Comedy is dead. Long live Comedy.

Walter Mwasi Williams III
3 min readApr 16, 2023

Let’s keep this short.

Comedy has always had an issue with aging not-so-gracefully. It is an observation probably as old as the art form. It had nothing to do with the “woke” bogeyman fueling this lucrative culture wars racket.

Some younger people presently viewing the 90’s sitcom Friends for the first time, and criticizing aspects of the show, is not a consorted effort to “cancel” it. Younger generations examining, questioning, and sometimes outright condemning previous films and shows that once entertained their parents or grandparents, is absolutely nothing new in the modern age.

I Love Lucy, remains an American hallmark, and its star, Lucille Ball is a celebrated comedic icon. Certainly, most of the series is harmless slapstick and lighthearted. It is also true much of it has not aged well. There are episodes where Ricky, Lucy’s husband, forbids her from buying a dress, changing her hairstyle, or mentions he wants her to lose a few pounds to make him happy.

On the topic of weight and body image, there are multiple occasions where Ethel, Lucy’s best friend, has her weight turned into the punchline of mean jokes by the husbands. Sometimes, Ricky literally punishes Lucy like a small child when she disobeys him. Because societal norms were different, what would rightfully raise immediate red flags now, was…