What Are the Most Taboo Topics in Stand-Up Comedy?

While there’s no single answer to the question “What are the most taboo subjects in stand-up comedy?” some comedians have embraced controversial subjects. For example, Ricky Gervais defends his right to joke about Hitler, AIDS, and other taboo topics. We also discuss the influence of Lenny Bruce and his influence on stand-up comedy.

Ricky Gervais defends his right to joke about taboo topics in stand-up comedy.

Defending his right to joke about taboo subjects in stand-up comedy has been a hot topic in recent weeks, following the condemnation of his Netflix special SuperNature for its controversial punchlines targeting transgender people. LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD called Gervais’ remarks “dangerous anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes.” The stand-up comedian defended his right to tackle taboo topics in stand-up comedy when asked about the controversy.

Ricky Gervais has defended his right to make jokes about taboo topics in stand-up comedies despite the recent controversy. The comedian’s new Netflix special, SuperNature, has been criticized for jokes about aids and trans people. Stonewall has accused Gervais of demeaning trans people by making jokes about their dress and behavior. Gervais defended his remarks on BBC’s The One Show, stating: “Say what you think is funny, but it isn’t.”

The comedian has defended his right to make jokes about controversial subjects in his Netflix stand-up show. The comedian has previously claimed that he’ll only use “taboo-free” humor when the audience doesn’t understand it. His Netflix special, SuperNature, will feature jokes about old-fashioned women with wombs.

The comedian’s latest stand-up special, ‘The Closer,’ has been the target of criticism for its anti-trans humor. But this controversy was caused by a broader debate about what topics can be appropriate for stand-up comedy. Last year, Netflix staff complained about a joke in Dave Chappelle’s stand-up special. Other comedians have faced backlash for jokes about trans people and the Holocaust.

Lenny Bruce’s influence on stand-up comedy

The late comedian Bruce Springsteen began his career in the 1950s when he was a teenager, performing at lesbian clubs and contests. He earned thousands of dollars and gained a loyal following at Chicago’s Hungry I. His fame spread as he sold over 190,000 records and was paid more than $3000 per week. His career, however, was marred by drugs and personal problems, including drug addiction and a broken marriage.

The life of Bruce Springsteen influenced the writing of a play on Broadway called Lenny. The show was based on Bruce’s nightclub routines, which dealt with his court cases, failed marriage, and fantasies. Bruce was mocked in the play and his movies, including the 1974 film “Lenny,” which starred Dustin Hoffman as Bruce. Several books and a Bob Dylan song were also inspired by his life, including one titled “Lenny.”

Despite his popularity, Bruce’s influence on stand-up comedy has been underrated. Rolling Stone ranked him as the third greatest comedian of all time. The comedian’s work was so influential that his biggest influences, including George Carlin and Richard Pryor, cited him as their primary inspiration. Patton Oswalt once said that any comedian who claims to be funny without Bruce’s comedy lies.

The late comedian’s use of language changed the course of his career and his life. His provocative social criticism gained him national fame and controversy. He was arrested multiple times for using inappropriate language and asking the FBI to investigate police collusion. He was convicted in 1964 and sentenced to four months in prison. His fame soared in the years that followed, and he was accused of drug possession and sexual assault.

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It might be challenging to think of a topic more taboo in stand-up comedy than the topic of Adolf Hitler. A recent book by German comedian David Wiesner satirizes the Nazi leader with a cartoon that shows the leader saluting the “loony YouTube Hitler” wearing his cap backward. But perhaps the subject is not as taboo as you might think. The web is awash with Hitler’s humor – YouTube has over a hundred videos of this. In some cases, satirists use footage from the 2004 German movie Downfall to tell stories about their troubles or world politics.

While Hitler is still taboo in stand-up comedy, a recent study shows that younger generations in Germany have begun poking fun at the Fuehrer and his Nazi regime. Comics have also used the subject of the dictator’s infamous war crimes trials to mock the neo-Nazis. In some cases, they even make fun of the German dictator’s notorious “suicide” after the Nuremberg war crimes trials, which the CIA faked.

Despite these challenges, satirists have begun incorporating the topic of the Nazi leader into their routines. The third volume of comic strips by German cartoonist Walter Moers was published in 1988 and has since become a bestseller. Though Nazis still considered Hitler a detestable dictator, he did not see the value in the censorship of his work. He wrote that he believes the Nazi regime needs to be discussed in a way that will make people laugh and forget about their repressions.

