Making the rounds is an old clip of Chris Rock, human tug-of-war Louis CK, professional irritant Ricky Gervais, and a very uncomfortable-looking Jerry Seinfeld discussing the usage of the n-word in professional comedy and, I guess, personally? ET posted this, and if those edible panties you got in the office’s Yankee Swap haven’t given you enough in the way of cringe fuel this holiday season, this clip should do it.
The video is from a 2011 HBO special called Talking Funny which was a roundtable discussion between the four comedians about being comedians. At this point in the discussion, Chris Rock comments to Ricky and Jerry that CK is the “the blackest white guy I know.” And that’s when an extremely self-satisfied-looking Louuis and a first-time-looking-at-a-dirty-magazine-seeming Ricky begin delighting in saying a naughty word again and again on camera.
C.K. responded by asking Rock, “you’re saying I’m a n****r?”
At this point, Rock should have probably yelled “cut!” but edgy comedians gotta be edgy.
“Yes,” Rock replied. “You are the n****r-est white man I have ever [met].” Gervais was thoroughly amused by the whole conversation, but Seinfeld was visibly uncomfortable. “We say n****ger on stage,” C.K. explained, pointing at Rock and himself. “You guys don’t.”
Thanks for creepsplaining that, Lou. As the convo progresses, toothy imp Ricky says it and begins howling at his own daring. Jerry, who you would normally guess would be the smuggest dude in the room, has the good taste to look deeply uncomfortable. If you’ll recall, Jerry went through this shit with a friend six years earlier and obviously had no desire to revisit that place.
“Who says n****ger onstage? We don’t,” Gervais said of himself and Seinfeld. “You just did,” Seinfeld obviously pointed out. “You’ve found the humour of it,” Seinfeld told C.K. “I haven’t, nor do I seek it.”
ESPN host and writer for The Atlantic Jemele Hill summed up the majority of the public reactions to this mess on Twitter.
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