At some point in a standup’s comedy career, he (or she but I’ll stick to he since I’m a guy) will offend someone or some group. This is inevitable as his material becomes deeper and goes beyond the cutesy stuff. He will start to uncover truths that some people might not be able to accept. Some might even associate bad feelings over what he has to say, so they take it personally.
When a comedian’s material offends someone, it just means that the comedian has struck a chord, a universal truth. Let me get this straight, I’m not talking about offensive material, jokes that are designed to be just disrespectful, shocking, disgusting, or jokes that are just mean spirited. I’m talking about material that is bold. Premises that people are thinking but don’t have the balls to say. This material is not meant to offend, but because it’s so strong and genuine, it is bound to upset and elicit strong emotions from the audience. This is when a comedian has peeled the onion to its core and has revealed the essence of something very real.
So if a comedian is feeling down because somebody called him an idiot or hates his guts because of some joke he did and he doesn’t even know why, the reason is really not about him. It’s the audience’s choice to get offended. There was probably something in her that was too close that she hasn’t dealt with. Because the comedian was just pointing out a universal truth, holding up a mirror to his audience. Whatever the audience interprets is their own perception.
Oh, almost forgot. This only applies if the material is actually funny. Otherwise, it’s just offensive material that has nothing to do with comedy.