The last time a white comic was publicly seen using the n-word, Michael Richards’ career came to a screeching halt in 2006. Richards then later followed the incident with an apology spree. Fast forward to last Tuesday, The Comedy Store in Los Angeles looks to be the backdrop of another similar incident. Once a week, both black and white comics have been entertaining fans for the growing comedy show, The Roast Battle hosted by LA based comedian Brian Moses. The show, which features comedians going back and forth with their best insults, has been making some noise in LA on Tuesday nights. Along with the comedians, a line up of guest judges, play a role in the show to help grade the night’s performances. Surprisingly for some, The Roast Battle has been a place for white comics to use the n-word, judge free.
The rules of the event allow white comics to use the n-word no more than one time during their performance if their opponent is also non-black. A fan recount from last week’s show involved two white comedians going into their insult arsenal using the n-word. One calling the other “An ugly ass n*gga” and the other responding “You smell like n*gger pussy.” While some seemed unbothered, a couple of black audience members who attended the show left feeling disturbed by the incident.
Comedy Centrals famed comedian, Jeff Ross, who served as a judge that night quickly made note that he didn’t support the two comedians use of the word and that a “red flag” may be in order. Sources say Ross didn’t support it because the comedians failed to creatively use it apart of their performance. Over the years, there have been debates on who is allowed to use the word between blacks and whites. The discussion in comedy has gotten so deep that controversial comedian Paul Mooney went as far as declaring that he would no longer say the n-word. “I don’t like that word, I’m not going to use it anymore, I’m not going to use the B-word anymore, It’s time for us as a black race to not be tolerated, we have to be celebrated,” Mooney told MSNBC.
The World Famous Comedy Store has yet to address the situation, which may concern some who still find the word very offensive. Other takes on the situation include comedy fans saying that it’s a different era and white comedians should be allowed to be equally creative on the comedy stage.
Either way some still feel that certain words and phrases should be off limits. The debate continues…what’s your position?