CABsterical was held on November 19th at Merced Theatre featuring Joel McHale. Joel McHale is an American comedian and popular actor known for two television series, Community and The Soup.
Brooks McBeth, a regular opener for McHale, opened the event with hilarious jokes, but unfortunately there was an outcry on Facebook after the event. There were some students who were offended by some of the jokes involving young Latina girls conceiving at an early age.
A concerned student posted on Facebook, “From tonight’s CABsterical comedy show: The first performer goes: I like to learn about new cultures and celebrations. For instance, a Jewish boy who turns 13, has a Bar Mitzvah. A Latina who turns 15, has a…’ Some bobcats shout ‘quinceanera’. The performer goes ‘Oh, I was gonna say baby shower.’ And laughter….I have found this completely mean and insulting. Is that the kind of spirit that we need nowadays?”
Lecturer Sollberger from UC Merced also stated his personal opinion in the post, “As the oldest person in the room, I thought the joke was fine. The style focused more on the misdirection rather than stereotypes – such as Bo Burnham’s famous ‘salt and vinegar’ joke. Even if the stereotyping was improper, it is nice to be able to take a serious topic and joke about it. I have known families where the daughter was literally told something like ‘If you can make it to age 20 without getting pregnant, then we are buying you a car.’ Obviously, teen pregnancy is a growing topic in today’s day. Maybe it is unfortunate that the ‘quinceanera’ aspect would not have worked at all without the ‘Latina’ aspect. However, comedians who perform here in Merced are told about the demographics in advance, and they try out their ethnic jokes to see if they can get laughs here.”
Finally, Brooks McBeth did clearly state that he intended to “offend everyone. Believe it or not, that is actually a part of our ethics and sexual harassment seminars. If you are going to offend anyone, be sure to offend everyone equally.”
No complaints were stated about Joel McHale and overall, students enjoyed the Comedy Jam hosted by ASUCM’s Campus Activities Board.
Picture Credits: CAB & Laugh Stubs