Nimesh Patel is living proof that Cancel Culture exists.

The Indian-American comic got pulled off stage at Columbia University in 2018 because three university staffers objected to one of his gags.

Patel quipped that being gay cannot be a choice because “no one looks in the mirror and thinks, “This black thing is too easy; let me just add another thing to it.’” Members of AAA then interrupted the performance and denounced his material about racial identities and sexual orientation. The group gave him a few moments for closing remarks, but Patel pushed back, saying none of his jokes were offensive. He purportedly claimed that he was simply exposing the audience to ideas that would be found “in the real world.” Patel’s microphone was cut from offstage and he exited.

It didn’t matter that Patel is a comedian of color, nor that his joke exposed cultural racism. He still got the boot.

You might think Patel would cheer on Fox News superstar Tucker Carlson’s special, “The Death of Comedy,” which examines how Cancel Culture is crushing creativity and putting lives at risk in extreme cases.

Not so fast.

Patel rushed to social media to slam Carlson for including his college incident in the special. Repeatedly.

Warning: Adult Language:

Patel shared little of that rage against the scolds who ended his 2018 university show.

Funny, eh?

The Daily Beast, a far-Left outlet that apparently cheers on Cancel Culture, reported on other comics who took Patel’s side, including Laurie Kilmartin, Jena Friedman and Troy Bond.

Why? Why would comedians attack Carlson, not the cultural forces aligned against their craft?

Blame tribalism with a side order of fear.


Carlson is the boogeyman for many dyed-in-the-wool liberals. They loathe him and would support his banishment from cable television, if it were possible. So even if the Fox News host defends their livelihood he must be mocked.

That’s how divided we are as a nation.

There’s another factor in play, of course. Today’s comedians fear Cancel Culture, and with good reason. Performers like Stephen Colbert and Marc Maron could be canceled tomorrow if the woke mob resurrected some of their older, more problematic material.

They could slam Cancel Culture, but doing so might make the mob turn on them. So they tell all the “proper” jokes, attack all the “acceptable” targets and pray no one digs through their comic past.

The irony couldn’t be richer.

“The Death of Comedy” trailer makes a powerful case that comedy is, indeed, under attack in today’s woke culture. Comic after comic is seen being physically assaulted, from Will Smith attacking Chris Rock over a joke to Dave Chappelle getting tackled on stage during a Hollywood Bowl appearance.

That’s just the physical side of Cancel Culture. We also see audience members outraged by comics for telling jokes that offend them. They’re triggered, and they have the cultural power to punish stand-ups who make them uneasy.


That’s where comedy stands in 2023. It’s not dead, at least not yet, but comedians must self-censor lest their next gig be their lasts.

Just ask Desus & Mero.

It’s funny, but not in that ha-ha way, that some would rather attack the person defending their craft than those willing to shut it down. 

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