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":

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  1. “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.”

    I would also consider billing the comedian for the cost of first responders tending to the victims and any medical costs in the aftermath.

    1. See, this is actually something I’m okay with. The comedian isn’t being invited by a group of students to share ideas. They are being hired as entertainment for an event. Entertainment follows the rules of the person footing the bill or it doesn’t get paid. By the same token, entertainment doesn’t have to accept your offer either. These comedians saying frick no I won’t perform under those types of constraints aren’t in the wrong either.

      1. I don’t think you can draw a bright line between “shar(ing) ideas” and entertainment. I suppose it’s possible for a music performance to be so bland as to be without discernible content. Maybe content-neutral juggling? But a stand-up comedy performance is always going to have ideological content, so when you invite a comedian to entertain, you’re getting their point of view as well.

      2. ^This^

      3. They are being hired as entertainment for an event.

        This assumes that the college or university is a (private) entertainment company rather than an educational institution. I’m not at all picky as to it being one or the other, but it can’t be one while calling itself the other.

        I’m not sure where Lesley or Emerson derive their funding (I mean, aside from the crowd of dull-eyed heifers) but it sounds a lot like anybody who wants to host a comedian in their venue has to go through these gatekeepers for approval. Which wouldn’t exactly jive with the free speech notions afforded by a public university.

      4. If it were a purely transactions situation, I would be inclined to agree. These people are just exercising the right to choose. The larger issue is that they’re using their alleged victim status as well as disingenuous or more subversive techniques in order to affect other people’s right to choose. More importantly, this isn’t incidental or a side effect as much as explicitly stated outcomes.

  2. Still, nowhere near as bad as the NFL

  3. “It’s odd to hear you say ‘diverse voices’ that all say the same thing.”

    Moynihan just doesn’t get it.

  4. Getting a gig on the small liberal arts school comedy circuit isn’t all that different from getting into a small liberal arts school. It’s a rigorous process.

    That’s pretty funny.

  5. I saw a quick segment on Vice with Moynihan, and he was interviewing two people at a university who are responsible for booking comics.

    They were essentially Soviet Era commissars, red-lining through jokes and topics that were verboten. This is considered progressive.

    Camille Paglia is right, they’re not teaching any history in the schools anymore, so the young people coming up have no sense of history.

    1. I work with people in their 20s who have graduate degrees. Their lack of knowledge about history is shocking in many cases. I am not talking about being a history geek who can name all the Presidents or tell you who the Chief of Staff of the Army was during the Civil War. I mean they couldn’t tell you that Eisenhower commanded the allies in World War II or that NATO was created in the late 1940s or that the French Revolution was secular and utopian or that Southeastern Europe was ruled by the Turks and the Austrians until the 20th Century. That kind of stuff.

      1. Some of them can’t place major events like the Civil War in the correct century.

      2. I just realized the linked video segment is the whole Moynihan segment– I initially thought this was something different with Moynihan’s piece referenced. You should see it, it’s creepy.

  6. When Moynihan asked Gold what she’d say to someone triggered by her joke, she responded that she would say, “The joke is not about you.”

    And then they showed a clip of Gold on stage targeting a person by name.

    1. What she meant was, “The joke is not about you at first.”

    2. I don’t care how much Welch tries to pimp Moynihan. I still think he’s the worst one on the Fifth Column.

      Kmele for president

      1. Worse than Welch?

        1. It’s a real race to the bottom between the two of them.

          Welch is woke af, but Moynihan is annoying af

        2. Welch complained on Michael Malice’s show that everyone prefered Foster to Welch on the Les Ind?pendants television show. Let’s all throw some love at Welch.

          1. Kmele is literally the only reason I listen. I can’t say who I dislike more between Moynihan and Welch because at the end of the day, I’m really just tolerating them to listen to Kmele

    3. And then they showed a clip of Gold on stage targeting a person by name.

      To be fair, that joke applies equally to any Republican woman. /Reason

    4. “The joke is not about you.”

      “But I’m about to tell one that is.”

  7. This is why you choose a college in a town big enough to have a life off campus.

    1. John Belushi was problematic.

  8. Buncha fucking snowflakes.

    Diverse voices all saying the same thing.


    1. “Bunch fucking snowflakes… kkk!”

      This hate is overwhelming me.

  9. These kids are going to leave college and face a world that is becoming sick of catering to the needs and sensibilities of vocal minorities. Someone said on the NFL thread yesterday that the Left is starting to realize how far they have out kicked their coverage on the culture war and is going to start loosing on some things. Assuming that happens, and I think it will, these kids are going to be totally unequipped to handle it. I guess they will grow up and get over it. But they will be learning a lot of lessons the hard way.

    1. Ah, but the SJW menace has learned some valuable tactical lessons over time. Get into HR. Get into government agencies. Student government on most campuses has always been the provence of weirdos, but now it’s only a particular type of weirdo. Editorial assignments in media of all types.

      So, while they may be leaving 80-90% of the country behind, I think you’ll find a frustrating persistence of this bullshit from the bastions of power.

      Which, I hope, will cause people to take the bullshit more seriously.

  10. You know who else can’t play colleges?

    Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Bret Weinstein, and Dave Rubin. But, I understand that that’s different for reasons.

    1. If there is a bigger more boring establishment putz than Shapiro, I am unaware of them. That someone as tame as Shapiro can’t speak on college campuses without risking his life ought to bother the hell out of anyone who cares about freedom or free speech. Somehow, the reason staff seems not to care and sees it as some kind of he was asking for it by wearing that shirt situation.

      1. I can’t stand Shapiro, He’s the absolute worst. His voice is so fucking grating.

        1. He really is. What kills me is that his fans are always talking about how is so great because he is so good at debating Progs and SJWs. Who can’t win a debate against Progs and SJWs? They are all nuts and many are functionally retarded. But somehow Shapiro is this “genius” for being able to out debate them.

