Daniel Tosh and Dane Cook got themselves into hot water this month after making jokes about rape and the Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre, but fellow comic Russell Brand says they were only doing their jobs when controversially going for laughs.
"I think if someone's job is a comedian and they say something, like in the analysis of the content of their statement, you should recall the bit that they're a comedian," Katy Perry's ex told reporters at a TCA panel for his FX series, BrandX, Saturday. "I've noticed a lot of people sort of remove [the fact that they are comedians] from the analysis to sort of create some storm of condemnation."
The star of Comedy Central's Tosh.0, Tosh came under fire for heckling a female audience member at a July 6 Laugh Factory show and "making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny," according to the show patron, who offered a detailed account of the exchange on her blog, which later went viral.
On Thursday, Cook worked Aurora, Colo.,'s movie theater massacre -- during which 12 people died and 58 others were injured -- into his act. "So I heard that the guy came into the theater about 25 minutes into the movie," Cook began, referring to armed gunman, James Holmes, who opened fire during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 21. "And I don't know if you've seen the movie, but the movie is pretty much a piece of crap -- yeah, spoiler alert."
"I know that if none of that would have happened, pretty sure that somebody in that theater, about 25 minutes in, realizing it was a piece of crap, was probably like 'ugh f*cking shoot me,'" he continued.
Both Tosh, 37, and Cook, 40, have since apologized for their jokes -- bits Brand believed were "well-intentioned."
"I don't know about what Dane Cook or Daniel Tosh said, but I know that they are comedians, and I know they're nice human beings, so I don't imagine that they had any intention other than to elicit laughter from their fellow human beings, as is their job," Brand said, admittedly removed from the situation. "I would imagine that [their act] was well intentioned, whatever happened."
Continued Brand, "I don't think we should create a state where people are afraid to talk. That could have much worse consequences."