Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

(Unfortunate) Facebook post of the day


Friendly memo to Fresno comics: When you’re promoting an event the same day as a horrific mass shooting, it’s best to avoid using the murders in your marketing efforts. Not funny at all.

CLARIFICATION: Comedian TK Cookiebaker is not an organizer of the Beat Down Slam, as we you can see in the comments below.

Responses to "(Unfortunate) Facebook post of the day"

Stephen says:

This is not only typical for TK (not being funny/being inappropriate), but he’s going to be thrilled to have been “featured” on the Beehive.

Danielle says:

I am so sick of “comics” using the old “trying to find the humor in it” line. In some cases, there isn’t any humor to find. Senseless tragedies where people lost their lives just AREN’T FUNNY.

Kassandra says:

I know where I’m NOT going tonight. Not funny. At all.

christina says:

I agree that this is inappropriate. Reminds me of Tosh.O and how he thought rape was sooo funny. At one of his standup gigs he made a rape joke & when a woman in his audience stood up and told him it was not funny and inapropriate, he said it would be even funnier if she was raped right there by several men. wtf comedians today? That ish ain’t funny!

Jake says:

TK is NOT connected with the Inner Ear program AT ALL!!!! Please do not let his offensive post derail you from attending this great event. His views don’t reflect those involved with the Inner Ear. He was not asked to promote this event. I do not know why he felt he needed to. AGAIN, TK IS NOT IN ANY WAY AFFILIATED WITH THE INER EAR OR IT’S EVENTS.

TK says:

I Understand each and every Comment Posted today…I had no ill-will towards the unfortunate people of Colorado. My efforts were to poke fun of the Batman Premier and all the hype surrounding the movie release and to explain, how much easier and safer it is to attend a locally produced show that always serves a Safe and Friendly environment at Teazers Tea Show.
My sincere apologies to those who read the banter on Twitter, Facebook, Email, or Text Message feeds starting from last night through however long made by many more Comics than just myself.
TK- call me directly for anymore concerns or thoughts on the topic

Heather P says:

Jezebel writer Lindy West made a thoughtful point about using atrocities in comedy during the “Tosh rape-gate”. I believe it to be a good guideline for most comics:

“The world is full of terrible things, including rape, and it is okay to joke about them. But the best comics use their art to call bullshit on those terrible parts of life and make them better, not worse. The key—unless you want to be called a garbage-flavored dick on the internet by me and other humans with souls and brains—is to be a responsible person when you construct your jokes.”

This is not a responsible joke. It isn’t even a very good joke. Its target isn’t clear, its purpose is dull, and its timing and delivery is wooden. It is a joke made even worse by its being used to promote an (unrelated) event rather than to truly comment on or help process the atrocity at hand.

It is insensitive, unintelligent, and just not very good comedy. And it is even worse PR.

bryan medina says:

Being born and raised in Colorado, and just like everyone, I am appalled at TK CookieBaker’s comments. As founder of the Inner Ear, in NO WAY do I condone TK’s perspective. He’s not affiliated with the Inner Ear, nor is TK seen as a representative of the poetry jam. I’m horrified that he’d use such a deplorable act of violence to promote an event. It shows no sensitivity and lack of respect for those affected. I hope that he reconsiders his approach in promoting any event in the future. Thank you.
S. Bryan Medina

Not an apology says:

You weren’t poking fun at the premier or its hype, you evoked the shooting in both posts and even evoked Columbine by joking that Colorado is cursed. You also try to shirk responsibility by saying that other comics did the same thing. A real apology would have been something straightforward like, “My remarks were incredibly stupid and made in bad taste. I apologize and take full ownership of them.”

TK says:

As I have written to Donald Munro on his Direct Facebook Wall, I take full responsibility for leaving my Computer open in front of other friends and co-workers this morning at a Starbucks. Little did I know they decided to act as me and write in their own feedback on something that should not have been their business. I simply tried to “share” another Local Event to publicize it across Facebook which is the Ever-Popular Inner Ear Poetry Jam in Downtown Fresno.
I have since changed my password, have completely made it a stronghold to never allow anyone to touch my laptop again.

Wait A Second ... says:

So which is it TK? Were you just trying to “bring a little humor” to a mass murder by linking it to an unrelated local event or are your friends responsible for the posting and comments?

Irregardless, blaming it on “friends” seems like a major, not to mention fake, excuse. You either take full responsibility for your inappropriate comments or you don’t. Pawning the blame off on a third party later in the game smacks of backpedaling after you got slammed by too many people.

Kassandra says:

“Easier and safer?” I’m sure the victims thought they were going to enjoy a movie in a “safe and friendly environment.” This could happen anywhere. Dumb explanation/apology.

Scurvy says:

This is the be new reality of meme based quick hit fire and forget pay attention to me internet culture. Say something inflammatory, sit back and bath in your tepid ego-centrism as the squirrels scurry. I do that myself on occasion, but even I have limits of good taste. The best thing to do with this post would have been ignore it, and it would have died the shallow death it deserved.

Full disclosure: I’m the co-host of the beatdown slam, and i find it unfortunate that such a fantastic and rare event like a city vs city slam will be marred in peoples minds by a what a 3rd party decided to post on Facebook

tyler miller says:

Does everyone NOT see the irony here? “The beat down competitive poetry slam?” If you are trying to promote an event as not violent, calling it a “beat down” slam is probably not the best way to do it.

Heather P says:

In theory, I agree with you regarding “just ignore them, don’t feed into the ego”. That works for some things- like trolls ion the internet.

