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Sometimes you have to laugh: A lesson from Daniel Tosh

During his latest routine, comedian Daniel Tosh explained there is one type of person he could never hang out with. The type of person who says, “(blank) isn’t funny.”

Tosh finds the humor in anything and everything and because of that he’s no stranger to controversy. I heard him joke about Whitney Houston not long after her death on his Comedy Central show, “Tosh.0.”

Last year, he apologized for a joke that he and several others say was misconstrued online. It was a joke about rape, a topic Tosh doesn’t find off-limits for humor. On Twitter, he wrote, “All the out of context jokes aside, I’d like to sincerely apologize.” He added with a follow up tweet: ‘The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them #deadbabies.”

The hashtag alone proves where his brand of comedy is coming from. Tosh once told the Television Critics Association, “I’m not a misogynistic and racist person, but I do find those jokes funny, so I say them.”

He said plenty of them here in Phoenix this past weekend.

Tosh told jokes about women. He made fun of Arizona sports. He even laughed at the Make-a-Wish Foundation to prove the point he made in his tweet. In full disclosure, I laughed at just about every one of his jokes, including the ones about Canada and the one about Hurricane Katrina (and I was living in New Orleans at the time the storm hit the city).

At one point, Tosh told a few jokes about, “all the good things bin Laden did for America.” I won’t be able to do the joke justice here. However, I will say I laughed at those ones too.

After the show was over I spent some time thinking about those jokes. I’ll admit to feeling a tinge of guilt for laughing about one of the worst hurricanes and the worst terrorist attack in American history.

But then I realized that laughing at Tosh’s jokes is just fine, even if they are based on such serious topics. His jokes clearly are not for everyone or for every setting, but when it comes down to it, sometimes it is okay just to laugh. Even at the most painful of things.

That’s the lesson from Tosh’s brand of comedy.