When Does Comedy Cross the Line? : Consider This from NPR Every time stand-up comic Dave Chappelle gets in front of a mic, he seems to reignite a debate over when, or whether, a comedian can go too far. Chappelle has been heavily criticized for jokes about gay people and the trans community. Most recently the comedian came under fire while hosting SNL. During his monologue, he made comments that critics say elevated longstanding, prejudiced tropes against Jewish people.

Can a joke become harmful, can comedy cross the line? Who decides what happens when that line is crossed?

NPR's Eric Deggans speaks with Roy Wood Jr, a comedian and correspondent for Comedy Central's The Daily Show, and Jenny Hagel, a writer and performer for Late Night with Seth Meyers and head writer for the Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock.

When Does Comedy Cross the Line?

When Does Comedy Cross the Line?

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Every time stand-up comic Dave Chappelle gets in front of a mic, he seems to reignite a debate over when, or whether, a comedian can go too far. Chappelle has been heavily criticized for jokes about gay people and the trans community. Most recently the comedian came under fire while hosting SNL. During his monologue, he made comments that critics say elevated longstanding, prejudiced tropes against Jewish people.

Can a joke become harmful, can comedy cross the line? Who decides what happens when that line is crossed?

NPR's Eric Deggans speaks with Roy Wood Jr, a comedian, and correspondent for Comedy Central's The Daily Show, and Jenny Hagel, a writer, and performer for Late Night with Seth Meyers and head writer for the Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock.

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This episode was produced by Marc Rivers. It was edited by Jeanette Woods. Our executive producer is Natalie Winston.

Dave Chappelle during his SNL monologue on Saturday, November 12, 2022. (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC) NBC/Will Heath/NBC hide caption

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Dave Chappelle during his SNL monologue on Saturday, November 12, 2022. (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

NBC/Will Heath/NBC