A successful comedian is expected to sometimes push the limit and sometimes go beyond what is socially acceptable, because a function of a good stand-up comedian, apart from making people laugh, obviously, is to make them think about the subjects that he is presenting.
Regardless of the style that a particular comedian uses be it light-hearted, based on anecdotes, deadpan one-liners etc., he or she is also making a social commentary on a given topic, depending on the sketch.
And there are instances when either the public overreacts to a comedian’s provocative lines or a comedian goes to far and offends the public’s sensibilities and core beliefs.
Of these instances, there are even rarer ones when the public’s reaction is not just the usual outcry and leave response. Take a look at 6 comedian aimed death threats.
1. Hannibal Buress
He received a death threat for being one of the first to call out Bill Cosby as a rapist, before several women actually came out to sue him and apparently confirm what Buress had been pointing the finger at quite repeatedly in his sketches.
The death threat came, of all places, on Facebook, from a man who is both a body builder, a supporter of Bill Cosby and a stripper at the same time.
2. Anthony Jeselnik
His parents phone number and address got posted online at a time when he was receiving death threats himself. A pretty scary development.
All the ruckus was about him making a sketch in one of his episodes a focused barrage of fun-making on the expense of a man who had recently died eaten by a shark in New Zealand.
Though he is usually controversial in his topics and overall style, he apparently went too far with this one.
3. Kevin Nealon
Here’s an example that is just plain mind-boggling. So you watch a comedy show, right? Because you want to enjoy yourself and feel good.
And the show features a diverse cast. One of the cast isn’t particularly funny in your view. So you… issue a death threat against him?!
Well, that’s exactly what happened to Kevin Nealon during his time as an anchor for the Weekend Update segment on Saturday Night Live.
Apparently some people take their comedy… seriously?
4. Amy Schumer
I know. This one comes as a surprise, since Amy Schumer, though controversial at times, is not exactly what you would consider worthy of your incandescent hate.
But she received numerous death threats after making a joke about Steve-O of “Jackass” fame when she suggested that perhaps many people would have felt it would have been less of a loss if he had died instead of his colleague and friend Ryan Dunn, at the time recently deceased in a car accident.
“Jackass” fans all over went nuts making it unsafe for Schumer in a lot of venues in USA. She herself declared she was genuinely concerned for her life.
5. Kevin Smith
Perhaps you were under the impression that the modern age of civilization and reason is in gathering speed to launch us into an era of understanding, tolerance and other such lofty ideals and that the words Christian fanatics are obsolete.
Well, think again when you consider the case of Kevin Smith, the man behind the hit comedy movie “Dogma” starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Selma Hayek, Chris Rock and a host of others.
Because after the movie launched, his irreverent portrayal of some Christian concepts earned him plenty of death threats from none other than good Christians. That’s right, turn the other cheek so you can’t see us coming from the side to stab you.
6. Russell Brand
He’s received many death threats during his career as a comedian, but probably the most at once after he hosted MTV and made comments about several celebrities including the Jonas Brothers.
Then there’s the death threats he received for commenting against Israeli companies supported by British investments, as he claims this indirectly funds the conflict in Gaza.
Suffice to say he’s not lacking in death threats.