Quite recently, Comedy Central launched a new show called “The Jeselnik Offensive.” Anthony Jeselnik who is known for possessing dark humor as a comedy style, “which emphasizes misdirection and sociopathic non-sequiturs” (Wiki). I believe Jeselnik has confused “dark” comedy with racist comedy style. His recent show had a skit on “What kind of Asian is this?” and has an uproar within the Asian and Asian American community. Here is the link to the video.
Analysing this short video you can see how many problems there are with this. First using the word “kind” is objectifying Asian and Asian Americans as objects and not as people. In this sense we don’t use “kind” when we describe other racial groups, like “What kind of Black/African American is this” or “What kind of White is this?” We use words like what “kind” of food do you want to eat? A few other problematic issues with this how this “comedy” uses other ethnic groups to perpetuate and feed into this bigotry. He then uses this “Asian theme song” to buzz out the contestants when they get the answer wrong.
The other issue I have with this type of comedy is the fact that he used an Asian American to feed into this racist humor. Even his jokes towards this Asian American were its self demeaning. And the “hidden” humor he was trying to use was that “An Asian should be able to determine ‘What kind of Asian is this?’” as if Asians and Asian Americans have a gift to tell the difference between all Asian groups.
The even most problematic issue with this youtube video is that fact that the comments that were left by many are not only racist, but ignorant in itself. The comments like “he’s not racist, he’s making fun of stereotypes of others” or people using the N word as a joke only saddens me. The other issue I have with this video is that Comedy Central continues to play this type of show not knowing that it can have issues with different communities. This idea that racist jokes are okay when it is used for comedy still puzzles me.