Story – Robert McKee's Creative Storytelling Magazine Issue 005 – Drew Carey - Page 15

MCKEE INTERVIEWS RUSSELL BRAND hypocrisies. If your intention is, “How can I annoy Muslims?” Or, “How can I annoy homosexuals?” I think that’s stupid. Comedy is a tool to attack power, not to attack people who don’t have power. When I’m doing these things and when I’m writing these things, I’m thinking, “Well, who is the target? Who is the victim of this joke? Who am I attacking here?” If it’s the Muslim community, who by and large are already subject to a great deal of abuse, prejudice, bigotry and attack, then I don’t. That’s not my side of the argument. RM: Crippled children? RB: Well, there’s some humor to be had. In fact, I had to stifle a laugh when you mentioned the little bastards. It depends. There are situations where a crippled child could be humorous. Not when you’re dealing directly, but it’s like the death penalty, right? People say, “Oh yeah? You don’t agree with the death penalty. How would you feel if someone you loved was murdered?” I’d want to kill them. That is when I shouldn’t be making legislation. So, like I say, the legislation should be made by people who are even-tempered, even-headed, and humor has a place in that, I think. RM: The excuse I make in my comedy lectures is that if you make a joke about somebody who’s deformed, it’s not for their deformity, it’s for the way they think behind that deformity, because there’s a lot of really rude people in wheelchairs. an absurdity in that, and it’s kind of a relief from the piety and nervousness we all feel around disability. We know that as human beings, we have to be compassionate and loving to people, but that doesn’t preclude our right to be humorous. RB: Yes, there are. It’s got to stop. For me, Bob, it’s about creating the context where you earn the right to say those things. I don’t think you just go around saying hateful, disparaging things. You have to create a context. I always get in trouble when people take the stuff I’ve said out of the context that I’ve created and then say, “Well, see, that’s dubious that you’ve said that.” In those circumstances, it is, but that wasn’t when I said it. That’s the other thing about live work, because you hear when the audience is shocked, and you say, “Oh, God, I’m sorry; I didn’t mean it like this.” As an artist, you create the context, and then within that context you create whatever you want. RM: So it’s the rudeness that’s important, but a lot of people can’t make that separation. RB: No. RM: Joan Rivers does jokes about the Holocaust; she does jokes about blind people. It kills me. She said that here in New York, no blind person should have a view, right? RB: Yeah. RM: No, they should, and you could just tell them, “Yes, you have a view.” How would they know? So the view is, for us, the scene. I hope there’s truth in that—that it’s really not the deformity. But that joke, blind people shouldn’t have a view. RM: So if they groan, you apologize? RB: I sometimes tell them to fuck off for being so pious. RB: The key for me is… RM: It’s not about their point of view about their attitude; it’s about their handicap. RB: I think it is. But in a way, there’s Story Magazine // Issue 005 RM: Yeah. Joan Rivers just says, “Oh, grow up.” Right? RB: Yeah, yeah. RM: Oh, grow up, get over it. I