The role of humorists in society is not only to entertain, it is to convey messages that
would otherwise be frowned upon. Alain de Botton states this in his book Status Anxiety.
He says, “ to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to
state directly”. In most countries free speech is allowed but even then there are messages
that are frowned upon and will discredit the speaker. This is why comedians play an
important
role
in
delivering
messages
without
losing
their
ethos.
Being a comedian is also being a critic; many of the jokes are aimed at everyday life or a
group of people. Louis C.K. is a comedian and actor who has his own show “Louie”; he
is a pessimist who looks down on himself and society. He often makes jokes about
children that if not stated as a joke would be offensive. De Botton would say that Louie is
conveying a message about kids in a way that is entertaining and informative without
condemning his credibility. Rush Limbaugh on the other hand, has lost a lot of credibility
with many liberals due to the way he states opinions directly. On the other hand shows
such as Family Guy or the Simpsons will state the same message in a comedic way but
keep both the conservative and liberal viewers. Being able to state extreme views yet
keep the opposing view attentive is an important function in society. This is not true
everywhere, however; countries such as China where everything is censored even the
comedians will lose their credibility because of the governments censorship. The
censorship is detrimental to the state of the country; the country will not evolve and
conform to the new needs of the people because ideas cannot be spread, even through the
use of comedy. Although Chinas government tries to fully censor its people and
entertainment, the nature of comedy does well to conceal the messages, allowing some of
the ideas to spread. This is the "Impunity" that De Botton explains; exempt from
punishment or loss. The reason why comedians will never run out of jokes is because the
jokes are always targeted at the new ideas, events, and culture of today.
Comedy plays an important role in being able to convey messages without losing
credibility. Comedians can slip an idea or moral past an audience without them even
acknowledging. Comedians are often critics but do not lose the opposing audience.
Comedians play an important role in transforming and delivering ideas that otherwise
would condemn a person.
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The role of humorists in society is not only to entertain, it is to convey

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