It’s long been argued nothing should be off limits to comedians but I think we can all agree, if you’re making a joke about something controversial you should at least be funny.
It’s the trap Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David seemingly fell into last night with a Saturday Night Live opening where he made jokes about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and the sexual misconduct scandals currently engulfing Hollywood.
However, to cap everything off, he ended on a Holocaust joke, which is where the bough broke it seems:
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I’ve always been obsessed with women and I’ve often wondered: If I’d grown up in Poland when Hitler came to power and was sent to a concentration camp, would I still be checking out women in the camp?
The problem is, there are no good opening lines in a concentration camp. How’s it going? They treatin’ you okay? You know, if we ever get out of here, I’d love to take you out for some latkes. You like latkes?
People immediately took to Twitter to let David know that they didn’t find his joke very funny:
— Melissa S. (@omgitsmeli) November 5, 2017
#SNL Larry David bombing in opening monologue. Who the hell at SNL thought this was going to be funny
— Paul A. Hacker (@paulatcvs) November 5, 2017
Larry David just made a tastless joke about "checking out women" in a concentration camp.
— Vince Ruggiero (@VINCE_RUGGIERO) November 5, 2017
— Dan Riley (@ThreeColumnsArt) November 5, 2017
— Jon Levin (@jllevin79) November 5, 2017
Of course, some people did manage to see the funny side and defended David:
Oh look. A bunch of non Jews are telling Larry David, a Jew, he can't make holocaust jokes. I hate 2017 #SNL
— Ya Boy (@CM_Sean) November 5, 2017
For the record, I'm Jewish and I thought Larry David's monologue was funny. Uncomfortable? Sure, but perhaps comedy isn't always supposed to make us comfortable. I hope the PC police can sleep tonight. #SNL #LarryDavid
— Joseph A. Wulfsohn (@JosephWulfsohn) November 5, 2017
You couldn't pick a worse target for your outrage than Larry David. That man gives no fucks and has nothing left to prove. #SNL
— Barret (@barretfleer) November 5, 2017
Whether you found Larry’s ending joke offensive, funny or a mixture of both, most fans are in agreement how it wasn’t his best monologue, with Dennis Perkins of AV Club labelling it lazy and lacking the wit to do anything beyond sheer provocation.
However, LaToya Ferguson of IndieWire, gave a lukewarm defence of David’s hosting, saying as the Holocaust jokes started so low, the show could only get better.
For his part, Larry’s made a career from controversy, particularly in his magnum opus Curb Your Enthusiasm. where he plays a hilariously politically incorrect version of himself, who bumbles from social faux-pas to social faux-pas.
Curb Your Enthusiasm returned earlier this year for it’s ninth season after a six-year hiatus, to mostly rave reviews with some critics saying how much they enjoyed having the show back on TV.
Not everyone was as convinced though – Sonia Saraiya of Variety wrote, while she enjoyed the shows opening two episodes, it was notable, while the character of Larry has stayed the same, the world around him has changed, making his grouchy attitude slightly out of step with modern sensibilities.
Curb Your Enthusiasm airs on Sky Atlantic and through NOWTV on Monday nights in the UK and on HBO on Sunday nights.