Whenever a leading comedian releases a new special featuring transgender jokes, within hours a clip of James Acaster pulling “edgy” comics goes viral on social media. It happens so often, unfortunately, it has become a pattern.
The clip, taken from Acaster’s 2019 special Cold lasagna hate myself 1999, sees the usually mild-mannered British comic that berates “edgy” artists like Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle. “They say what they want, edgy comedians. No one tells them what they can and cannot say. They walk right onto the stage, sometimes top of their specials, and put in 10 solid minutes to scare transgender people off,” Acaster says.
Acaster has rarely talked about the clip, but in an interview for The independent, he was asked how he felt about how the bit has been used to push back against trans fantasy. “Well, I’m definitely glad the clip used is the clip in its entirety… It’s kept in context, so that’s great,” Acaster said, adding that he wasn’t particularly bothered by the response he got from the more avid fans of Gervais and others. “I don’t see it, and I don’t mind it,” said Acaster, who doesn’t use social media. “If it’s people who disagree with that statement, I don’t mind if they get mad or hate me about it,” he said.
Acaster added that he hoped people wouldn’t look up to him for commentary on trans issues in comedy. “It’s all well and good, my comedy routine about it, [but] people sometimes talk about it like it’s something people keep going on in the discussion,” he said.
He continued: “I know the argument is that a group of comedians are saying things like this and so people are shooting back with a clip from another comedian, and I understand how relevant that is, and I’m talking about them specifically. But there are there are so many brilliant trans comedians at work these days, and there are many writers and pieces written on the subject who are much more vocal and better than me in aviator goggles and a sunset jacket.”