VB The Wise: Later Roseanne

Rosanne Barr - Getty Images

Later Roseanne

So Roseanne up and got herself fired. After tweeting a ridiculously offensive "joke" about Valerie Jarrett, ABC up and cancelled her show. As soon as I saw what she had tweeted, I harkened back to an "Infinite Wisdom" podcast I'd done with Jay Leno. I asked Jay about late night comedians in a Trump-world, and this is what he offered, "The amount of negativity, it's all about hating this group or that group... If the anger is in front of the joke then the joke is ruined."

This is a lesson for everybody. If the anger is first, then the joke ceases to be a joke. So in Roseanne's case, was her attempted "joke" that Valerie Jarrett was the offspring of the "Muslim Brotherhood and The Planet of the..." primarily told in hopes of laughs or out of anger? It seems to me that the anger was first, and trouble then followed. I would argue that this same rule applies to many of Michelle Wolf's "jokes" at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, which is why I thought she was out of line as well. (Especially her abortion "joke".)

Leno goes on to say in our podcast, "I always tried to tell jokes that I would say to the person's face." Would Roseanne have said that in the company of Valerie Jarrett? I would hope not. Would Stephen Colbert say his Ivanka stuff in front of her, I doubt it. (On the other hand, Michelle Wolf did tell her angry jokes right in front of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, so maybe this rule isn't fool proof.)

Bottom line, I wasn't the biggest Roseanne fan in the world, and her tv show wasn't my thing. As such, I won't miss her particularly. But I sure do miss Jay Leno.

More wisdom next week.

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