Two of Hollywood’s biggest TV comedy stars have expressed their concerns over the state of comedy in today’s politically correct world, they exclusively told DailyMailTV.
Three time Emmy winner Ray Romano and SNL alum Kevin Nealon worry that jokesters are losing their livelihoods for ‘mistakes’ rather than being forgiven or being allowed to make amends.
The pair, who boast more than 50 years of experience as leading names in their field, say the landscape of what is deemed acceptable is rapidly narrowing, while many stars choose to steer clear of controversial topics all together now.
Romano, 61, told DailyMailTV: ‘If you are talking about just jokes, it is tough. I’m not that kind of comic, but that doesn’t mean people are not allowed to do it.
‘But times are different. The audience has to decide what they find acceptable and what they don’t.’
Ray Ramano (left) and SNL alum Kevin Nealon (right) worry jokesters are losing their livelihoods for ‘mistakes’ rather than being allowed to make amends. The TV comedy stars exclusively expressed their concerns to DailyMailTV about the state of comedy in today’s politically correct world
Speaking at a red carpet even in Beverly Hills, Romano called on broadcasters and entertainment executives to not fire comics for making mistakes, but instead to allow them to ‘learn and comeback.’
He explained: ‘I don’t know if anyone should lose their career over a wrong joke. I think we can make a mistake, come back from it and learn from it.
‘Things on TV 30 or 40 years ago, when things were conservative and clean, you really cannot do now.
‘Let them learn… let them make mistakes and change… instead of condemning and never letting them perform again.
‘We are talking about jokes now, just jokes… not actions. I have never had that. That is not my act.’
Romano, famed for Everybody Loves Raymond, says in his early days on stage he was able to judge what his audience found acceptable.
He said: ‘I go blue sometimes, but if I went too (far), I could sense them pulling back, so I learned my strong point, what my wheel house was. I could have forced it, but that just wasn’t my style. But I like comics, we need all types of comics.’
The star added, giggling: ‘I bore myself so it is good to see everybody out there.’
Romano added: ‘I don’t know if anyone should lose their career over a wrong joke. I think we can make a mistake, come back from it and learn from it. Let them learn… let them make mistakes and change… instead of condemning and never letting them perform again’
In the past few of years stars such as Kevin Hart, Roseanne Barr and Kathy Griffin have lost roles over controversial comments from their past or jokes which were politically inflammatory.
Recently, Eddie Murphy said he found it difficult to watch old stand-up jokes about AIDS, women and homosexuality, adding that his 1987 stand-up special Raw makes him ‘cringe’ today, saying he was ‘a young guy processing a broken heart.’
Nealon, who also spoke to DailyMailTV at the event, said all entertainers are overly concerned with their jokes, adding the freedoms once enjoyed by comics are being restricted.
The Man With A Plan sitcom star and Weeds actor said he has sympathy for Kevin Hart, who lost the Oscars gig over old homophobic tweets.
Nealon admitted it’s ‘hard to figure out the reparations’ even when comics do express regrets about their old material or past comments.
The 65-year-old revealed that comedians are reviewing their material much deeper to ensure their jokes are not off color.
‘We are certainly a little more aware of what to say now. It is unfortunate because a comic needs to have that freedom to speak off the cuff and not to second guess everything he or she says,’ Nealon explained.
‘I have never been that type of risque comic where I am that controversial but it is important that people feel like they can say what they want to say and not have their career ruined by it.’
In the past few of years stars such as Kevin Hart, Roseanne Barr and Kathy Griffin have lost roles over controversial comments from their past or jokes which were politically inflammatory
Speaking at a red carpet even in Beverly Hills, Romano called on broadcasters and entertainment executives to not fire comics for making mistakes, but instead to allow them to ‘learn and comeback.’ Nealon admitted it’s ‘hard to figure out the reparations’ even when comics do express regrets about their old material or past comments.
Reflecting on Murphy apologizing, Nealon added: ‘It is the same with Kevin Hart and hosting the Oscars. He had to apologize and he did apologize. How many times do you have to apologize. It was a whole different world back then.
‘It wasn’t just the comics being inappropriate at the time, but it was the audiences who were also on the same page.
‘So it is hard to figure out what the reparations should be.’
Romano and Nealon spoke to DailyMailTV as they supported the International Myeloma Foundation’s 13th Annual Comedy Celebration at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The event, which Romano hosted, benefits the Peter Boyle Research Fund and supports the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative, a groundbreaking and collaborative global project aimed at developing the first definitive cure for myeloma.
Romano has been a key supporter to back the IMF after his co-star Peter Boyle passed away from myeloma in 2006.
Romano praised Boyle, who played his father Frank Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, for making his career ‘possible’ and says: ‘He was so kind to me and giving at a time when it could have gone either way as I was a raw stand up who they gave this show to. I love coming here and trying to cure the disease that took him away.
‘I am a lucky man to make a good living in what I love to do. The fact that I feel like I am giving back, and it is a blessing to give something back, and we are getting close to a cure.’
For more info on BSRI, visit bsri.myeloma.org. Please visit comedy.myeloma.org or to donate text COMEDY to 41444 and click the link to give.