervais as one of the comedians he was referring to.

“I used to name one of the comedians that was about in the routine, but it always got really awkward in the room,” he said.

“Apparently, in 2019, most people are still more than happy to laugh at transgender people – not as comfortable laughing at Ricky Gervais yet, I discovered.”

Acaster added that the audience’s reaction, “night after night”, was “F**k off, leave Ricky alone!”

“‘This is classic liberal bulls**t!'” he quipped. “‘I can’t make fun of transgender people anymore, but it’s fine for you to gang up on Ricky Gervais, is it? I thought liberals were meant to treat everybody the same!'”

“Er, nope,” Acaster ended. “We’re not meant to treat everybody the same. We haven’t got equality yet!”

 

 

Related topics: comedy, james acaster, ricky gervais, transphobia

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