The question as to whether or not a joke is funny matters. It actually matters quite a lot. Comedians are asked all the time about "where the line is?" What is and isn't off limits in comedy. If someone makes a joke about race, gender and even rape, it had better be at the least funny and at best thought provoking. I think intent is also extremely important. If someone's intent is to genuinely cause harm to a person or a group, it's pretty hard to laugh at.
I have enjoyed Chappelles humor for many years. I have watched his talent grow, significantly. I do not think this special was his best work. Actually, as far as his specials go it was the least funny to me. But it's still very funny and very thought provoking at times. The "Beyond Pussy," joke is actually a pretty clever bit. That one actually made me laugh. Maybe because I have many vegan/vegetarian friends and have had conversations about whether or not the impossible burger genuinely tastes like meat. The idea of asking if a post-op vagina actually tastes like a cis vagina is clever and funny. Something I had never thought of and most people wouldn't say. -How is that transphobic? But there were jokes in there that didn't seem funny or thought provoking to me. The idea that trans women are to cis women as blackface is to African Americans wasn't funny to me, but it does provoke thought. But throughout it all, I never got the sense that he was trying to disparage transgender people at all, at least not about them being transgender. I think he clearly has a hard time with the sensitivity he sees from the community in response to his jokes. A sensitivity and collective reaction that he doesn't see in the AA community. A sensitivity that wasn't allowed for in the AA community and I think to his thinking, still isn't.
if i, a paleface honky tranny, were to get up on stage talking about how i'm on team blue lives matter and that black people should just settle down, it wouldn't matter if i namedropped a black friend and voted for obama or whatever, people would recognize that it's not funny Well... if it WAS funny I think you would find a lot of black people might actually laugh. If it was thought provoking, black, white etc may laugh. But, do you think that African American employees of Netflix would boycott and picket if Bill Burr did a special and a large theme of it was about how black people need to settle down? I actually don't think they would, especially if it was funny. Chapelle seems to be saying, "get a sense of humor and stop taking jokes so seriously."
this despite using the suicide of a trans comedian as a shield for his lame-ass bits The story of Daphne is sad and I would guess very indicative of many transgender people. PTSD from childhood. When listening to that NPR show I referenced, the one thing that stood out to me was how the woman being interviewed said Dave "used" Daphne. She suggested that they weren't even close. Daphne's sister has since said that Dave was a good friend to her and corroborated his story. I found his description of her bombing and then winning over the crowd by heckling him very touching and very funny.
In most comedy there's someone that is the butt of the joke. It has often been jews, blacks, Mexicans, Italians, women, gays and in this special transgender. But what I find interesting is that most of the material focused not on gender etc, but on sensitivity and cover from the community. The example he gives is that a rapper shot someone in a Walmart and didn't go to prison but Kevin Hart made some homophobic jokes back in 2010 and was cancelled. Literally. He was set to host the Oscars and was dropped. Maybe it was deserved, I didn't read the tweets. But it is my opinion that comedy should be allowed to speak for itself. If it's funny, it will live. If it isn't, it will die. There's no hiding. It's a person and microphone. The audience reacts or they don't.
To boycott Neflix for airing a comedy special is fucked up. imo. If every minority group boycotted standup comedy that made fun of their tribe, there'd be very little standup. And that would be a bad thing. Standup has always pushed the boundaries in society. And it could be in 5-10 years Chapelle comes back and says, "Ive changed my thinking on x,y,z."
Below you reference a tweet as the funniest trans joke you've seen. I'll admit that I have zero idea what it means. I'm interested to understand it though.
When he says to the trans community to stop punching down at his people, at the end. I think he's referring to comedians as much as anything. Let them do their job. If it's not funny, don't listen. Don't buy a ticket. If nobody watched his specials on Netflix, it would be a hell of a lot more powerful than picketing.