A parent asked if they could bring their 12-year-old child to the comedy show. (ugh) The parents were curious about how explicit/raunchy the show would be; but overall seemed confident that their youngling could handle it because they were “mature for their age.”
With du jour childhood being so short and de facto childhood even shorter, is having a kid who’s mature for their age really something to be proud of?
Is there a shortage of age-appropriate entertainment? Standup comedy is predominately an adult art form done in bars and nightclubs. Is that really where a child should be? Time and place. I don’t do Ladies Night Out at Chuck E. Cheese.
I’m not a praying woman, but if I was I might say, “Oh Great & Powerful Oz! Save us from the cool parents; the ones who want to be popular and be their kid’s friend.”
When I performed on cruise ships, they had an early, all ages family show; And then a late-night, R-rated adult show. The Grown Folks Show. (Side Note: Comedians are expected to have enough material and flexibility to do both with ease.)
But even with that level of clarity, there was always “that” parent who brought their kid to the adult comedy show. Sometimes oblivious enough to sit in the front row never taking into account how the other people in the audience might feel.
In my experience, adults are uncomfortable laughing at explicit material in the presence of a child. It feels inappropriate and changes the flow and focus of the show.
I’m not saying that kids can’t enjoy comedy. When I was a kid I watched it on TV all the time. I was listening to Richard Pryor long before I should’ve been listening to Richard Pryor. But My Parents weren’t taking me to comedy clubs. They understood that sometimes when you treat children like adults you get adults who act like children.