Easily offended? don't read this. | EW.com


Easily offended? don't read this.

Sacred cows, meet your new milkman: As host of Comedy Central's ''The Jeselnik Offensive'' (Tuesdays, 10:30 p.m.), stand-up comic Anthony Jeselnik unapologetically wrings laughs from topics like missing children and celebrity suicide. We asked Hades' fearless humorist for a few tips on telling an offensive (yet successful) joke.


”It’s almost cliché to do an AIDS joke these days. It’s got to be something that affects enough people, but that you can still laugh at. Cancer’s a great one. Everyone has been touched by cancer.”


”An offensive joke has to be smarter than it is offensive. Write a bunch of different angles and find the most surprising one: ‘My mom’s really upset. She just found out she has to have both of her breasts removed…if she’s ever going to be good at golf.’ You introduce ‘mom’ and ‘breast cancer,’ and people are like, ‘Ohhh,’ and then you make it a golf joke and people don’t know what the hell to do.”


”A really offensive joke that’s one sentence long is a lot better than a really offensive joke that takes five minutes to tell. If people are upset, at least you haven’t wasted too much of their time.”


”If you want the glory, you’ve got to take the punishment, too. Handle it all with confidence. If you’re putting someone through these emotions, bringing up rape or cancer, you better be an expert at it. I got [backlash early on] because I was inexperienced and people thought, ‘I can tell him something.’ I had a joke about a baby drowning: ‘You don’t know anything about pain until you’ve seen your own baby drowned in a tub. And you definitely don’t know anything about how to wash a baby.’ A woman came up and said to me, ‘I know you think you’re funny, but I’ve lost two babies and I didn’t appreciate that joke.’ In the moment, you just walk away. But in my act, my line back to her is ‘I’m sorry. If I had known that, I would’ve told it twice.”’