Mel Brooks, who made his name on television through getting Smart, has also delved into the subject of the Holocaust in his films. Although he never attempted to satirize the Holocaust directly, his work has inspired several movies aimed at the topic. In Hamburg’s main theater, a recent “Springtime for Hitler” production garnered standing ovations. A play about the Fuhrer as a patriarch of Turkey has been running for months in Cologne.


Stand-up comedians don’t generally talk about AIDS, but a few controversial topics do get a pass. One example is Tina Fey’s contentious “30 Rock” scene, in which she acted disgusted when Pete Hornberger said he had sex with his wife while they were both sleeping. Other topics, such as child molestation, are taboo, but some comedians can make a joke out of them.

AIDS is taboo in stand-up comedy because of its association with the AIDS epidemic. But when comedians discuss the topic in their act, it is usually in an ironic way. Some comedians make fun of these topics, like Sarah Silverman, a woman who wrote a memoir about divorce and AIDS. Others use humor based on their experiences, such as mock post-feminism or trivializing severe events.

Another example is Ricky Gervais’ “SuperNature” comedy special, which joked about the trans community. While the episode itself had nothing to do with the AIDS epidemic, Gervais’ jokes about transgender people were controversial. Afterward, GLAAD released a statement about his show, saying it was full of anti-trans jokes.

Women’s sexuality

While women have been openly addressing their bodies and personal experiences in comedy for decades, the subject still faces societal prejudices. Even stand-up comedy veteran Rusty Warren recalls male audience members storming out during her shows. Many people find women – hilarious ones – intimidating. But if women are allowed to speak about their bodies and sexuality, they can become some of the most compelling comics.

Interestingly, the number of sex jokes women have in their specials has increased dramatically. For example, women’s sex jokes were previously more prevalent among male comedians, but female comedy acts have begun to catch on and overtake men in popularity. Women are making more sex jokes than ever before, and they are also breaking down gender-based barriers.

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Some comedians have gone too far. For example, Sarah Silverman has become famous for her rape jokes. The Facebook page that she used to make rape jokes were removed last week, and tourists guffaw when she tells them about the Book of Mormon’s rape. But while Silverman belongs to a shallow bigot tradition, she’s also proved that women could go further in aggressive comedy than men. If Johnny Carson were watching her stand-up show, he’d be uncomfortable.

Thankfully, some comedians break down those barriers and speak honestly about uncomfortable topics. Amy Schumer, for example, speaks openly about sex and has said that she doesn’t understand why girls are taught to feel embarrassed when talking about sex. While some people might consider Schumer a sex-comic, she has responded to accusations by saying she’s just talking about life.

It is common knowledge that most comedians have other people giving them feedback and punchlines and tags. However, many would not consider themselves to be writing services. They use other comedians’ help to develop ideas and sometimes even setups and taglines. This article will look at some of the benefits of getting help from other comedians. We will also discuss the different types of comedy writing and the various roles in creating material.


Comedians need music to accompany their actions. While composing a song for an act can help the comedic show get by, the composition is often not as easy as they thought. To get around this problem, composers help comedians write their material. Many comedic acts hire them to create the musical backdrop to their show. While this can be a challenging process, the result is a high-quality recording that is guaranteed to make an audience laugh.

Fortunately, these musicians are not the only ones facing this problem. Many musicians, including composers, have significantly benefited from the rise of streaming services like Netflix. As a result, there is a lack of royalties for composers. The company’s default policy is to offer composers a “buyout” for their work, resulting in a large lump sum payment but no royalties. The deal, which was reached in September, is not yet public. Still, composers have had their share of nervousness over the new economics of the film and television industry.


It’s no secret that some stand-up comics pay other writers to write their jokes, but it’s not as open-and-shut as you might think. The business of stand-up comedy is heavily commercial, and stealing jokes can cost comics their jobs. Comics often pay other writers to write their material, but this practice is hidden and not publicly acknowledged to maintain the illusion of same-mind monologues.

Some comedians hire writers for the material they perform. The writers must know the comic’s style and wit, so they can create material that flows naturally with their delivery. Some comedians write their material, and some politicians use writers. President Obama, for example, often relies on comedy writers to write jokes for him. Bill Clinton and President Obama used writers to write material for their stand-up performances. These writers know the humor inside and out, so they can provide feedback and suggestions to enhance the material.

