An Open Letter to Jerry Seinfeld

Dear Jerry Seinfeld,

I heard you on ESPN radio the other day. You were talking to Colin Cowherd about how you write jokes, where you like to perform and how much you love Colin Cowherd. I have to be honest, Jerry, you two were losing me until Colin broached the subject of political correctness and comedy. He asked you if the epidemic of PC millennials on college campuses hurts comedy, and thankfully, Jerry, you said yes. 

As a recent college graduate who loves comedy and will do anything to save it, I’ve had it up to here with my peers and their stringent strides to be decent human beings.

You said they don’t understand what words like “racist,” “sexist” and “prejudice” mean, and I’m telling you, Jerry, it’s like they didn’t even go to college. Like you said, “they just want to use these words…they don’t even know what they’re talking about.” Kids these days are throwing political correctness around like they’re tossing back jello shots—I’ve heard it’s the new gateway drug.

For those of us who don’t know the kinds of crazy things college students are saying these days, you gave us an example of something your 14-year-old daughter recently said:

My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city more on weekends so you can see boys.’ You know what my daughter says? ‘That’s sexist.’

Whatever sexism is, I’m pretty positive it has nothing to do with making assumptions about a person based solely on their sex.

And you’re probably right when you say that our society’s too sensitive because we’re guilt-ridden from the good economy. Your friend Colin definitely agrees with you:

It’s funny, when the economy is good, we look for adventure sports. When we’re at war, we want mashed potatoes and ice cream for comfort, so you could be onto something. The economy’s good so we’re worrying about little stuff that really doesn’t matter.

It’s the little things like racism and sexism that are really getting in the way of more important issues like choosing between mashed potatoes and ice cream. Only one in five college women say they’ve been sexually assaulted—a tiny number, really—and the racial wealth gap is nothing to be concerned about.

Plus, speaking out against racism and sexism is just so, passé, you know? In the past, we didn’t have to worry about naysaysers like women and minorities threatening comedy. Just because they have a voice doesn’t mean we should have to listen to them.

Honestly, I think the only thing I want more than a classic Tosh.0 rape joke with zero trigger warnings is to go back to when comedians were free to be as racist and sexist as they wanted to be because they were white men talking to other white men, and women and minority voices were systematically marginalized. A girl can dream. Can’t she, Jerry?

Luckily you offered us a solution to the epidemic of young, rosy-eyed millennials trying kill comedy, one much more effective than simply boycotting college campuses—we have to stick to our morals and start punching people for being the PC jerks they are. If we can just be a little more like Charles Barkley, who as Colin told you has “been arrested eight times for punching fans” and still says “they all deserved it,” we’ll be just fine.

Because you’re right, Jerry, we do need more “guys like that. We need some guys to be men, to stand up and go, ‘I’m not apologizing, I meant it.’”

I, too, think this apology culture is sick, Jerry, and “we need a bigger problem” than racism and sexism to focus on. You and Colin did such a good job bolstering the patriarchy in just a mere 22 minutes, I honestly couldn’t believe my ears. Like Colin said, you guys “figured out, like, a sociological issue, globally.” It truly was “amazing” to listen to.


A true comedy lover

Photo courtesy of Flickr user David Shankbone licensed under Creative Commons 2.0


Julia Robins is a Ms. editorial intern and a graduate of William & Mary. Follow Julia on Twitter @julia_robins.