In an appearance on “The View” on Monday, comedian and actor Tim Allen addressed how the politically correct “thought police” have influenced how he approaches his stand-up comedy in recent years.
Allen, whose popular right-leaning show “Last Man Standing” was famously canceled by ABC in 2017 despite excellent ratings, sparking allegations of political bias on the part of the network, brought up the “thought police” after co-host and fellow comedian Joy Behar asked him about how he handles the “PC culture” that is so strongly influencing comedy these days.
“So what do you think now?” asked Behar. “I mean it’s a little bit different now — there’s a PC culture out there [that] makes it really hard. I think my act, if I brought that old act back, I’d be driven out of town.”
Allen responded by saying he grew up watching comedians Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor. “You can’t even go back and talk about the book he wrote,” Allen lamented in reference to Pryor.
“What I got to do sometimes is explain — which I hate — in big arenas, that this is a ‘thought police’ thing, and I do not like it,” said Allen. “But [I say] ‘when I use these words, this is my intent behind those words. So as long as you understand my intent…'”
“I still get people [saying], ‘Well, just don’t say it,'” he added, imitating his critics. “And I say I’m not going to do that.”
Behar then interjected that even when you qualify statements like he just described, people still “take it out of context and put it on Twitter or put in on Facebook.”
“I’m surprised that they haven’t because I do use some provocative words,” Allen remarked, adding, “It’s words I really got from my parents.”
The increasing pressure to self-censor their acts, Allen said, “is an alarming thing for comedians.”
The View tweeted out the exchange:
Tim Allen looks back on how standup comedy has changed through the years, discusses the level of political correctness comedians face today: “It is an alarming thing for comedians.” https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/vmmUxg4sD6
— The View (@TheView) November 26, 2019