‘You don’t have to laugh’: Howie Mandel denounces ‘woke’ effect on comedy, says art suffers

Comedian Howie Mandel is fed up with woke censorship of comedians by those who literally can’t take a joke and have no sense of humor.

Mandel is insistent that comedy hurts no one. He pointed that fact out on the “Stand Up World” podcast with his friend and host Mike Binder. Mandel noted that the attacks on comedians are an attack on comedy itself. It results in taking away a much-needed outlet for laughter and humor in a world growing more humorless by the day.

“If you think of comedy as an art, they started telling us there are certain colors you can’t use,” Mandel commented, using an analogy.

“If you’re a painter you shouldn’t say, ‘You can paint anything you want, but don’t use black, don’t use any yellows, and it’s really not right to use blue.’ Art suffers, and there isn’t anything we shouldn’t talk about,” he expounded on the topic.

(Video Credit: Mike Binder)

Comedy comes from a unique place where fun is made of things that people don’t want to face and Mandel embraces it. It’s also a release valve for everyday life.

“All humor comes out of darkness. That’s why the Tragedy and Comedy masks are so close together,” he said. “If you’re a little kid and you go to the circus, you’re laughing at a clown falling down. You’re laughing at the misfortune of somebody you don’t know,” he asserted.

“If something bad doesn’t happen, it’s not funny. If something embarrassing doesn’t happen, it’s not funny. If something awkward doesn’t happen, it’s not funny,” Mandel contended.

Mandel suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and has been very public about it. To him, comedy is therapy and keeps him alive.

“There is a thin line between making myself laugh … and being just crushed by darkness,” the comedian admitted.

Mandel brought up how comedian Gilbert Gottfried lost his job as the voice of the Aflac duck simply because he made a passing joke about the Japanese tsunami. At the time, it was considered in bad taste and insensitive because of the death toll. Leftists howled over it and that resulted in Gilbert, a massively talented comedian, being fired. Mandel saw no harm in the joke but great harm in getting Gilbert sacked.

“You don’t have to laugh at the joke. You don’t have to like the joke. You don’t even have to get the joke. You’re going to remove his livelihood … for this joke that you don’t like, that isn’t even pointed at one particular person,” Mandel railed.

“Who is damaged by this? Who has ever been damaged by comedy? Ever? Ever?” he demanded. “But they’re not damaged. They’re complaining.”

Mandel believes that the woke Left has overplayed its hand and is beginning to lose power because of it.

“I think the pendulum swung really far into the woke,” he stated, “and I feel people like Shane Gillis and Bert Kreischer and Ari Shaffir and all these Austin comics … these people who don’t give a shit about that and believe in the purity of what [stand-up comedy] is — and it is an art form –are bringing the pendulum back, and they’re selling bigger numbers than anybody that is trying to conform to what you believe you need to conform to.”


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