Daniel Tosh Controversy: He Publically Apologized for His Rape Joke Nearly as Useless as The Humor Itself
Born on May 29, 1975, Daniel Dwight Tosh is a well-known American comedian, TV host, voice actor, writer, and executive producer. Tosh earned a marketing degree at UCF and then relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy. As a result of his appearance on David Letterman’s Late Show that year (2001), he quickly rose in the entertainment industry.
A further two years would pass before he would have his own 30-minute special on Comedy Central Presents. Tosh hosted the Comedy Central series Tosh.0, which featured viral videos from the internet interspersed with his own hilarious commentary, from 2009 to 2020. Between the years of 2010 and 2015, Daniel Tosh went on his own stand-up comedy tour.
Not only is he the host of the popular web series Tosh.0, but he has also headlined his own stand-up comedy tours and has starred in comedy specials.
Many other comedians have rallied to Daniel Tosh‘s aid after a blog post accusing him of making rape jokes and threatening an audience member went viral.
Although rape has been labelled “the single subject off-limits to jokes,” it is really rather a common fare in comedy clubs. Many people find it offensive because famous comedians like George Carlin incorporate rape jokes in their routines, yet some experts defend this as a kind of free speech.
After Tosh told a string of jokes stating that rape is always amusing, one audience member yelled, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!” in a blog post on Tumblr.
She then claims that Tosh responded: “What if like, five dudes just raped that girl right now? At this very moment? Just imagine if a gang of guys had raped her.” Tosh responded to the accusations made against him after the blog post went viral by tweeting:
Tosh Tweeted After His Apology that Sparked the Criticism:
While many on the internet were quick to criticise Tosh’s remarks, comedians were equally ready to defend him.
A New York-based stand-up comedian named Alex Edelman told the Guardian, “I find rape to be a really serious topic, but on the other hand, I think a comedian should be allowed to say almost whatever he wants and that the audience should be able to manifest their dislike by not laughing at something if they find it offensive.”
Morgan Murphy Defended Tosh’s Material
For an E-News interview, Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada said: “I can see where she’s coming from, but Daniel Tosh didn’t assault that girl. I’m truly sorry for her pain and distress. You’d best have a thick skin if you’re going to try to be humorous by throwing insults at the comic on stage.”
Several comedians have spoken out against the alleged threat, calling it a juvenile and even idiotic reaction to what they see as heckling.
Edelman added that the comic was put in a difficult position because of the interruption: “If he genuinely addresses anything you’ve said in a serious way, then a) he’s abandoned his routine and b) he’s actually made rape truly come into the room.”
On Tuesday night, the blogger responded to the unexpected buzz by writing that the anonymous audience member who authored the post had no plans to press charges but does intend to return to comedy shows.
Some in the wake of the incident noted parallels to previous racist rants by Michael Richards and homophobic slurs by Tracy Morgan:
Did Tosh cross the line with his answer to the heckler? Did she really think his jokes were so funny or were she just taking him seriously? Do you think it’s ok for comedians to make jokes about rape? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.
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Tosh is the youngest of three siblings. Tosh admits he suffers from social anxiety and has always been reluctant to speak in front of an audience. In a small ceremony held in Malibu, California on April 15, 2016, he wed the writer Carly Hallam.
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