Ageism in Humor

Elderblogger Ronni Bennett recently wrote a post about how frustrating it is to see ageist humor go unchallenged. The kinds of jokes that are made at the expense of older people would be considered racist, sexist, and otherwise insensitive if the targets were women or minorities of any group. Yet older people are fair game.

Here’s a skit, done on “Saturday Night Live,” about older people trying to use the Amazon Echo.  (“Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.”) Naturally, they’re all incompetent and suffer from other stereotypical traits.

But humor often uses the tiny grain of truth in stereotypes to get laughs. So, when does it go too far?  When is it genuinely funny? — What do you think of this skit?

 

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