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Comedian Daniel Tosh Wishes Rape on Heckler

Comedian Daniel Tosh Wishes Rape on Heckler

Comedian Daniel Tosh was forced to apologize — halfheartedly — Tuesday night, after a report of him joking about the gang-rape of a heckler surfaced.

Tosh was performing a set at the laugh factory, and was running through a series of jokes about rape that are part of his routine. After a while, one woman in the crowd said she was disturbed by the content of the jokes, and talked back.

So Tosh then starts making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc. I don’t know why he was so repetitive about it but I felt provoked because I, for one, DON’T find them funny and never have. So I didnt appreciate Daniel Tosh (or anyone!) telling me I should find them funny. So I yelled out, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!”

I did it because, even though being “disruptive” is against my nature, I felt that sitting there and saying nothing, or leaving quietly, would have been against my values as a person and as a woman. I don’t sit there while someone tells me how I should feel about something as profound and damaging as rape.

Hecklers are far from unusual at comedy shows, and even though the woman’s point was valid, it would be understandable if Tosh did what most comedians would do, and looked for some humor in the situation. Unfortunately, Tosh was joking about rape, which made his pivot to the attack quite unfortunate.

After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” and I, completely stunned and finding it hard to process what was happening but knowing I needed to get out of there, immediately nudged my friend, who was also completely stunned, and we high-tailed it out of there. It was humiliating, of course, especially as the audience guffawed in response to Tosh, their eyes following us as we made our way out of there. I didn’t hear the rest of what he said about me.

Tosh is a comedian, and he’s hardly the first comedian to try to squeeze humor out of taboo topics — and hardly the first to fail miserably at it. But taking that joke beyond humor, and wishing sexual violence on a woman sitting in a club, is beyond the pale. It’s not funny, and indeed, it’s frightening as hell.

After the post detailing the incident went viral, Tosh took to Twitter to apologize, kind of.

“the point i was making before i was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them [sic],” Tosh wrote. “all the out of context misquotes aside, i’d like to sincerely apologize [sic].”

The apology did not quell the controversy, however. Actress Martha Plimpton called out Tosh via Twitter, saying, “I can’t wait to hear your ‘lynching is funny!’ bit. Or would that be a little TOO dangerous?”

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Image Credit: Julian Jensen

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158 comments

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8:44AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

I am just glad that someone in the audience didn't decide to actually do it. If rape is so amusing, how much more than Tosh's say so would it take for some drunk in the audience to get with 3 or 4 of his buds and go jump her in the parking lot for s**ts and giggles. Funny stuff. Don't say it couldn't happen. Monkey see....

8:12AM PST on Dec 20, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

8:04PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Saying that "there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them" is as sick as Lynndie England smiling for photographs of torture happening in Abu Ghraib.

7:16PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

no hitler wasn't a brilliant stratigest.he was a brilliant orator.he only knew one was ,straigt ahead untill all were dead. his or the other guys.

7:13PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

certainly would love to see him in jail with a big350ils. cell mate named Bubba.then we'd see how funny he thought rape was.oh,and make that a dry one.no lube of any kind.

9:51PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Really, you are going to use the "Hitler" comparison to jump on Jane B's comment? That seems a bit uncalled for.

9:47PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

@Jane B. "...writers are brilliant".... Hitler was considered a brilliant military strategist and look what he accomplished....he part of your promotional fan club as well?

9:30PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

I'm sorry...but the whole nature of this idiots act is based on dark topics and negative human nature...while eventually, and if you're paying attention, you can gleen he's really against the crap he talks about...the fact remains...his act is not a secret and this lady paid to go see him...sorry, but if you willingly support him financially you have no right to be complaining...I find him completely offensive and stopped even supporting his tv show....by changing the channel on the tv and NOT buying tickets to his shows

10:49PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

If it were your daughter or sister, would you still think it funny?

10:47PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

So you think it's okay to say this to a woman? I can't believe anyone finds humor in his topics. and why is he still on T.V.? Sorry, but in my eyes he is a total a$$ and anyone who supports this imbecile is also sick. There are better comedians and T.V. programs.

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