Disgrace Face #4: John Pinette

So witty, so droll, so predictably lame.

So witty, so droll, so predictably lame.

Maybe you live in some kind of utopian world where you don’t even know that John Pinette exists. I would give anything to visit your world, even if it was only for a short while. I would give anything to be able to turn on the television without having to shield my eyes and ears, nay, my entire mind from the stupidity that is Pinette’s comedic styling. I’ve seen him perform at least six times, though admittedly never in person, and he uses the same lame crutch every single time. You see, John Pinette is not dainty. He is by no means, “thin”, so obviously all of his jokes involve him being a pig and eating way more than he has to. The man has made a career out of beating people to the punch, cutting himself down before anyone else can. Admittedly, it is a clever ploy, as only the simplest of fools would dare to try to pile hate onto that already raging self-hate inferno. It’s okay, though, as we’ll discover as we traverse tonight’s moral, which is that it’s okay to make fun of someone for something they have no control over as long as you happen to be in the same group.

When you're just talking on television and not doing your act you're actually entertaining.

When you’re just talking on television and not doing your act you’re actually entertaining.

Similar to this school of chuckles is the seemingly endless brigade of comedians of all different ethnicities telling jokes about or doing impressions of people of their own race that would essentially amount to Michael Richards’ stand up if told by a different person. Say, Michael Richards, for example. Just because you’re among the people who are being made fun of when you make a joke it doesn’t make it any better when your joke is repeated by someone else with a different brand of laughter. What’s the big deal? I was just telling a joke by that comedian. It’s not racist. I mean, I understand that every race has a goldmine of rich comedic material and there’s nothing wrong with sharing it with the world in and amusing way. I just think a lot of the comedians, in an attempt to be edgier, push the line way too far to make a name for themselves. I don’t think I’ve heard a Russell Peters joke that isn’t pertaining to race either directly or very strongly indirectly. His act makes my skin crawl. Maybe he has a lot of material that’s really good, but all I see on television is the lame, grade-school impersonations of race that I was actually quite happy to have grown to see the end of. Or so I thought.

We’re getting off topic from Pinette, though, and his new special. Allow me to break down the humour here for those of you who can’t figure out his complicated sense of humour. It’s called Still Hungry because he’s an overweight man and overweight people like to eat. That means that at any given point they’re likely to be Still Hungry. Let’s all take a minute and wipe the tears of laughter from our eyes and really think about how many people over the years heard this bullshit act and thought it would be a good idea to give it more attention? If I were overweight and in the crowd I know it wouldn’t make me laugh to hear him talk that way. How the fuck could it? It doesn’t even make me laugh now. Pinette will take it a step further and do some racist impersonations as well, just in case you thought he was a one-trick pony. He abuses himself so badly in any given show that it’s acceptable for him to be racist, apparently, which is a feat in itself. His jokes about other races all pertain to him eating their food and them not being happy about it, calling him various names that are a combination of rips on his colour and his mass. I’ve seen him say “round-eye” more than once, which is really funny to me because I’m fairly certain it’s a name that white people made up about themselves so they could provide a snippy remark from the Asian person they offended, as part of their story, instead of saying, “He just looked at me like I was a terrible person, and deep down, I actually kind of felt like a terrible person.”

Actually listens to what he says. Kudos, sir.

Actually listens to what he says. Kudos, sir.

You’ll note that the smarter, better known comedians, such as Chris Rock, learned to shy away from this behaviour. While there was a time where he made plenty of jokes peppered with the infamous n-word, he eventually came to realize that what he was saying was hurtful and that it didn’t make it better just because he was black. I still don’t feel that he was in the same boat as Pinette or Peters even when he was using said word in his comedy, but I do respect him tremendously for learning from his mistakes and making himself and his work better based on the things he’s picked up. Hearing people repeat his jokes made him understand that he wasn’t doing the world any favours and that people were being hurt because of his jokes being taken out of context. It’s the same for any comedian who makes jokes of that nature, though. They just pretend that it’s okay because it’s something they had to listen to so why shouldn’t other people have to listen to it while they get paid for it.

To take delight in watching a person cut themselves and other people who are in their position down is truly sadistic and you should seek help if you flock to this sort of thing. You’ll note that Rodney Dangerfield did it in a way that only attacked himself, and for some reason you got the feeling that he actually liked those things about himself and that it was okay as a result. Dangerfield was hilarious. The comedians who say, “Laugh at me, this is who I am” are brave and powerful souls. The ones who say, “Laugh at me and all of the people who are like me” are the lamest assholes around. Do you know how much I’d like Pinette if he got on stage and his weight never even entered into the bit? If he were just strong and confident and told people the way he felt about things, maybe with a little “I don’t give a shit what you think” attitude? If he was a large man who made himself known by his hate or anger rather than his size? There are plenty of comedians who fit into this group and I love them for it. Granted, they will take a stab at their weight every once in a while, but it doesn’t seem to have the same mean nature that Pinette’s style of humour does. To me it just sounds like he’s repeating the things bullies have said to him all of his life and we’re supposed to think that’s funny somehow. I think it’s tragic.

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