Another way to get the ideas flowing is to observe the work of other comics. Attend open mic comedy shows to watch how they perform. Please take note of the body language of other comics, as well as their choreography. Afterward, you can use the letters to write your material. This can be a great way to develop material for a comedy set. It also helps to make notes on the jokes and fabric that people liked.


Do comedians have other writers, or do they write their material themselves? Most comedians have a writing partner, usually a friend. A writer’s input can help a comic generate whole books or entire chapters. In this way, the comic can brainstorm topics, emotions, images, and the delivery of the jokes. While most comedians would not consider writing for themselves, some have writers to help them out.

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A good setup (or “premise”) is a joke that starts with a factual statement with apparent emotion. This information can be presented in two or fewer typewritten lines. A lousy setup is unclear or has too many topics before the punch. One way to avoid this is to write your joke backward. For example, the performer may start with a funny phrase or word and add additional details until it becomes a story. Eventually, the mark has become an entire story. The performer may also start a set with current events or an example of an extreme situation.

A good comedian knows how to balance writing time with performing time. Writing for 20 hours a show is a waste of time. If a comedian has an idea they are working on, they should get it on stage quickly. Performing is about timing and precision, and you should not take your frustrations out on the audience. So, do comedians have other people help write their material?


There are many different ways to use transitions in comedy. While random segues can be entertaining, they’re not always the best solution. Changes help keep a set flowing. For example, jumping from workplace to roommate humor is unlikely to make the audience laugh. Instead, you can make the audience work to move from one bit to the next. One essential technique for transitioning between bits is to pose a question that leads to the next.

Another type of transition is the dissolve, which fades a shot into black. It signals that time has passed and the audience has entered a new scene. Dissolves are often used in classic Hollywood films to signal a change in time. While it may not be a popular transition technique in comedy, you can use this style to create the right mood for a particular scene. It’s easy to use with Biteable, which offers free and premium video footage.


Most comedians have friends who give them feedback on their comedy material, and often they will pass on jokes and punchlines to one another. But many comedians don’t consider this writing assistance necessary. A friend who writes jokes and knows how to deliver them is often a great asset. The comedian can then use the person’s writing skills to help craft funny lines, or they may collaborate with an illustrator to write a book with illustrations.

Comics who write their material are still able to earn a living. As long as they have excellent timing and stage presence, they can register for others. The only difference between a successful stand-up comedian and someone who writes for a living is whether the comedian is funny. If they write for others, it is essential to give credit to the writers. Otherwise, they could be penalized like an athlete who takes performance-enhancing drugs.

The key to writing a joke is to learn as much as you can about the subject. Observe the environment around you and write down any funny moments that occur. Then, you’ll be able to develop your material and avoid copying other comedians’ jokes. And don’t forget to use real-life experiences in your material. This will make your comedy stand out from the crowd!

Behavioral jokes

A joke has several elements, which may be written or suggested by someone else. For example, a mark may contain a beat, which is the pause between two sentences but not the actual words. A comic may also use nonverbal connectors, such as a character’s body language or sound effects. A joke may also include Blue Material, which includes references to sex, violence, or swears words. A comedian may also use an acronym to describe his material, often referred to as a stand-up routine.

While most comedians have friends who offer advice and give feedback, some do not. Some of these people write jokes for other comics. This helps them avoid plagiarism, and it also preserves the illusion of being an independent artist. It is, however, common for comedians to rely on others to write their material. If you want to avoid stealing jokes, ask if anyone is writing your material for you.

The setup phase is an essential element of a joke. While you may not know how to write a joke, you should list topics that you want to talk about. After that, write down at least ten cases. Make sure the setup is easy to understand and visual. If you are unsure of your subject matter, make sure you explain the topic clearly. For example, you could write “The truth about the Internet” to get an audience’s attention.

Behavioral bits

A bit is a joke, a game, or an imaginary scenario. These pieces are recurring and are a joke that requires quick thinking and intelligence from the performers. They can be humorous, sad, or just plain absurd. But, no matter how they’re played, these comedic games are still a form of communication and can be an excellent way to express your ideas. This article will discuss some of the most well-known and practical examples of behavioral bits in comedy.