Comedian Daniel Tosh apologizes for controversial rape joke

Comedian Daniel Tosh in a photo from his Facebook page.
Comedian Daniel Tosh in a photo from his Facebook page.

Daniel Tosh, star of the Comedy Central series "Tosh.0," has apologized to a female audience member who accused the comedian of singling her out for a rape joke during a Friday stand-up show at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.

The woman anonymously blogged about the incident in a Tumblr post that went viral in which she claimed that Tosh made "generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny."


When she called out that rape jokes were never funny, the woman claims that Tosh said to the audience, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her...”

After her blog post garnered attention, Tosh tweeted an apology:

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He added in a follow-up tweet that comedians can make jokes about awful things:

Tosh is known for politically incorrect humor and as Buzzfeed pointed out, he has made rape jokes before.

Popular comedian and fellow television star Louis C.K. tweeted his support for Tosh writing:


Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada told E! News that he had no problem with Tosh's set.

"Comedians sometimes tell jokes and sometimes they can be off color," Masada said. "I think Daniel Tosh is one of the funniest comics alive. He is one of the most caring people I know. He had no intentions of hurting anyone."

Others, however, have commented that Tosh might have gone too far.

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BoingBoing called the comedian "Douche.0" and Margaret Lyons wrote in New York Magazine that "Rape jokes reinforce the idea that male identity is neutral and normal, and female identity is marginal and laughable."

The Atlantic Wire points out that though the woman did not identify herself in the post and there is no official record of the exact wording of the joke, Tosh did not deny the claims in any of his tweets.

"The problem with Tosh's joke wasn't just that it was in bad taste," the Atlantic's Adam Martin also posits. "It's that it was also simply bad."

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