Tags: Education | Hollywood | comedy | snl | racism | lgbtq | free speech

Comedian Yanked for Joking About Race, Sexual Orientation

nimesh patel smiles, wearing glasses and a brown hoodie, which is draped over his head
Nimesh Patel (Jason Kempi/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 December 2018 05:36 PM

Former "Saturday Night Live" writer and comedian Nimesh Patel reportedly got the boot during a stand-up set at Columbia University for joking about a gay black man — and causing "discomfort" for the audience.

The Columbia Spectator reported Patel — a 2017 "SNL" writer — was performing at an event organized by the Columbia Asian American Alliance last Friday when he wisecracked being gay cannot be a choice because "no one looks in the mirror and thinks, 'This black thing is too easy, let me just add another thing to it.'"

About a half-hour into the set, Alliance members stopped it and admonished Patel for joking about race and sexual orientation, the Spectator reported.

Trying to defend his material as merely discussing "the real world," his microphone was cut, the student news outlet reported.

"We acknowledge that discomfort and safety can coexist, however, the discomfort Patel caused was unproductive in this space," the Columbia Asian American Alliance wrote on its Facebook page.

One student angrily called the incident an attack on free speech — and comedy.

"A comedian's job involves speaking freely and with some edginess," Malia Simon wrote in a Spectator op-ed. "If we wish to keep comedy alive on campus, we can't invite comedians to do their job and then cut them off as soon as it's not being done in precisely the way we like.

"The survival of comedy depends on the principle that if comedy is to remain good for you, it must sometimes be not good for you."

Another opinion piece saw Patel's routine as a "train wreck."

"Patel's mic wasn't just cut off because he told offensive jokes to a sensitive, snowflake audience, which is the narrative that I see being talked about," Liberty Martin wrote.

"He was booted off the stage because he sucked the energy out of an entire auditorium."

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Joking about a gay black man caused "discomfort" for the audience, leading to the boot during a stand-up set at Columbia University for former "Saturday Night Live" writer and comedian Nimesh Patel.
comedy, snl, racism, lgbtq, free speech, college liberals
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2018-36-05
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 05:36 PM
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