In a recent interview, the 54-year-old actress known for her role as Rachel Green in the iconic 1990s sitcom ‘Friends’, opened up about the changing landscape of comedy over the past 30 years. She candidly shared her thoughts on the current “sensitivity” that surrounds comedy, the challenges it poses to comedians, and the need for humor in an increasingly divided world.
The actress, who recently starred in ‘Murder Mystery 2’, explained how comedy has evolved over the years, and how the rules have changed since her time as a waitress in the fictional Central Perk café. In the past, she said, comedians could make fun of bigots and other controversial subjects, using humor to highlight the absurdity of certain attitudes and behaviors. This approach often served as a means of educating the audience about the ridiculousness of these viewpoints.
However, she lamented that nowadays, comedians have to tread more carefully due to heightened sensitivity and changing social norms. This has made it difficult for those in the field, as part of the beauty of comedy lies in the ability to poke fun at ourselves and at life. The actress pointed out that some younger audiences are revisiting episodes of ‘Friends’ and finding them offensive, which was never the intention of the show’s creators or actors.
Acknowledging that some elements of the past might not have aged well, she admitted that there were instances where they could have been more thoughtful. She also noted that the level of sensitivity in today’s world is far greater than it was 30 years ago.
Despite these challenges, the actress passionately argued that the world still needs comedy and humor. She urged people not to take themselves too seriously, particularly in her native United States, where she perceives a growing divide between individuals. Emphasizing the importance of laughter and humor in healing divides, she made a heartfelt plea for people to remember the value of comedy in fostering understanding and unity.
As the entertainment industry evolves and adapts to a changing society, it’s essential for both creators and audiences to strike a balance between sensitivity and humor. The beloved actress’s reflections serve as a reminder that while some aspects of comedy may change, the human need for laughter and connection remains constant.