Jay Leno on cancel culture and rules of comedy: ‘If you don’t conform to them, you’re out of the game’

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Leno likens the changes to his comedy bits to the evolution of an athlete

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Jay Leno is once again clarifying how cancellation culture has changed the rules of comedy.

during an appearance”people every dayIn the podcast, the 71-year-old comedian insisted that the only way to survive was to change.

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“I think it’s like any other thing, you either change or you die,” Leno told host Janine Rubenstein, echoing comments made earlier this month.

Leno likened the changes to his comedy routine to the development of an athlete.

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Jay Leno slept in his car, sat in empty houses before rising to fame

“In football, you have some rules,” said the host of Granthshala First Run’s “You Bet Your Life.” “And when the rules change, if you don’t conform to them, you’re out of the game.”

The former “Tonight Show” host admitted that sexist, racist and homophobic jokes were accepted in the comedy community.

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“Now, everyone has a voice,” he said. “You have to change the material in the time you live in.”

“My attitude is, ‘Look, these are the new rules,’” Leno said. “You want to adapt. If you don’t, that’s fine. Get up and tell jokes.”

Leno came under criticism earlier this year for his past use of jokes about Asians. The comedian later apologized.

“At the time I made those jokes, I actually considered them harmless,” Leno said in a joint press release with Guy Aoki, leader of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA). Diversity. “I was making fun of my enemy, North Korea, and like most jokes, there was a ring of truth to them.”

He continued: “At the time, there was a prevailing attitude that a group was always complaining about something, so don’t worry about it. Whenever we got a complaint, there would be two sides to the discussion: or So ‘we need to deal with this’ or ‘If they can’t take the joke then screw them up.’ Many times I sided with the latter, even when in my heart I knew it was wrong.

“I am issuing this apology,” Leno said. “I don’t consider this particular case to be another example of cancellation culture, but a legitimate wrong that was done on my part. MANAA has been very kind in accepting my apology. I hope the Asian American community accepts it. Well, and I hope I can live up to their expectations in the future.”


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