Published Apr 19, 2016Throughout "Eggplant," from his new standup special People Pleaser, Daniel Tosh discusses the recent public outcry against his material (specifically about rape) and outlines why a joke is a joke in a free society.
"You can accept that things are tragic and awful and still have a sense of humour about them," he says. "'Oh, there's nothing funny about rape, there's nothing funny about AIDS.' Uh, yes there is if you write a good joke about it."
That attitude pretty much captures Daniel Tosh to a tee. More than the reigning king of America's funniest and stupidest home videos, Tosh is a sharp, uncompromising observer of human behaviour, who looks and talks like a charismatic frat bro. It's a judgmental strike against his power as a comedian, as exhibited on People Pleaser, which, like his work on Tosh.O, kindly implies that maybe, just maybe, all of us might want to take it down a notch on one hand, but maybe ramp up our cognitive abilities on the other.
As an opener, "White" is a thunderstorm of an indictment against some citizens of the United States of America — the ones who've never left their hometown once, but can still freely proclaim their country to be the best in the world based mostly on, say, Kansas.
Tosh touches upon recent racially charged confrontations with authority in places like Ferguson and Baltimore with a solution to the issue: make all police officers black. It sounds about as novel as Chris Rock's gun control bit, in which Rock suggested that, in light of criminals killing so many innocent bystanders during gang warfare, bullets should cost way more than guns. Novel, yes. Sensible? Also, yes somehow.
It's somewhat surprising to discover that Tosh is on a similarly twisted, barely lit path to hard-won enlightenment in his work. He is angry and occasionally cruel, but possesses an air of someone who is hyper-logical.
Full of helpful advice, his take on battling climate change is simple: "Stop having kids," he orders on "Buff" before tangentially leading us through a scolding about the lack of people willing to adopt children from orphanages because so few of us have ever been to an orphanage. At least fewer than those among us who've proudly brought needy puppies home from the pound, feeling like saints. He connected dogs with children and adoption, yes, and that seems cruel but he's right, right?
Daniel Tosh is uncompromising and righteous while also amping up his obnoxiousness on the knowingly named People Pleaser. He is as annoyingly cocksure, as a debate champ nerd but also prepared enough with the material to kick everyone's ass. (Comedy Central)