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Is PC-ness destroying comedy? Comedian Alonzo Bodden, NYT film critic A.O. Scott weigh in




Jerry Seinfeld speaks onstage at the 2015 Hulu Upfront Presentation at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 29, 2015 in New York City.
Jerry Seinfeld speaks onstage at the 2015 Hulu Upfront Presentation at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 29, 2015 in New York City.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Hulu

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Comedian Jerry Seinfeld said in a recent radio interview that political correctness is hurting stand-up comedy.

He said that comedians he knows have told him that they stay away from playing at college campuses because students are too "PC."

"I don't play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, 'Don't go near colleges. They're so PC,'" Seinfeld told ESPN's Colin Cowherd.

Seinfeld's comments reopen the age-old debate on whether comedians should be given carte blanche to do what they do best: be funny. And it's a question that feels more relevant than ever. On the one hand, American comedy is experiencing a Golden Age of sorts. On the other, we’ve become more aware and sensitive over issues like gender inequity, the wealth gap, the disenfranchisement of ethnic minorities.

Where's the line? Does stand-up comedy have an ethical responsibility to not offend?

Guests:

Alonzo Bodden, comedian and winner of the third season of the reality television series, Last Comic Standing. He'll performing at the Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank on June 26 and 27 

A.O. Scott, chief film critic for the New York Times. His think piece on the state of American comedy, titled “Adjusting to a World That Won’t Laugh With You” was published in Friday’s paper

Daniel Dominguez, TV writer for Nickelodeon and comedian

Maz Jobrani, comedian, his new book is “I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One on TV: Memoirs of a Middle Eastern Funny Man” (Simon & Schuster, 2015)