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Why Offensive is Funny To Me; My Next Book and CD

Frequently I am asked, “When will you be coming out with a new book or CD?” I love that question because it’s also a compliment. I don’t know when either of these will be out but, I am happy to say that currently I am working on both a new book and a new CD simultaneously.

The book is a straight forward project. Put enough jokes together. Find a publisher. It’s not quite finished because before putting polish on the manuscript, I want to dedicate some serious writing time to thinking up some purposely sick stuff. But I have plenty of material in the archive and even without trying for vile I am always adding more. I think I will call my next book More From The Vile File.

My next CD is going to be much more complicated. I want it to be a collection of the very best jokes from The Vile File and More From The Vile File. Sort of an audio book. I will probably call it From the Vile Files. But I can’t just read these jokes alone in a studio. I have to share them with an audience and capture their reaction. That means these vile jokes are going to have to get laughs. That means I have to first work them out on stage.

Working them out on stage will not be easy. Problem is not all my Vile File jokes go over well with your typical comedy club crowd. Let’s face it. Not everybody is amused by, “My girlfriend claims the best sex we ever had was the time I wore a ski mask and came in through the bedroom window pretending to be a burglar. I have no idea what she is talking about.”

To record a funny and entertaining CD consisting of all over-the-top offensive material probably means it will have to be done at a “special live taping.” One in which the audience consists entirely of comedy-jaded people who share my sick sense of humor. I think I will invite all my comic friends (and groupies) in town; bribe them with free pizza and beer.

Special audience? Jokes too sick for the stage? This begs the question: If these sick one-liners do not (typically) make people laugh, can you call them jokes? I think so. That was premise of my original book. I explained why I thought that jokes too sick for the stage could be funny to read (at least to some). Below is how I made my case.

From the Introduction to The Vile File: Jokes Too Sick for the Stage (a Trailer House Press Publication. Copyright 1999 by Dwight York)

I am in the business of making people laugh. Offending the audience does not accomplish that objective. It is therefore never my intention to write anything that will not get a positive response. However, during the creative process I occasionally come up with some off-color stuff. This book is a collection of the sickest of these.

Most good jokes are tiny stories with surprise endings and adverse consequence. They contain two parts. The set-up and the punch-line. The set-up takes your mind down a path of predictable outcome. The punch-line changes the outcome to something unexpected, while at the same time detrimental. In other words, a little trick was played on your mind, revealing that someone got hurt.

For those who cringe at the idea of comedy requiring an element of tragedy, consider this: America’s Funniest Home Videos is considered by most to be an in-offensive family-orientated comedy, yet the most common source of laughter on that show is somebody falls down (which, by the way, hurts). So before anyone gets on their high horse and condemns my book, remember this: The little stories contained herein are fictional. Nobody got hurt in the making. It is just a collection of words.

Of course the whole purpose of this little book is to be offensive. And to be honest, to someone like myself, who is constantly exposed to nice comedy, offensive humor can be most amusing. The imagining of an audience’s shock and subsequent reaction, the utter absolute inappropriateness, and a severe consequence all can make for one damn funny joke. There is a childlike mischievous delight in thinking “ooh, that is so wrong to laugh at — I can’t believe I thought or heard or said it” that strikes hard at the funny bone.

Surely the argument can be made that by making light of some serious immoral act you are in fact condoning it. And I suppose there will be some sadistic, perverse bastard who reads this and thinks that a particular joke is funny because he’s “been there, done that” or thinks “now there is one damn fine idea.” It is also true that a sicko could buy a hammer and bludgeon someone to death, but that is not going to stop the tool company from making them. There is also this point to consider: Humor can sometimes be the best way to bring a taboo subject out of the closet, helping society deal with it. But I don’t intend to claim any moral high ground. My motivation in writing this is as simple as monetary gain.

Having said all that it is time for the warning: Do not try any of these at home.

So enjoy my little stories with an open mind and if they bother and or upset you in any great way, stop reading them, throw the book away, AND BY ALL MEANS, don’t buy the sequel.

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You can buy my book The Vile File and my CD Quickies (Stand Up! Records) from Amazon.com

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