Want to make jokes about the transgender community but don’t know how to get away with it? Former comedian Norm Macdonald has found the solution: You have to be dead.
The legendary comedian passed away in September 2021 after battling cancer for many years. But before he died, he made one last comedy special during the summer of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic.
Netflix then posthumously released Macdonald’s “Nothing Special” sketch on May 30. It has received nostalgic and glowing reviews from fans and fellow comedians.
But minutes into his comedic musings, Macdonald took a subtle shot at transgender ideology.
“I remember one time when I was a little boy, I went up to my dad. I said ‘Dad, I think I’m a little girl,” Macdonald joked.
“And he said, ‘I thought you had a [penis].’ I was like, ‘Oh yeah, you got me.’”
Macdonald then went on to joke about how that was the “bad side” of his dad.
“My dad — now, every person knows that people are nuanced. They’re not all evil or all good. You know? My dad did good stuff, you know? He was in the Second World War. You know, he fought Hitler … So that, was his good side,” Macdonald said.
“His evil side was this crazy idea he had that having a [penis] had something to do with being a boy. I don’t even know where he could come up with such an idea,” Macdonald facetiously said. “Nowadays, we can’t even wrap our heads around that kind of thinking. But people used to actually think that. Isn’t that something?”
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Despite these comments, there has been no outcry against Macdonald.
Instead he has been hailed for his final, “classic Norm,” subtle, deadpan comedy.
Netflix even added on a half-hour of Macdonald’s longtime friends and fellow comedians — Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon and David Spade — talking about the special and his comedic legacy.
Make no mistake, what Macdonald did was impressive.
He delivered a performance to a webcam, in his house, without an audience and was well aware that it was probably his last time doing something like this.
He filmed the whole thing in one take the day before he had a stem cell transplant, the Washington Post reported.
In the opening captions, Netflix noted that Macdonald said he “didn’t want to leave anything on the table … in case things went south.”
Despite the treatment, Macdonald passed away the following year.
But, in a way, that allowed his jokes to fly without criticism.
“Slut-shaming, racism, transgender — he addresses them all, and we know that, when big-gun male comics do that, it doesn’t always go well,” the Guardian wrote in their review of the special.
Conservative activist Tom Fitton tweeted that progressives are unwilling to punish Macdonald since he is already dead.
Comedian Norm MacDonald jokes about transgender extremism on his posthumously-released @Netflix special. Left not sure how to punish him because he is already dead.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) May 31, 2022
In stark contrast, the left is more than willing to punish comedian Ricky Gervais, who also made transgender jokes in his Netflix special “SuperNature,” which was released a few days before Macdonald’s “Nothing Special.”
Since Gervais is still alive, he is being culturally shamed and crucified for his trans jokes.
“The old-fashioned women, the ones with wombs,” Gervais quipped, CNN reported.
“And now the old-fashioned ones say, ‘Oh, they want to use our toilets.’ ‘Why shouldn’t they use your toilets?’ ‘For ladies!’ ‘They are ladies — look at their pronouns! What about this person isn’t a lady?’ ‘Well, his penis.’ ‘Her penis, you f****** bigot!’” Gervais kept joking.
“Trans rights are human rights. Live your best life. Use your preferred pronouns. Be the gender that you feel that you are,” he said. “But meet me halfway, ladies. Lose the c***.”
These jokes have gotten Gervais labeled as hateful and anti-LGBTQ+.
The LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization GLAAD even tweeted warnings about Gervais’ special.
We watched the Ricky Gervais “comedy” special on Netflix so you don’t have to. It’s full of graphic, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes. He also spouts anti-gay rhetoric & spreads inaccurate information about HIV. 1/4
— GLAAD (@glaad) May 24, 2022
Netflix itself is under fire for producing “SuperNature,” US Magazine reported.
Americans may pride themselves on having an accepting and free speech society, but comedians just aren’t allowed to make jokes anymore about sensitive subjects. If they do, the backlash is brutal.
The left will not allow trans jokes, unless you’re already dead, like Macdonald. Then it’s fine. No one wants to go after a dead comedian.