Why Judy Gold Doesn't Play Colleges: 'You Don't Tell a Comic What Topics They Can Discuss on Stage'

A new Vice feature by Michael Moynihan highlights not just disillusioned comics but campus bookers ready to "pull the microphone" from performers who use language deemed intolerant.


Add the scabrous comic Judy Gold to the growing list of professional funnypeople—Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, John Cleese, Bill Maher—who won't play on and/or have withering things to say about the offense-taking culture of college campuses. "This idea that words are more harmful than actions," Gold said to Vice News's Michael C. Moynihan in a segment that ran this week: "Lenny Bruce is rolling over in his grave!"

As with Moynihan's piece on the Evergreen State College controversy, the real damning stuff comes not from the critics of campus culture but from the collegiate gatekeepers themselves. "When I'm working on a contract, especially with a comedian, I'm very up front in saying, you know, transphobic language isn't going to be tolerated," Simmons College entertainment booker Kat Michael tells him. "If you say something in your set…we reserve the right in our contract to, like, have a conversation with you about payment. And I will also pull the microphone."

Doesn't get more direct than that. Retorts Gold: "You don't tell a comic what topics they can discuss on stage. I mean it's ridiculous."

Watch the piece here:

Then check out Nick Gillespie's 2016 interview with Foundation for Individual Rights in Education President Greg Lukianoff on "Comedy, College, and the Fight to Save Free Speech":