Numerous top comedians have said that they refuse to perform on college campuses because of their chilling climate on free speech. When even noncontroversial comedians like Jerry “What’s the deal with Ovaltine?” Seinfeld refuse to perform for college students, you know just how bad the situation has become.
In the Learn Liberty video below, Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis explains the importance of jokes in a vibrant culture of free speech. She recalls how a line by comedian Sarah Silverman caused her to be taken aback—and to think about the issues in the joke on a deeper level.
Silverman is notoriously offensive. But should she be silenced?
Professor Kipnis argues that the very role of comedy is to push boundaries and be dangerous. Moreover, the boundaries of what is acceptable have moved inwards in recent years. Nowhere is this more evident than with how comedians and jokes are increasingly being treated by college students.