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Why comedians say college audiences can't take a joke

Veteran comics say millennials can't take a joke — but some comics can't even get in front of them to make one.

Veteran comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock say that college students can’t take a joke — but some comics don't get the opportunity to perform in front of them.

They complain college campuses are minefields of competing grievances and sensitivities for comics whose jokes touch on sensitive subjects like sexual assault or gender.

VICE News went to Boston to talk to three campus bookers — the college comedy gatekeepers — who contend that they’re merely reflecting student taste.

They say old-school comedians are woefully behind the times and need to acknowledge that certain jokes, particularly those about identity and sexual assault, can potentially cause psychological harm. And it’s their job, they say, to protect students from it.

But at New York City’s famous Comedy Cellar, where VICE News talked with standup Judy Gold, nothing is off limits (provided that the joke is funny). Gold also warns students that the “world doesn't have to adjust” to student sensitivities.

This segment originally aired May 23, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.