I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m a fan of the crude. No, that’s not some obscure band reference. I mean I’m addicted to all things uncomfortably foul, off-color and atypically offensive—and so are most of you.
If you think I’m crazy, hear me out. If you’ve ever laughed at a socially insensitive “Family Guy” joke and thought “I’m surely going to hell for that,” congratulations. You’re my kind of people.
My affection for the distasteful probably began when I was just a kid, whether it was concocting up something gross with my creepy crawler set, or innocently snickering as I punched 80085 (BOOBS) into my calculator.
There was no shortage of crude humor to be had as a child in the 90s—and I ate it all up. I discovered the comically immature MTV cartoon, “Beavis and Butthead,” in the fourth grade. My buddy Johnny and I would rendezvous each week at his house to watch and imitate the grimy duo. Johnny was a good friend to have because he appreciated the crasser things in life.
Growing older, I became hardened by the blood, sex and vulgarity of TV-14 cartoons and extreme pro wrestling. But my most honest stonewashing came from real life. From the torment of middle school bullies to the complexities of teenage romance, my jaded coming-of-age experiences were shaping me and creating a dark veil of comedy to hide behind.
Now a successful grown up, my juvenile affinity for crude humor has become more refined. Built less on sex and fart jokes and more on a lifetime of rising cynicism, the darkness of the human experience has become comedic therapy. I enjoy cringe comics like Louis CK and Patton Oswald. I play unforgivably offensive games like Evil Apples and Cards Against Humanity.
There’s something alluring about openly joking about the taboos in our world. With political correctness in mind, this brand of humor is not done in the vein of hate, but is rather an absurd distortion of the reality around us. Iconic stand-up comedian George Carlin once said, “Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.”
I can hear my mom’s voice now, saying, “I didn’t raise you this way, Derrick.” But what she doesn’t realize is, she didn’t have to. Everyone has it in them to laugh at the distasteful; it’s that cynical side of ourselves we all keep suppressed.
But, it must be entertained once in awhile. We have to take the time to let our guard down and find humor in the things we’re offended by. It offers a sense of morbid humility that only a necrophilia joke can comfort.
Oops, did I go too far? If so, go back and reread the article.