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Daniel Tosh is in apology mode after a woman’s account of a stand-up show — in which he singled her out while making a joke about rape — gained traction online.
Last Friday, the star of Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 took the stage after Dane Cook at the Laugh Factory in L.A., during which he caused a female audience member to leave during his act. Afterward, she relayed the incident on a Tumblr blog, Cookies for Breakfast, writing:
“So Tosh then starts making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc. I don’t know why he was so repetitive about it but I felt provoked because I, for one, DON’T find them funny and never have. So I didnt (sic) appreciate Daniel Tosh (or anyone!) telling me I should find them funny. So I yelled out, ‘Actually, rape jokes are never funny!'”
Tosh, 37, responded by heckling the woman, drawing laughs from the crowd.
“Then, he says, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…’ and I, completely stunned and finding it hard to process what was happening but knowing i (sic) needed to get out of there, immediately nudged my friend, who was also completely stunned, and we high-tailed it out of there,” she recalled. “It was humiliating, of course, especially as the audience guffawed in response to Tosh, their eyes following us as we made our way out of there.”
After the blog post made the rounds on the web, home of Tosh’s niche Comedy Central audience, he issued a mea culpa on Twitter, writing: “all the out of context misquotes aside, i’d like to sincerely apologize.” In a follow-up tweet in which he added the hash tag #deadbabies, he wrote: “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.”
Tosh.0 is Comedy Central’s highest-rated show, averaging 3.7 million viewers for its previous season. And Tosh himself has inspired a fervent adherence among his young, mostly male and social network-connected fans, with more than 6 million Twitter followers.
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