I’m a big fan of George Carlin, Louis CK and Tim Minchin.
I understand that for many people those three men are not the easiest choices when it comes to comedy. They are fast talking or singing. They swear a lot and they are a bit abrasive at times. And yes, they make a lot of people uncomfortable.
That is one of the main reasons why I like them. These comedians are not so much in the business of telling cheap jokes.
These comedians are in the business of telling the truth and being funny while they do it.
They are working in the true tradition of the court jesters: Speaking truth to power and getting away with it. And they are acutely aware of where that power resides.
They make fun of themselves as part of the most privileged of the population, i.e. being white, well-educated, rich men.
They make fun of the prevalent political system and its inherent injustices and cringe-worthy attitudes.
And they make fun of the church, one of the most powerful institutions to date.
Other than comedians who use their racism to make fun of an already marginalized and hated group (Achmet, the dead terrorist comes to mind) and wannabees who insist that rape jokes are funny, these three are on the side of the oppressed groups.
They shine a light on injustices and tell us what kind of crazy antics go unchallenged, because we have taken those for granted for a long time.
When Louis CK marvels at the courage of women to go out with any man and likens men to bears; when George Carlin painstakingly lists all the bullshit he encountered; when Tim Minchin calls out the Pope for covering up child molestation, you know they are on to telling the truth.
They will not stand for euphemisms and talking bad things pretty. They will not stop turning attention to social injustices. And they will make you laugh while they’re doing it.
They are my kind of people.
P.S. I know that George Carlin died a while ago. He is sadly missed. However, his work still holds true and is sometimes more up to date than anyone should feel comfortable with.