On Saturday, I had the pleasure of getting back on my work truck and going back to do some outside sales. Being the sports radio addict I am, I naturally per-programmed the stations to nothing but sports stations.
While listening to ESPN 97.5 The Ticket, I heard John Clay Wolfe on The Real Deal and his sad attempt at humor using race-related jokes. Full disclosure: I caught the tail-end of his black "joke"/talk and heard full version of his Jewish name "joke"/talk.
The black "joke"/talk apparently centered around "If it wasn't Game 5, wouldn't have that many black folk there" and a chicken reference. From what I could gather, he was discussing being at an establishment primarily frequented by others, not blacks, and their choice of food.
Returning from a commercial break, a guy named Levi called. Levi was asked "Levi, are you Jewish? Most men named Levi are of the Hebrew religion." He responded by saying no, he's not, but agreed with Wolfe's assumption. Wolfe went on to say "But, a good Orthodox Jew would've traded it in before 214,000 miles on an '04 Grand Prix GT!"
Seriously? When will these idiots get it? Sophomoric humor is a weak enough attempt at getting a cheap laugh. When done with proper timing and audience, it can be funny. The use of racial stereotypes is about tone, character, the person delivering the "joke", the person's upbringing, profession, and education all factor in.
For example: Dave Chapelle pushed the envelope on racial jokes back when he had his show in early 2000's and throughout his career. He's a black comedian with a Philipino wife and bi-racial kids. He grew up in DC as the son of two college professors. I have a good friend who's also a comedian. Coolest white guy I've hung out with. He grew up, along with his brothers, often times the only white kids in their various Alief neighborhoods. These guys' racial jokes have background and substance. More often than not, also have political undertones.
When a white guy who has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from SMU goes on his nationally syndicated radio show and not once, but repeatedly makes racially insensitive remarks trying to get a laugh, what are we to believe about this person? In light of what we've learned about Paula Deen this past week, was this the smartest thing to do? Again, I DID NOT hear the entirety of the show's beginning or whole segment prior to me returning to my truck, but what I heard caught me off guard enough to write this post. His co-host was turned off enough to give a few nervous laughs and ask him to stop (although in a half-hearted manner).
I've listened to parts of The Real Deal before. Some of their humor borderlines on offensive at times. Like when they started discussing Wolfe's sex life with a pregnant wife because they wanted him to tell a story about him taking advantage of a female employee. Not too bad, but borderline for sure. That bit itself was kinda funny. Not sure if his wife would find it funny.
In closing, I feel like this wasn't as bad as what some other's have done. All in all, it was still semi-offensive. Using racially-insensitive humor to get laughs is still weak on behalf of any professional radio personality. It's especially weak when you keep trying to force it down everyone's throat. The show itself and their brand of humor is not bad at all. Just stay away from the cheap attempts everyone. Thanks. Signed, A Sports Addict who'd prefer good humor and car info over cheap humor.