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Ike Barinholtz Has Blunt Reality Check For Comedians Who Complain About 'Cancel Culture'

The comedian and recent 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' winner opened up to 'The Hollywood Reporter' about the 'landmines' people in comedy need to watch out for.

Ike Barinholtz
Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Smirnoff

Comedian Ike Barinholtz told The Hollywood Reporter he doesn't hold a high opinion of those in his line of work who complain about "cancel culture."

Recent Celebrity Jeopardy! winner Barinholtz—who rose to fame as one of the sketch performers on MADTV and later starred in hit comedies like Neighbors and Blockers—said fellow comedians who complain about cancel culture are just "mad about... being called out on their sh*t."

He pointed to the examples of two comedians—Dave Chappelle and Louis C.K.—who are often defended by conservatives as part of their crusade against cancel culture.

The former has repeatedly come under fire for his jokes about the transgender community and the latter admitted to sexually harassing multiple women. However, both of them continued to enjoy great success despite their respective controversies.

Barinholtz said:

“I think when people in comedy talk about cancel culture, what they’re mad about is being called out on their s**t."
"And, by the way, I don’t know any comedians that are actually fucking canceled. [Dave] Chappelle just won a Grammy, Louis C.K. just sold out Madison Square Garden.”

Barinholtz observed that social media has given a voice to marginalized people, empowering them to speak out when once they wouldn't have been able to at all.

Of course, that hasn't been popular with people who've pushed back against challenges to the status quo, and he noted that now "if you make a joke about" these communities, "they can get you back and that makes a lot of people angry."

Barinholtz went on to tell the publication there are more “landmines” to watch out for than before when working on comedic material but that doing so is really nothing new:

“Like, there are certain words that just get deleted from your mental lexicon, which I’ll remind people, has been happening since time immemorial."
“There were things that people in 1950 where like, ‘Can you believe we can’t say what we said in 1920?’ And it’s like, ‘Uh, I can totally believe it.’”

Many concurred with Barinholtz's assessment.

Barinholtz is currently starring in AppleTV+'s mystery-comedy The Afterparty, which has been renewed for a second season.

In the 2022-2023 iteration of Celebrity Jeopardy! on ABC, he outlasted comedian Patton Oswalt and actor and activist Wil Wheaton to win the championship. For this win, his charity Pacific Clinics received $1,000,000.