Pulling punchlines: Comedy can be offensive. But should it be reined in?
What makes something funny?
The question is as old as comedy itself. But answers have become increasingly fraught as America rethinks the way it talks about race, gender, and other sensitive topics. Cancel culture, it seems, is encroaching on comedy from both the left and the right.
To some comedians, the era of “wokeness” has become a new Puritanism. They find themselves on the front lines of the ever-changing boundaries of what can and can’t be said – and sometimes face serious consequences for getting it wrong. For their critics,...