The emergence of viral video means that what happens in the club no longer stays in the club. "Now they even have a camera you put in your hat or at the top of your purse," says Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, who says he met with civil rights leaders in the days after Richards' appearance and talked them out of marching on his club...The viral phenomenon may be harmful to live comedy, he fears.
In a Hollywood Reporter article on the smarter, edgier comic sensibility that has emerged, Judd Apatow voices similar concerns.
"I'd hate to think that people are holding back over fear that something they say onstage will wind up being fodder for controversy on the Internet," he says. "I mean, imagine if someone with a cell phone had always been there recording the Rat Pack back in the day. Can you envision what that might have done to Dean (Martin) and Frank (Sinatra), to have every conversation with a gangster or drunken rant uploaded somewhere?"
If they talked about whites, blacks and latinos uniting like wonder twins to commit hate crimes against Middle Easterners, they would have had their own Comedy Central show.