They’re more than co­me­di­ans

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Cranky co­me­di­ans,” Opin­ion, June 16

Nathan Rabin writes that in be­moan­ing po­lit­i­cal correctness, Bill Ma­her and Jerry Se­in­feld “seem to think they are tak­ing stands against op­pres­sive touch­i­ness” but strike him more as old men on a rant.

Re­ally? Ma­her and Se­in­feld are in rare com­pany along with Jon Stewart and Stephen Col­bert, who are much more than co­me­di­ans. In our cur­rent so­ci­ety, where col­lege stu­dents need alerts for in­tel­lec­tual dis­com­fort, these co­me­di­ans re­mind us that the ab­sur­di­ties of life are still laugh­able and not pun­ish­able.

Rabin writes that “con­tem­po­rary com­edy of­ten takes the form of con­ver­sa­tion rather than a one-way ex­pres­sion of ideas and in­for­ma­tion.” I’d rather laugh my way down a oneway street of one-lin­ers with the likes of Ma­her and Se­in­feld than have a chat with the flat lin­ers of “con­tem­po­rary com­edy.”

Linda Feld­man

Playa del Rey

Rabin’s lack of in­sight into the con­cept of “ageism” is mind bog­gling.

By offhand­edly com­par­ing Se­in­feld and Ma­her to “old men yelling at kids to get off their front lawns” (Se­in­feld is 61, Ma­her is 59), Rabin plays into a nor­ma­tive pat­tern of dis­mis­sive­ness that be­lit­tles per­sons be­cause of their age. He ev­i­dently con­dones the same type of in­sen­si­tiv­ity he rails against.

What’s the deal, Mr. Rabin? I’m con­fused. Please pro­vide us with a run­down of what we are al­lowed to make jokes about and what is off lim­its.

Richard Wight

West Hol­ly­wood

I too heard Ma­her com­plain about his au­di­ence dur­ing a re­cent pro­gram.

Ma­her is a lib­eral. He was ar­gu­ing that he used to only get lib­eral au­di­ences. Now that his au­di­ences come from “ev­ery­where,” he is hav­ing a lot more fun.

Ma­her used to have an au­di­ence that dis­agreed with him? It ap­pears as though Rabin has never watched the show.

What’s wrong with buck­ing po­lit­i­cal correctness? Rabin should lighten up and watch Ma­her’s show.

Patti Ben­jamin

Los An­ge­les

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