[Applause] [Music] [Applause] there's a fine line between edgy humor and poor taste [Music] [Applause] welcome to watchmojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 times comedians cross the line before we begin we publish new videos every day so be sure to subscribe for more great content for this list we're focusing on well-known comedians that went too far in their attempts to be controversial number 10 Russell Brand and sax Gate back in 2008 this British comic was still hosting a radio show for the BBC wherein he often pushed the boundaries of comedy but when he and Jonathan Ross pranked British comedy legend Andrew Sachs many think he pushed too hard not only did the pair clown the Fawlty Towers performer with a series of prank calls they also made it personal with Ross making mention that brand had betted Sachs's granddaughter it kind of went downhill from there and once the tabloids got a hold of it the BBC received over 30,000 complaints in the end grande resigned Ross was suspended for 12 weeks and Sachs later accepted both their apologies number 9 Jimmy Kimmel's Chris Benoit joke while some comedians crossed the line for attention others do it for the moment Jimmy Kimmel was already a prominent late-night figure in 2007 but not so much that he couldn't take risks on cable television so at Comedy Central's Roast of Flavor Flav he used a professional wrestlers murder/suicide to make a statement about his subjects parenting skills Chris Benoit is a better father than Flavor Flav yes roasts are notoriously off-color but based on the looks of the faces in the crowd the general consensus was that this joke was too much too soon since it had been less than a month since the professional wrestler had killed his family and then himself number 8 lena Dunham's abortion comments actress writer producer and comedian lena dunham uses comedy to address personal issues with humor however unlike many of the other entries on our list denim isn't a traditional stand-up comic so she makes headlines through social media literature and interviews in late 2016 many felt she crossed the line while speaking on her Podcast women of the hour about a controversial subject abortion rather than focusing on the difficult choice many women have had to make Dunham made it about herself now I can say that I still haven't had an abortion but I wish I had the general public took issue with what they said was her trivialization of a complex issue Dunham issued an apology via Instagram number 7 Tracy Morgan's gay son remarks some of the content of this SNL and 30 rock alums stand up might surprise you for example during a nashville show in 2011 the usually goofy comedian launched into a joke where he essentially said if a son were gay we better talk to him like a man or he pull out a knife and stabbed him to death some critics like the LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign took this as hate speech understanding the joke to mean that Tracy would kill his son if you were gay however on the other end of the spectrum were comedians like louis c.k who tried to interpret what morgan was going for with the comment either way he apologized i pride myself for 20 years 18 years of stand-up using it to heal people and not hurt that was my whole thing i hope people would diss number 6 Kathy Griffin's Donald Trump photoshoot Kathy Griffin carved herself a comedy niche with her direct manner of speech her observations of everyday life and her lampooning of celebrity culture and in the world of stand-up comedy it's crucial to stay on top of timely issues however Griffin took a huge step backwards in her career in 2017 when she took her negative feelings for president Donald Trump to a disturbing extreme in a photo shoot with photographer Tyler Shields Griffin posed with what looked like the bloody head of Trump though she received some support after these pics hit social media Griffin was for the most part roundly criticized losing several jobs as a result and becoming a pop culture pariah number 5 Amy Schumer's Ryan Dunne joke like so many of her peers this comic makes headlines by consistently addressing taboo subjects is a time in a place for cracking jokes about recently deceased individuals at Comedy Central's 2011 Roast of Charlie Sheen the main subject will fully accepted verbal abuse but one particular guest steve-o was caught off guard less than three months after Jackass star Ryan Dunne passed away in a car crash Amy Schumer went to a dark place by not only bringing up the death but also by using the event to make a joke but I truly am no joke sorry for the loss of your friend Ryan Dunn I know you must have been thinking it could have been me and I know we were all thinking Lauren wasn't it steve-o's reaction says it all and he wasn't pleased after the fact either number four Bill Maher's use of the