Oh, Norm MacDonald, we were rooting for you, we were all rooting for you. How dare you?! After yesterday’s amazingly terrible interview with The Hollywood Reporter in which he dares to defend Louis C.K., Roseanne Barr and Chris Hardwick, we got to thinking about other offensive comedians — and, to be clear, we’re not talking incendiary comedy but comedians who are offensive as human beings.
And while we could have kept going with the list, we’re focusing on eight comedians (in no particular order) who are hereby cancelled for being … well, gross people.
1. Norm MacDonald
Usually the news of a new Norm MacDonald show gets comedy fans all excited. Even though we know it’ll probably be short-lived, it’d likely be interesting. But with a new interview intended to promote the show, the former Saturday Night Live cast member did quite the opposite. In the interview he said he was “happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down.”
MacDonald also defended both Roseanne Barr and Louis C.K. (a pair with their own placement on this very list of offensive comedians), saying “Well, Louis and Roseanne are the two people I know. And Roseanne was so broken up [after her show’s reboot was canceled] that I got Louis to call her, even though Roseanne was very hard on Louis before that. But she was just so broken and just crying constantly. There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day. Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.”
If that weren’t enough damage done, Norm MacDonald apologized twice. Normally we’d be down for an apology, but the first one was milquetoast and, well, we’ll just quote the second one: “You’d have to have Down Syndrome to not feel sorry for — #MeToo is what you want for your daughters and you want that to be the future world, of course. And I meet all kinds of women with terrible stories of what’s happened to them. So, I wasn’t talking about the victims. They asked me about Roseanne.”
2. Dennis Miller
There must be something about Weekend Update hosts, but hey, at least we still have Amy Poehler. Dennis Miller’s persona has always been that of a smug jerk, but he was a funny smug jerk. Then 9/11 happened, which led to two things: Dennis Miller became a raging Islamophobe, and Dennis Miller stopped being funny — even when not espousing hateful views. Honestly, we don’t really need to cancel Dennis Miller. He canceled himself.
3. Roseanne Barr
Oh, Roseanne. She’s been “off the deep end” for a while. Remember, she’s a Pizzagate believer, was a notoriously abusive spreader of conspiracy theories and, well, more than we have time to list. But it was a racist tweet that finally got her show cancelled and rebooted (again) without her. We still love the first few seasons of Roseanne, but we never need to see anything new from her ever again.
4. Louis C.K.
Oh, Louis C.K., how can we miss you when you won’t go away? No, seriously, go away. When he admitted to repeatedly masturbating in front of female comedians — causing some women to leave the industry because of it — we hoped that maybe he’d have some self-reflection and become a better person. But then, only nine months after the news broke, he came back to a comedy club … and dropped a rape joke. Charming.
No wonder even the star of his latest movie, I Love You, Daddy, doesn’t want the film to come out. (Considering the movie is about a 17-year-old girl falling in love with a 68-year-old filmmaker, we’re pretty sure very few people — aside from Woody Allen? — want the movie to come out.)
5. Graham Linehan
You might not know his name unless you’re a British comedy nerd, but you might know his work. Graham Linehan co-created The IT Crowd, Father Ted and Black Books, all stateside successes. Unfortunately he’s also a huge transphobe. He’s compared people who have gender confirmation surgery to David Cronenberg creations, insists on misgendering trans people and insists “TERF” (or “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist”) is a slur. (It’s not, unless “racist” and “sexist” are also slurs, and they’re not.)
6. Chris Hardwick
Chris Hardwick was one of those guys who had immense goodwill towards him. Not only has he been around for ages — remember Singled Out? — he was open about his path to sobriety. His TV persona has always been the happy, enthusiastic guy who was open about being a hardcore fan of, well, everything. But then his ex-girlfriend came out with stories of horrific abuse. According to Norm MacDonald, “That Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there.” Yes, weep for poor Chris Hardwick who, after being accused of sexual assault suffered absolutely no consequences.
7. Bill Cosby
We probably don’t even need to inform you what Bill Cosby’s done — seriously, at this point, if you don’t know, maybe move out of your cave? But we thought we’d remind you that in addition to being a serial rapist he’s also a homophobe who tried to ruin Janis Ian’s career for same-sex cuddling. Who knew that someone whose comedy was so family-friendly would become one of the most offensive comedians ever?
8. TJ Miller
Truthfully, TJ Miller was never funny. His work always came across as a bargain basement Jason Mantzoukas, another comedian with an arrogant, abrasive persona, but one who came off as probably a decent guy in real life. Miller, on the other hand, always seemed like he’d be a deeply unpleasant person to know.
And it turns out we were right! Not only is he an abusive transphobe, he’s called in a bomb threat “as a joke,” stands accused of sexually assaulting and punching a woman and … look, we don’t have all day. Unlike some of the others on this list who are admittedly talented, TJ Miller has long been a head-scratcher. It’s time to throw him in the dustbin of history, then throw that dustbin in the dumpster and light that dumpster on fire.
Which offensive comedians did we miss? And what do you think of that Norm MacDonald apology?
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