Urzila Carlson says Gervais and Chapelle's transphobic jokes have fkd Netflix specials

scandal 17/06/2022

Kiwi comedian Urzila Carlson isn't sure she'll do any more Netflix comedy specials following the backlash over Ricky Gervais and Dave Chapelle both "punching down" on the transgender community. 

Urzila's 'Overqualified Loser' special hit Netflix in 2020, earning rave reviews - but it turns out it could be a one-off. 

Speaking to Sean on The Edge Night Show, Urzila said the last two "massive" Netflix comedy specials - Chapelle's 'The Closer' and Gervais' 'SuperNature' included gags that were "not cool" because they attacked transgender people. 

Chapelle's comments prompted protests and a mass Netflix employee walkout, while GLAAD said Gervais' special was full of graphics, dangerous, anti-trans rants masquerading as jokes".

"I know heaps of people go, 'oh it's PC gone mad' but it's not really," she said. 

I kind of enjoy the 'PC gone mad' thing, if you want to call it that, because you're not supposed to punch down on minorities.

Urzila said she doesn't worry too much about offending people in her comedy sets because "her head doesn't work like that". 

"People go 'what if you say something on stage?' and I go 'I don't think so', because that stuff doesn't live in my head so I can't imagine it coming out of my mouth'. 

Instead, the '7 Days' regular sticks her to brand of self-deprecating humor, telling stories from her own life that she's experienced, seen or imagined. 

"I sort of turn it on myself rather than my audience, because number one, audiences come to see the show, not be the show," she said. 

"I feel like people come and see comedy because they've had a gutful of their life and they just want a little hour holiday from their life. So if you then go in that holiday and punch down on their lives, that's not cool. So I try not to do that," she added. 

When it comes to choosing good comedy material, Urzila reckons the formula is simple: "Just don't knock on minorities or people who have suffered, then you're fine." 

"There's heaps you can joke about."