But in practice I don’t think that people change their behavior until other people make them accountable for the behavior. Sometimes people should be called on their BS. In this case, a little forethought would’ve gone a long way toward avoiding all of this. And, as you say, in the age of Twitter and screencaps, you really have to think it through.

I fully will defend the right of comics to try out material based on taboo subjects. I’m a theatrical artist myself and I live with a comic. But I also believe in the right of an audience to make their response to the material known. Perhaps the author of these posts will think it through next time and make a conscious decision about whether the “joke” is really worth it all.

Pook says:

So I’m a bit confused. It appears he’s blaming everything after the initial post on Starbucks friends. But the initial post on Facebook is just as insensitive as the arrogant crowing that followed it.

So, as I read TK’s lament, it’s that he left friends alone near a computer to improperly follow through on his brilliant “Don’t go to movies, go to poetry and live” schtick. Not that his initial comedy premise was incredibly weak and indefensible in how it deals with an extremely emotional situation.

I’m all for controversial comedy. Buy when you intend to cobble a premise together out of a mass murder even that is less than 24 hours old, you better bring your A-game. But this whole affair has been some serious bush league hackery. Methinks a comedy writing class is in order.


Cindy Schoonmaker says:

I may take some hits for this, and I’m ok with that….but I also think blame lies with the reporter who posted this initially, Mr. Donald Munro. He took it upon himself to ‘ass-ume’ that this TK comedian dude was somehow associated with the Inner Ear group and posting on their behalf.

You should check your facts Mr. Munroe BEFORE making this your “unfortunate facebook post of the day”. None of the people associated with the very cool Fresno event would’ve posted something like that.

You’ve been doing this gig long enough Donald….you should know to check your facts and sources first? Just sayin’…..

Stephen says:

I agree completely, Pook.

Comics need to tread VERY lightly with tragedies like today’s, and if they do come up with something, it’s gotta be unimpeachable.

Like with 9/11, Saturday Night Live broke the tension with their opening – full of firefighters and police heroes, Lorne Michaels asks Rudy Giuliani “Can we be funny?” and Rudy says “Why start now?”

That worked, and the nation sighed a bit.

The only comment I saw from a fellow comic today that was close was Bo DeLapp’s “You can’t bring candy to the movies, but machine guns are totally ok.”

Commentary that fit well, wasn’t trying to make light, and wasn’t trying to be funny in the face of tragedy.

And there IS a “too soon” factor to tragedies.

My current ‘groan’ line that takes it to the edge is “Hey, while we’re here together? Let’s all take a moment to congratulate Whitney Houston on 3 months sobriety now.”

That comment puts a full foot on the edge and carries just enough humor to allow it (in the right context).

There IS no right context here. HeatherP (as usual) said it best.

D D says:

Not sure who the TK guy is but that was a serious lack of judgement by making those jokes about Colorado, then appeared to be lying about how it happened.

He admitted that he was trying to promote a “safe environment” but why wouldn’t Inner Ear be safe in the first place? The “safe” statement was made in contrast to the deadly event in Colorado. Why would he explain the comments and why they were said…then blame it on someone else? Makes no sense.

Also, that Maddie Gregory chick needs to calm down about the screenshot with her name and her duckface picture being used. She’s acting like she’s got warrants or something.

soddruntlestuntle says:

This Facebook post is a sad commentary on the decline of civility in our culture, and a microcosm of what’s wrong with American Civilization as a whole, really– class and good taste has gone completely by the wayside, nothing is off-limits now in our quest to ‘shock and awe’. The best way to counter this pap masquerading as ‘entertainment’ is to completely ignore it.

Ryan says:

I’m far less offended by your crappy joke than by you not being a decent human being and owning up to your mistake. To blame it on your “friends” at “starbucks” is truly preposterous.

Stephen says:

Maddie just turned 18. Let’s cut her a break, yah?

Joe O. says:

Mr Munro jumped the gun with this story with his nonfactual reporting(assuming this was being marketed by an Inner Ear Poetry member). This story just glorified a serious misstep…But then again reporters/ columnists know exactly what “sells”. I have always respected and appreciate your views but this was not cool in your “marketing your column” efforts Mr. Munro.

bryan medina says:

I’m truly saddened to see that this whole exercise in one man’s stupidity, and another’s slipshod reporting, has gotten way more publicity than it deserved.
Whoever’s idea it was (Donald or Mike) who thought that post was worth the time to put on blast just amazes me. Moreover, that anyone one associated with the Inner Ear would’ve posted something like that in all the years we have known one another, through business or other ventures.
…and tho’ that sad post could have been put on anyone’s event as you say Mike, which is true, it was put on mine.
Any no matter what anyone says, I had to take the time out of my busy schedule to confront this B.S. not only with the person who posted the foul share, but now take issue with you guys. What if the tables were turned and either one of you guys had to confront bad publicity like this, the day of your event and I was the irresponsible reporter?
Yes, people did get on TK but let’s be real here; guilt by association can go a long way. How could I not say something in my event’s defense? For the past 10 years, my group and I have worked long and hard to make the Ear and its shows viable to those who like spoken word here in Fresno and the surrounding area and to see this type of “reporting� just makes shudder at the thought of “if this made it, what’s next?�

Michael Medrano says:

Keep up the good work Bryan and Scurvy–Fresno needs venues like the InnerEar/Beatdown Slam that support first ammendment rights–please do not “boycott” future slams and open mics.


Our first ammendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.