          He wrote an article in the Standard a few weeks ago about how the Republicans can win over millennials. It was one of the dumbest things I have ever read in my life. His point was that Millenials see tolerance as the most important virtue. It never occurs to him that “tolerance” is an empty set. Tolerance of what?

          And they are all about tolerance but the most important thing in politics is “character” and Trump is really bad because he cheated on his wife. That pretty much is all the article said. What a doofus.

    2. Christina Hoff Summers and probably Thomas Sowell, and certainly Milo. Ayaan Hirsi also.

      Because the students are diverse, you see.

    3. Christina Hoff Summers and probably Thomas Sowell, and certainly Milo. Ayaan Hirsi also.

      Because the students are diverse, you see.

    4. All I know of Dave Rubin is that he won’t talk about things the “libertarian” snowflakes want him to and gives a “platform” to people who trigger the snowflakes.

  11. Jesus H. Christ. “18-21 year-olds are more diverse now than they’ve ever been.”

    How fucking insane are these people? Do they even listen to themselves?

    1. How fucking insane are these people? Do they even listen to themselves?

      No. You can tell when he says that they can’t be more diverse and speak with one unified voice and she doesn’t clarify or explains but just reiterates and even lets the mask slip a bit with, “They have more experiences and demand more respect, adapt or get out” as though it explains that she’s not spewing absolute bullshit. Unfortunately, even if they did listen, it’s no guarantee that there would be any cognitive thought on the matter.

      1. Why bother considering other points of view when you already know you are right?

        1. Said all the wingnuts on either side of the political spectrum.

          Echo chamber much?

          1. Echo chambers certainly are common at all extremes. And not just in politics. People have the ability to care too much about any given topic.

  12. I guess one thing I don’t understand about safe spaces is why you’d even want one. Was home and high school so terrific and comfortable that you don’t want to ever leave that bubble? The main thing I expected out of college was new experiences, new people to meet, new things to do, new things to learn — to broaden my horizon, so to speak. Why the dickens would anyone want to go to college and *shrink* their horizon?

    1. I agree with you on this, and I also wonder who is going to keep the “safe spaces” safe? Obviously anybody standing guard over a “safe space” has to face whatever is “unsafe”. If all the “woke” people are in the “safe spaces” they clearly can’t be the guardians.

      1. I also wonder who is going to keep the “safe spaces” safe?

        On college campuses, that would be woke af “bias response teams” and Title IX administrators, etc. In the real world, the worry is that the snowflakes will demand, and eventually get, government with it’s monopoly on the legal use of force to do it for them.

  13. Maybe the appeal of college will decline if they start comparing, not people with vs. those without a college degree, but degree-less people who learned a trade vs. people with some random degree. Compare earnings and net worth and see who comes out ahead.

  14. Just watched a couple minutes of the video. Why do these people make me cringe so hard? I guess it’s the combination of the stupid tattoos coupled with the stupid voice cadence and the stupid words coming out of their stupid mouths. But you know these people are going to be running for some office somewhere. That’s how important they think they are. So cringe.

    1. I imagine you hate the same thing about them I hate. It is not so much that they are stupid, don’t know much and seem unable to make a reasonable case for anything. That is annoying but forgivable. What is not forgivable and makes these people so cringe-inducing is their absolute certainty that they are completely right about everything and smarter than everyone else in the world. Being stupid is one thing. We all are stupid at one point in time or another. But being stupid while having zero awareness of it and being certain you are right about everything is something entirely different. And that is what these people are.

    2. I couldn’t help but wonder if the one in the middle was a man or a woman. I honestly couldn’t tell. It’s name was Katt Williams, which I suppose would probably be a woman’s name (Katt being short for Katherine maybe?) but then again, there’s Katt Stevens, who was a man.

      Of course, even asking such questions is PROBLEMATIC at best because… something about gender normative bias, or some such horseshit. I don’t know, I don’t speak retard.

      1. A lot of people say “What’s that?”
        It’s Katt!
        A ma’am or a sir
        Respect him or her
        For whatever it may be
        It’s time for androgyny
        Here comes Katt!

        1. I may not be able to remember every last detail of people’s birthdays, but I can sure remember SNL jingles from back when they were at least trying to be funny.

          1. Bad Idea Jeans.

  15. Isn’t this also some self-preservation by the colleges? If you know you have a bunch of SJWs just waited to be triggered, why pay someone to do it?

    1. If you know you have a bunch of SJWs just waited to be triggered, why pay someone to do it?

      For the epic lulz and the salty ham flavored tears?

  16. I must say, the fact that 90+% of the audience portrayed in the video can be described by “white, moderately obese, and female (presenting)” significantly undermines their claims about diversity.

    Nothing screams “oppressed minority” like a bunch of overfed white female college students.

    1. It does partially explain the drop in the birth rate Bailey is always going on about.

  17. What’s with Moynihan’s Nazi haircut?

    1. He just wants an ethos Paul. Everyone needs an ethos.

  18. Lenny Bruce is rolling in his grave. Leonid Brezhnev is just ticked pinko, though.

    Lester Bangs and Leonard Bernstein could not be reached for comment.

    1. Are you listening to REM right now, per chance?

  19. Ok, just watched a bit more.

    “The world doesn’t have to adjust for you.”

    See, that’s the old way of thinking. The new way of thinking is yes it fucking does. Everyone will adjust for everyone else because everyone says so. Like the strong woman said a minute earlier:

    “If you can’t adapt, get out.”

    1. So we are going to end up with an entire generation of ego maniacs who are convinced it is everyone else’ job to adjust to them? Yeah, that ought to work out well.

      1. end up with?

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