I've been a big Anthony Jeselnik fan since late 2009 after I saw him do a segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. From time to time, I've had to kind of deconstruct that, because Jeselnik is the type of stand-up comedian whose stock-in-trade is offending people and grabbing taboos by the throat. It's never been that I've felt that taboos should be untouched, and that some topics are sacred. I've just always liked comedians that didn't have to play the offensive, that could get a thrill without pushing the big obvious button.
I've been compelled, on multiple occasions, to express my opinion on the cultural impact that all mass media entertainers have on the awareness, frame of reference, and understanding of the average person. Not that they have a responsibility to be careful with their power, although that would be great, but that they should be aware that they do have power and that if they use it to be an asshole, people (and sponsors) will respond accordingly. Responses, criticism and consequence are part of freedom of speech, too.
Offensive comedy has changed a lot about what pop culture deems to be funny and acceptable. That's fine, and it's a longstanding tradition evident in every comedian's reverence for Lenny Bruce. But these days, there's a certain kind of ugly laziness that comes in with offensive humor, where the only joke you need is, "I'm saying something I'm not supposed to!" with an ironic wink and shy giggle. When I was watching the Conan O'Brien documentary, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, he runs into two kids before a show and, in an effort to make their hero laugh, one of the kids refers to being "jewed out" of some money. Conan gets them into his show on the condition that they stop saying that word.