Funny man Dane Cook at the Laugh Factory comedy club cracked a joke about the deadly Aurora shooting last night, provoking some uncomfortable laughs, and a decent amount of media attention.
A week ago, on July 20th, James Eagan Holmes allegedly shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Is it ok, just a week later, to joke about it? And perhaps more to the point, is it ok to laugh about it?
Whether or not jokes playing off recent horrors are appropriate (and how soon it is appropriate to make them) is a perennial debate.
As long as there’s a line comedians will cross it, some on purpose, some by mistake. As long as there are inexplicable, catastrophic events, comedians will make jokes about those tragic moments—some funny, some not. And so the debate will continue, ad infinitum.
Which is probably a good thing.
So watch the video (thanks BuzzFeed), laugh, cringe, scoff, or comdemn. Maybe you’ll do all four.