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Not Funny! 20 Comedians Who Have Been Blasted For Off-Color Jokes — Their Worst Zingers

Jamie Foxx Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians

Feb. 15 2016, Updated 7:23 p.m. ET

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Trevor Noah went from a hero to being called an anti-Semitic, sexist zero within 24 hours of being named the new host of The Daily Show. It was a swift turn of fortunes for the South African comic who had been plucked from obscurity by Comedy Central to replace Jon Stewart. But he’s not the first – and he probably won’t be the last – comic to cause offense with his off-color jokes.

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Jamie Foxx Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians

Trevor Noah went from a hero to being called an anti-Semitic, sexist zero within 24 hours of being named the new host of The Daily Show. It was a swift turn of fortunes for the South African comic who had been plucked from obscurity by Comedy Central to replace Jon Stewart. But he’s not the first – and he probably won’t be the last – comic to cause offense with his off-color jokes.

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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In March 2015 Jamie Foxx came under fire for joking about Bruce Jenner who is widely believed to be undergoing a male-to-female sex change. While presenting the iHeartRadio Music Awards the comedian joked that the Olympian would be "doing a his-and-her duet all by himself." Foxx was soon widely criticized on Twitter for being transphobic.

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

It would take far too long to recount the many times Chris Rock has caused offense with his jokes. But in 2014 he was lambasted for joking about terrorism and 9/11 while presenting an episode of Saturday Night Live. Arguing that the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was "probably the most frightening, sadistic terrorist attack ever," Rock said, "You've been training for a year. You finally get to the finish line and somebody screams, 'Run'"

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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The late Joan Rivers made a career out of telling somewhat offensive jokes. In 2013 she was unapologetic for taunting Adele for being "fat." Rivers said, "What is her song, 'Rolling In The Deep'? She should add fried chicken."

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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Roseanne Barr drew the ire of patriots across the country for screeching out the "Star Spangled Banner" before a baseball game in 1990. Even President H. W. Bush lobbed an attack calling her performance "a disgrace." In a sorry-I'm-not-sorry style apology shortly afterwards the comedian said, "I figured everybody knew I wasn't the world's greatest singer."

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

There's being offensive and then there's being outright hateful and homophobic. Tracy Morgan crossed that line in 2011 when he joked during a stand-up routine, "If my son were gay he better come home and talk to me like a man…or I'd pull out a knife and stab that little n****r to death." The 30 Rock actor later apologized for going "too far."

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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It was always going to be a risk asking Ricky Gervais to host the Golden Globes but the Hollywood Foreign Press – which runs the awards – did that three times. From 2010 to 2012 the Brit made Tinsel Town's elite hot under the collar by joking about everything from "Jodie Foster's Beaver" to "famous Scientologists" who are allegedly pretend to be straight. Tom Hanks wasn't happy though, saying in 2011, "We recall when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian. Neither of which he is now."

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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If anyone tunes into Real Time with Bill Maher to be entertained with soft and cuddly political observations, they're watching the wrong show. Every week the comedian outrages some section of society – usually conservatives, Evangelical Christians, Republicans and Tea Party members. But in 2014 Bill Maher offended Muslims (and Ben Affleck) by saying that Islam is "the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f**king kill if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book."

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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Long before she got her job on The View, comedian Whoopi Goldberg had a pretty lucrative side gig promoting Slim-Fast on TV. That is, she did until 2004 when she made a joke about then President George W. Bush. She got fired after saying at a Democratic fundraiser, "We should keep Bush where he belongs gesturing at her groin and not in the White House."

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

While millions of moviegoers may have thought Sacha Baron Cohen's character Borat was a chuckle a minute, the comedian drew critics from a range of groups. In particular his character – a hapless reporter supposedly from Kazakhstan – offended the Eastern European/Asian country. Baron Cohen told Rolling Stone in 2006, "I've been in a bizarre situation where a country has declared me as its number-one enemy."

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

What a mess' When Sarah Silverman re-tweeted "rape prevention tips" list from another Twitter user, numerous men tweeted their objection, with one writing, "It's extremely offensive. It implies that it's common for men to think about ways to rape girls, when that's nonsense."

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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Even the network heads at MTV were outraged by Andrew Dice Clay's brand of humor. In 1989 – after introducing Cher at the MTV Video Music Awards – he was supposedly banned for life. One joke that made execs sweat was when he joked, "Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop. Your mother's a whore. I ain't your pop."

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
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"Wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by…five guys right now?" That's what an audience member who went to see Daniel Tosh perform a stand-up routine claimed he said in 2012. A Change.org petition was started to demand that Comedy Central take his show off the air and the comedian later "sincerely" apologized.

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

Calling a heckler a "n****r" and shouting that he would have been lynched in a bygone age is not comedy. And Michael Richards' career has never fully recovered after his hateful words during a stand-up routine were captured on film and leaked online in 2006. The Seinfeld actor later appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and apologized.

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

Martin Lawrence appeared on Saturday Night Live once and his opening monologue was enough to get him banned from the show for life. Joking about women's personal hygiene – encouraging them to "put a Tic-Tac in your a**" – was too hot even for late night television and the comedian hasn't been allowed back on the show since.

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

Flinging the N-word around decades before gangsta rap and joking about sleeping with white women, Richard Pryor's mere presence on stage was probably offensive to many people. According to Pryor's widow Jennifer that supposedly included Bill Cosby who allegedly looked down on her late husband for cursing during his routines.

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Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

"What does every Japanese person have in their apartment? Flood lights." Just one of a series of jokes that Gilbert Gottfried posted online shortly after the 2011 Japanese tsunami. He later apologized but it was too late for insurance company Aflac, which dumped him as being the voice of the duck in their TV commercials.

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Splash

Paul Mooney apparently upset the wrong person when he joked that Barbara Bush looked like "the guy on the Quaker Oats box." The comedian's anti-Bush routine allegedly caused so much offense that his act was cut short during the 2008 taping of Showtime at the Apollo. The comic alleged that the show's producer Suzanne de Passe said the material offended a Time Warner exec.

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George Carlin (2001)

//George Carlin

They are the seven dirty words that got George Carlin in trouble, just for saying them on stage. In 1972 he was arrested on obscenity charges for saying them at Milwaukee's Summerfest. Speaking about being punished for saying things like "s**t," "c**t," and "f**k," Carlin said, "I find it kind of funny to be hassled for using them when my intention is to free us from hassling people for using them."

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians
Source: Corbis

A decade before George Carlin was arrested for saying dirty words, fellow comedian Lenny Bruce had handcuffs slapped on him for being obscene too. Using the words "c***sucker" and "schmuck" on stage were enough to get the legendary comic shoved behind bars. He later received a posthumous pardon after his 1966 death.

Jamie Foxx’s Bruce Jenner Joke Blunder Other Comedians

His jokes were deemed so controversial that one of them was cut from his appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. But Bill Hicks – who died in 1994 – is still considered to be one of the kings of off-color, uncomfortable comedy. He once joked, "You ever notice that everyone who believes in creationism looks really un-evolved? Eyes real closer together, big furry hands and feet…"

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