This week the US Supreme Court will hear arguments on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Two pieces of legislation that bring up the question of the Constitutionality of gay men and women’s ability to marry and have the same rights as straight, married couples in this country. While just reading that last sentence easily sets off a slew of opinions and emotions on both sides of the debate, it’s these hot button issues that comedians love to address, and they do it through humor.
Why? Because these topics elicit an emotional response from the audience, something deep. But comedians must tread intelligently, for talking about sacred cows like race, religion, abortion, rape, or gay marriage has the potential to burn them, and we’ve seen plenty of examples of this happening. But the ones that are able to craft jokes and lead discussion in this realm often elevate the conversation and perhaps make audiences think about the topic in a different light or ratify a belief.
Is there one best piece of advice as to how comedians should approach these taboo topics? Well, if we had to boil it down to to just one thing, being undeniably funny about it is often a really good start.
Here are some examples of comedians slaughtering the sacred cow of gay marriage.