Former SNL writer booted off stage after joke triggers Columbia students

Mike Montone
December 06, 2018 - 1:09 pm
Stage at a comedy club.

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- His jokes were good enough for Saturday Night Live, but not the crowd at Columbia University. A former SNL writer was reportedly given the hook during a performance, after students became uncomfortable.

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Nimesh Patel, an Indian-America comedian was performing at an event for the Columbia Asian American Alliance when a joke about his gay black neighbor triggered students in the audience.

Patel quipped that the man's homosexuality couldn't 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.'”

The Columbia Spectator report, his set was interrupted, and denounced by members of the Alliance. Before leaving the stage, Patel told the crowd that his jokes were not offensive and that they were ideas that students would soon be exposed to in the real world. At that point his microphone was cut off and he left the stage.

The charity event Patel was performing in is dubbed cultureSHOCK. Organizers apologized to the audience for the shocking nature of Patel's jokes.

“The message they were trying to send with the event was opposite to the jokes he was making, and using people’s ethnicity as the crux of his jokes could be funny but still offensive...He definitely wasn’t the most crass comedian I’ve ever heard but for the event it was inappropriate,” Adam Warren said.

Not everyone agreed.

“While what some of the things that he said might have been a bit provoking to some of the audience, as someone who watches comedy a lot, none of them were jokes that I hadn’t heard before and none of them were jokes that elicited such a response in my experience,” Elle Ferguson said. “[AAA> should have talked to him beforehand especially because comedy is known for being ground-breaking and for pushing boundaries.”

The incident prompted another student to pen an op-ed on free speech.

“A comedian’s job involves speaking freely and with some edginess. If we wish to keep comedy alive on campus, we can’t invite comedians to do their job and then cut them off as soon as it’s not being done in precisely the way we like,” wrote Malia Simon. “The survival of comedy depends on the principle that if comedy is to remain good for you, it must sometimes be not good for you.”