n-word this established late-night host doesn't always play by the rules in fact he often takes shots at both conservatives and liberals not to mention other agenda-driven groups and as you can expect sometimes his loose lips get him in trouble case in point the June 2017 incident where he casually used the n-word in comedic conversation with Nebraska senator Ben Sasse we'd love to have you work in the fields with us working the fields part of that Senate on the house many people slammed maar some chopped up his usage of the loaded word too simple poor taste some said he was using it as a racial slur and some surmised that Maher would never understand the word significance malicious intent or not this experienced comedian ended up apologizing for his actions number three Gilbert Gottfried's 9/11 joke right after the September 11th attacks jokes referencing the tragedy were basically not acceptable in day to day conversation well there is only one requirement for any of us and that is to be courageous of course many comics embrace sadness to make people laugh but Gilbert Godfried surprised everybody when he used 911 to set up a joke at the Friars Club roast of Hugh Hefner just three weeks after thousands of people lost their lives basically he explained that he couldn't get a direct flight to New York because quote they said they'd have to stop at the Empire state-building first the joke offended many for obvious reasons with one audience member yelling too soon 911 jokes are a bit less taboo today but in 2001 comedians needed to tread lightly number two Daniel Tosh's rape joke for comedians live shows and crowd interaction can prompt shocking statements during a stand-up set in 2012 Tosh chose not only to make a joke about rape but also to include an audience member in the routine in this case there's no video of the incident but apparently the audience member in question had heckled Tosh saying that rape jokes aren't funny Tosh apparently responded by saying quote wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by like five guys right now like right now some critics saw this less as a joke and more as an invitation and though some comedians defended him mr. Tosh was compelled to apologise before we unveil our number one pick here are some honorable mentions [Music]
cursing cussing swearing and all I could think of was ship is suck a mother tips number one Michael Richards racially-charged rant oh my God look I made a mistake it's been three years in the 90s this screwball comic was a mainstay on Seinfeld but his career spiraled out of control after a racially charged meltdown in 2006 at the iconic Laugh Factory comedy club in West Hollywood while comedians often use audience distractions to their advantage taking the opportunity to heckle hecklers or otherwise mock people Richards instead unloaded on a group of late comers with racial slurs unfortunately for him this moment was caught on camera and as you can expect the rant did not sit well with the audience or the media Richards made an awkward apology and even spoofed the incident himself but in the end he withdrew from performing stand-up altogether I could call you that would make you as angry as I am do you agree with our picks check out these other great clips from watch mojo and subscribe for new videos every day [Music]
When does a joke go too far? CAN comedy go too far? Many feel that some controversial comedians are also offensive comedians. Whether it’s Jimmy Kimmel making a joke about Flavor Flav’s parenting skills by comparing him to Chris Benoit, Kathy Griffin posing with a fake bloody Donald Trump head or Tracy Morgan talking about killing his son if he turned out gay, many feel these are jokes that were in bad taste. WatchMojo counts down ten comedians that went too far.
Wanna see more brutal (but often funny) comedy? Check out our lists of the Top 10 Celebrity Roasts: https://youtu.be/FVTMZfTom80
00:34 #10: Russell Brand & Sachsgate
01:20 #9: Jimmy Kimmel’s Chris Benoit Joke
02:02 #8: Lena Dunham’s Abortion Comments
02:48 #7: Tracy Morgan’s Gay Son Remarks
03:41 #6: Kathy Griffin’s Donald Trump Photo Shoot
04:27 #5: Amy Schumer’s Ryan Dunn Joke
05:15 #4: Bill Maher’s Use of the N-Word
06:12 #3, #2 & #1 ???
Special thanks to our user Muppet_Face for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://www.watchmojo.com/suggest/Top%2010%20Times%20Comedians%20Crossed%20the%20Line
Our Magazine!! Learn the inner workings of WatchMojo and meet the voices behind the videos, articles by our specialists from gaming, film, tv, anime and more. VIEW INSTANTLY: http://goo.gl/SivjcX
WatchMojo’s ten thousand videos on Top 10 lists, Origins, Biographies, Tips, How To’s, Reviews, Commentary and more on Pop Culture, Celebrity, Movies, Music, TV, Film, Video Games, Politics, News, Comics, Superheroes. Your trusted authority on ranking Pop Culture.