Leading Australian comedians fear the politically correct brigade has made the country so rigid and righteous the traditional irreverent and take-no-prisoners Aussie sense of humour is dying.
Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi agrees and regularly mocks the PC virtue signallers.
The Daily Telegraph reports the comedians say jokes simply can’t be offensive anymore (unless the target is an old, white male conservative) and banks and corporate bosses don’t book them anymore for fear they might offend staff.
The comedians say comedy venues, are drying up, too, and comedy on TV, apart from the ABC, is a thing of the past with networks preferring reality shows.
Austen Tayshus, famous for his 1980s No.1 single Australiana and who boasts a conviction for obscene language in performances, said comedy was “dying”.
“The soft new generation of PC-wary comedians need to grow some balls and not worry about pleasing the audience,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“I get physically and verbally abused all the time and banned from pubs and bars around the country … I just find new venues.”
Billy Birmingham said if his famous Twelfth Man cricket mockery albums were recorded today he’d be “hung, drawn and quartered” simply for the impersonation of foreign accents.
“Australia is a nation of piss takers. We’re larrikins. It’s 99.9 times out of 100 not meant to be offensive — and it’s a shame that’s dying.”
For Vince Sorrenti, the Italian boy from Punchbowl who’s made audiences laugh for almost 40 years, there is no reason to declare issues off limits.
“Comedy is a wonderful form of expression, it’s not quite dead but it’s on life support,” he said. “I’ve made fun of gender, homosexuality, terrorism, paedophilia. It’s not being negative — comedy enables you to deal with the darker things in life and by ignoring them, you create a problem. You can’t give in to these (PC) idiots, they’re gagging satire and expression, you just have to be smarter about how you deliver.”