A leftover from last night to cleanse (or dirty?) the palate. I think it’s a mistake to view this through the usual outrage filter, as doing that would lead you to miss the most remarkable thing about it. Yes, granted, the left’s rules are different for liberals joking about violence against conservatives than vice versa. Yes, there would be many tedious thinkpieces in Serious Publications about “the right’s obsession with sexual violence” or whatever. We know that already. Noting the double standard again won’t make it change.
What’s actually noteworthy about this is that it’s an almost perfect example of the “clapter” mentality in late night. Kimmel is a professional comedian, supported by a team of writers composed of other professional comedians. And collectively they concluded that a ninth-grade-level half-joke about cutting off the dick of some dude they hate was a solid enough gag to make the cut for a tight 10-minute monologue on broadcast television.
Think back to the worst stand-up you’ve ever seen, live or on TV. As weak as it was, was any of the material so weak that “let’s cut his dick off” would have improved it? It’s so brainless and unimaginative that there’s no way to explain it in comedy terms. A roomful of pros would never have approved it as a genuinely funny punchline. This is the sort of thing you say only in a “clapter” climate, where it’s okay not to be funny so long as you’re angry at the right people. It’s not comedy so much as “post-comedy.”
This line from the same monologue, about Kavanaugh showing off his social calendar from 1982 to senators, was better:
“What 17-year-old keeps calendars of his social engagements?” Kimmel asked. “No wonder he was a virgin.”
The art of clapter is delivering a few laughs amid lots and lots and lots of virtue-signaling. They had the former covered with the calendars joke so they threw in the “cut his dick off” thing to cover the latter.
By the way, somewhere on Earth 2, footage has emerged proving that Kavanaugh once had a cameo on “The Man Show” and it’s being cited as further evidence of his disqualifying participation in “rape culture.”
KIMMEL: “I think there’s a compromise here. Hear me out on this. So, Kavanaugh gets confirmed to the Supreme Court, okay. Well, in return we get to cut that pesky penis of his off in front of everyone." pic.twitter.com/CXVKc25Ylc
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 25, 2018