Fox News has comedy on the brain this week. Roseanne Barr’s stand-up special, Cancel This, premiered Monday on Fox Nation, and on Wednesday, Tucker Carlson will premiere his sure-to-be extremely measured special, The Death of Comedy? Carlson’s project seems to focus, as one might guess, on how censorship and cancel culture are killing comedy. It’s unclear from the program’s trailer, however, who exactly Carlson interviewed for this special. And now, at least two comedians whose footage appeared in the trailer appear to have called Carlson out on Twitter for using their likeness without permission.
The trailer opens on a brief moment from comedian Troy Bond’s stand-up in which a heckler calls his joke racist, but it does not appear Bond is happy about the inclusion. In a quote tweet of the trailer posted Tuesday, he wrote, “Hey @TuckerCarlson go fuck a green M&M you open mouthed dipshit. It’s funny that you are making a documentary about comedy considering the right wing has no idea how to do it. You used my clip (without permission) and I will now be joining ANTIFA in retaliation.”
Comedian and television writer Nimesh Patel appears in the Death of Comedy? trailer for only a brief moment as well. In a video clip from an interview he gave Joe Rogan, Patel describes someone’s belief he was not “entitled” to make a certain joke. On Tuesday, Patel tweeted his belief that Carlson’s special is “nonsense.”
In a direct reply to Carlson that opened with “Hey clown,” Patel wrote that Carlson “only used my Rogan clip because I said no to your producers.”
“Comedy is thriving,” Patel wrote in a quote tweet of the trailer from his verified account. “There was a reason I didn’t do @TuckerCarlson back 2018 – no one here is a martyr for comedy. Everyone featured in this trailer is selling out theaters and making $$$, myself included. Stop this fake victim BS.” In a follow-up tweet, Patel wrote that Carlson “is a loser. Whining about cancel culture while making millions spewing loosely veiled propaganda. Get off your own dick Tucker.”
Other comedians, meanwhile, pointed out that Carlson’s documentary seemed to focus almost entirely on white, male comedians. “I guess comedy does seem dead when you only talk to male comics,” long-time Conan writer Laurie Kilmartin tweeted, while stand-up comedian Jena Friedman added, “My heart goes out to any comics who inadvertently ended up in this.”
Carlson is, as we know, a great champion against cancel culture. His battle for the green M&M’s sex appeal, as cited by Bond, quickly became one of the most ridiculous and regrettable pop culture controversies of 2022. Earlier this year, M&M’s staged a PR stunt that poked fun at Carlson’s meltdown, “revealing” that Maya Rudolph had stepped in to replace the embattled M&M’s spokescandies. The saga just culminated with a Super Bowl “press conference” that saw the spokescandies reinstated after Rudolph botched the job.
Something tells us we will not see Rudolph in Carlson’s special—but if she’s ever desperate, she can always fire up the ol’ LinkedIn and apply for a freelance comedy gig with Gutfeld! We’re sure they’d be very lucky to have her, especially since comedy might be dying.