In the aftermath of Daniel Tosh's now-infamous Laugh Factory performance in which the Comedy Central star allegedly told an audience member that "it would be funny if [she] got raped by five guys" after she yelled at him that rape jokes aren't funny, few comics have come to Tosh's outright defense.
But Patton Oswalt has been one of the more vocal comedians defending Tosh's right to try material without the threat of blogs judging him. In an interview with EW at Comic-Con, Oswalt explained what he sees as good and bad that has come out of this episode. (The video is not embeddable, but you can watch the full interview here.)
"Obviously, I don't agree with what he said, and I don't agree with the way he said it, but there's something really, really dangerous about [reacting to] something you don't like by shouting it down so it's not heard," Oswalt said.
He emphasized that he thinks what Tosh said was "despicable," but believes the reaction to Tosh's misfire was not proportional to what happened.
"It's no different than what radical Christians, anti-gay assholes and pro-life people do," he said. "They try to yell things out of existence."
This scenario hits somewhat close to home for Oswalt. Back in January of this year, a blogger reported that Oswalt tore into an audience member who recorded some new material he was working on, against his wishes. The blog post was written damningly, and Oswalt's response to the blogger was also quite heated.
When the Tosh episode blew up, Oswalt tweeted, "Wow, @danieltosh had to apologize to a self-aggrandizing, idiotic blogger. Hope I never have to do that (again)."
For Oswalt, protecting a comedian's right to try out material onstage is a high priority. He told EW, "It's very dangerous to create an atmosphere where people can't fuck up onstage, and it costs them their life or career."
But he also acknowledges that he has learned a lot debating this issue. After he sparred with many of his fans and followers on Twitter, he wrote a message on his Facebook page saying in part, "I'd be bored shitless if all of you just accepted everything I said without argument. So here's to those I pissed off today: I genuinely, un-ironically love you."
Do you agree with Patton? Let us know in the comments.