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Arts & Culture

The Nose: When Jokes Go Bad & An Interview With John Hawkes


We're doing something a little unusual on The Nose today. We're spending pretty much the whole show on one topic -- transgressive humor.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and the subject came to a boil last weekend when Seth MacFarlane, who specializes in tasteless and sophomoric material, hosted the Oscars and gave the international audience a heaping dose of what he's known for.

At the same time, the comedy site the Onion was posting a tweet so tasteless that its CEO issued, for the first time ever, an apology. And the Onion specializes in, as they say, "going there."

So what are the rules?

They turn out to be hard to define. The standards, of course, change. "The Producers" in 1968 was regarded by many as beyond the pale. Now it's pretty mainstream.

When does a joke go too far? Listen to our show and leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

Arts & Culture The Nosehumor
Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer.

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