There’s an episode of AMC’s Mad Men where a plane crash occurs. When news breaks at the Sterling Cooper office, many of the copy writers start throwing out distasteful jokes about the crash to break the silence. It’s a human moment that should remind audiences that sometimes it is alright to use humor as a medium to diffuse an uncomfortable situation. Unfortunately, Comedy Central is now sending out the message that some jokes are just too inappropriate for cable subscribers to hear.

The Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne was recently shot at the Hollywood Palladium for an August 12 broadcast. During the roast, host Jane Lynch took a blatant jab at Chik-Fil-A, which has been under scrutiny recently for its comments against gay marriage. The jab earned enough claps to make a promotional clip; unfortunately, another joke about the Aurora, Colorado shootings will not make the cable airing of the roast, at all.

According to Deadline, comedian Jeff Ross took the stand and turned his attentions to the red-headed roaster Seth Green, comparing him to the red-headed Aurora movie theater shooter, James Holmes. Ross went on to take the joke further, causing the audience to groan rather than laugh after the joke was finished.
“I’m kidding! You’re not like James Holmes. At least he’s doing something in a movie theater that people remember.”

The events in Aurora, Colorado should not be taken lightly. Several great people lost promising lives, but it should also be alright to move past the movie theater tragedy, to poke fun at psychopaths and never give them the satisfaction of our fear. Comedy Central announced today they will be cutting the joke as well as possibly cutting another one-liner, but if humor is not safe in a cable corridor specifically for distasteful jokes and pushing boundaries, I’m not sure if it is safe anywhere.

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