David Spade, a popular actor, comedian and former star of Saturday Night Live, recently did an interview with Variety in which he gave a warning about the impact that the “cancel culture” is having on the comedy business.
Spade, who is a vocal and long-time fan of the “Bachelor” franchise, was tagged to be a guest host on Season 7 of “Bachelor in Paradise.” This opportunity was open to him when the ABC Network canned long-time host Chris Harrison because of his defense of a contestant who once attended an antebellum-themed party. Following the host’s controversial departure earlier this year, the show filled his spot with a rotating slew of celebrities: former boy bander Lance Bass, rapper Lil Jon, actor Tituss Burgess, Bachelor Nation alum Wells Adams and, of course, comedian David Spade.
Even though Spade got the platform because of Harrison’s “cancellation,” in the interview with Variety, the comedian warned that the “cancel culture” is make it “very dicey” to be in the business.
Here is David Spade’s actual quote: “It’s very dicey. It’s very tricky,” Spade said when asked about cancel culture. “You used to have to say anything to go as far as you could, to push the envelope, to get attention, and people would be like, ‘I like this guy. He’s pushing it.’ And in comedy clubs, audiences really appreciate that … Now you say the one wrong move and you’re canceled. It’s a very tough world out there.”
Spade went further in his warning describing what is happening among comics who are learning to band together as a defense to weather the current climate in which entertainers are losing their jobs because of politically incorrect remarks.
Spade said, “I think all the comedians have gotten together, in a way, to say we just have to keep doing what we were doing, and the people that come to the shows will appreciate it. But you get an outsider that comes in and goes, ‘I was so offended.’ The intent is not to be mean … If the intent is to do it as a joke or a spin on something, and it is mean to people, but you’re just making fun of that, I don’t think that’s horrible. I’ve been in the business doing it for 20 years, so I hope comics are allowed to be comics. I really hope so.”
Spade also is the host of the Comedy Central talk show “Lights Out with David Spade.” He took the opportunity to ask some of his colleagues on the show their opinion of the “cancel culture.” And most of his guests shared similar views as what Spade holds.
Standup comedian Jim Jeffries referenced the fact that Saturday Night Live recently fired a newly-hired cast member because of jokes that involved racial stereotypes. Jeffries asked Spade, “Are we gonna get rid of every sketch that ‘SNL’ has done that involves race? I remember (former ‘SNL’ cast member) John Belushi dressing as an Asian man with a Samurai sword; that was the whole sketch.”
Another one of Spade’s guests, Bill Burr of “The Mandalorian,” spoke directly to those who are trying to constrain comedians to jokes that are considered sensitive and inclusive. “We’re not running for office!” he challenged, “When is this gonna f***ing end? F***ing millennials, you’re a buncha rats! All of ya! None of them care, all they wanna do is get people in trouble…If you go back 15 years into somebody’s life, someone should then go back 15 years into your life!”
Spade did say that he would still consider filling in full-time for Harrison on “The Bachelor.”
“I would swish it around,” Spade quipped.