Seriously, how? He is not the only one who is known for his crass and politically incorrect jokes. But, for some reasons, he seems to be mostly free from controversies; while I have seen online comments that negatively perceive his brand of humour, they are extremely rare, as in I only saw them literally once.
After I thought about it, there are multiple possible reasons that may shield him from cancellation, reasons which many other comedians seem to lack. Let’s start with the most obvious one:
There are actual minority representations
Brandon is a brown and gay man and some of his regular actors are of queer and/or racial minorities, including two trans women: Paulette Jones and Kornbread, the latter being a person of colour. Therefore, even though his jokes often target queer and racial minorities, they don’t feel like they punch down; they punch sideways.
He targets everyone
Like any edgy comedians, he does target marginalised groups. But, unlike most of them, he also targets people who aren’t marginalised; if a group is depicted, it would be depicted disrespectfully. He targets the entire mankind; for him, there is no fun in only targeting minorities.
The jokes are in abundance
His videos are just continual streams of offensive and crass jokes. In his shorter sketches, the streams are even stronger. Considering you are constantly getting blasted by them, it is hard for you to choose jokes to be offended by, assuming you can process any of them at all.
The universe never bothers to be realistic
Its logic is unambiguously and unabashedly different from the one we know. I mean, it is a world where a character’s figurative heartlessness is caused by her literal heartlessness.
It is not meant to represent our real one, it is meant to be a more chaotic, farcical and unhinged version of it.
The characters are more complex than they seem
On one hand, they are caricatures taken to an extreme. While stereotypes are common recurrences in entertainment, he amplifies them to the point where even the most gullible viewers (hopefully) know the characters are meant to be exaggerations instead realistic representations.
I am certain Japanese girls don’t scream Pokemon quote while having sex and I am also certain the Queen of England doesn’t use her own breastmilk as milk for tea.
But, strangely, at the same time, his characters also feel very human. Despite their cartoonish nature, they experience genuine emotions. They experience joy, sadness, anger, confusion, any emotions under the sun. It is more apparent in the series and longer sketches.
While working for an adoption agency, Helen — someone who seemingly hates her jobs — is rightfully confused why her workplace never approves any adoption applications. Lord and Lady Mingeworthy are frustrated by their inability to leave their life of crime behind. Sam finds it bittersweet that his roommate and arguably his only best friend Donna finally finds a lover. Punchler and Skinny Bitch mourn Blame’s death. Donna becomes bitter after her only child was taken away. Bryce was metaphorically heart broken when Bobby — someone she has feelings for -vomited on her literal heart. Despite his aggressive nature, the grandpa doesn’t like seeing his grandchild sad.
No matter how cartoonish they are, they still feel very human. No matter how ugly their behaviours are, you still feel for them at times.
There are so many works with poorly fleshed out characters, despite being significantly less stereotypical. Meanwhile, Rogers is able to bring nuances to his overtly cartoonish ones.
Humour is his coping mechanism
In his I Got Roasted By My Characters video, his characters become self-aware of their fictional status; one of them — Sam — wonders which of Brandon’s trauma leads to his creation, insinuating he has a handful of traumas under his belt.
In his interview with Anthony Padilla, he revealed he used to work for a personal injury lawyer, documenting the “crime scenes” and the clients’ life-changing injuries; in fact, he was professionally involved in the Elisa Lam case.
It is no secret people who have experienced significant morbidity in their lives — some of them, at least — have dark and crass sense of humour. They are edgy not for the sake of it, they are edgy because they don’t want to succumb to insanity.
You know what to expect
Even if you are unfamiliar with his content, he gives warnings in the video titles; the words “Offensive” and “Not For Kids” are plastered on some of them. He never pretend to be a clean comedian.
If you willingly and consciously click on the titles, you have no right to complain about the offensiveness.
If only one factor is applicable to him, he would be a much more controversial and have a harder time defending himself. When combined together, those factors create a supportive structure strong enough to bear his weight.
And not every edgy comedian has that many supporting pillars, especially in the punching down department. In some cases, it doesn’t help that their jokes represent their actual worldview.
Why I personally love his videos
I am frequently deeply frustrated with my fellow human beings and there is nothing more cathartic than to have them depicted as straightforwardly ugly creatures, with no masks to hide the ugliness. The crasser, the better.
In fact, many of my earlier satirical blogposts are similar in that regard: extremely crass and are meant to offend people. They were so satisfying to write down.
And definitely much more satisfying than arguing with those ugly cunts.
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