When ABC ousted long-time “Bachelor” front man Chris Harrison over his defense of a contestant who once attended an antebellum-themed party, the network turned to a series of guest hosts for Season 7 of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Among them — “Bachelor” superfan, David Spade.
But while he got the gig as a result of another entertainer’s cancellation, in a new interview with Variety, the Saturday Night Live alum warns that cancel culture is making it “very dicey” to be in the comedy business.
“It’s very dicey. It’s very tricky,” Spade said when asked about cancel culture. “You used to have to say anything to go as far as you could, to push the envelope, to get attention, and people would be like, ‘I like this guy. He’s pushing it.’ And in comedy clubs, audiences really appreciate that … Now you say the one wrong move and you’re canceled. It’s a very tough world out there.”
Spade went to say that comics are learning to band together as a way to weather the trend of entertainers losing jobs for politically incorrect remarks:
“I think all the comedians have gotten together, in a way, to say we just have to keep doing what we were doing, and the people that come to the shows will appreciate it. But you get an outsider that comes in and goes, ‘I was so offended.’ The intent is not to be mean … If the intent is to do it as a joke or a spin on something, and it is mean to people, but you’re just making fun of that, I don’t think that’s horrible. I’ve been in the business doing it for 20 years, so I hope comics are allowed to be comics. I really hope so.”
To that point, as the host of the Comedy Central talk show “Lights Out with David Spade,” the long-time comedian has asked his colleagues their opinions on cancel culture. Most of his guests have shared similar views.
For example, after SNL fired a newly-hired cast member over jokes that involved racial stereotypes, standup Jim Jeffries rhetorically asked Spade, “Are we gonna get rid of every sketch that ‘SNL’ has done that involves race? I remember (former ‘SNL’ cast member) John Belushi dressing as an Asian man with a Samurai sword; that was the whole sketch.”
On that same show, “The Mandalorian’s” Bill Burr took aim at those who want to constrain comedians to jokes they deem sensitive and inclusive.
“We’re not running for office!” he shouted, “When is this gonna f***ing end? F***ing millennials, you’re a buncha rats! All of ya! None of them care, all they wanna do is get people in trouble…If you go back 15 years into somebody’s life, someone should then go back 15 years into your life!”