WHAT: The best 9/11 joke you have ever heard, not that there should be a system for ranking the best joke about the worst terrorist attack on American soil.
WHY WE CARE: “Too soon?” That’s the question any comedian must ask herself before making a joke about a tragedy. Anthony Jeselnik made an insensitive tweet about the Boston Bombing on the day of, which he was soon forced to delete under pressure from then-employer Comedy Central. National tragedies make for tricky subject matter, ever in danger of inciting public ire. It’s likely, however, that even the #BoycottColbert crowd will get a laugh out of Kumail Nanjiani’s rock-solid 9/11 joke in The Big Sick, which is in theaters this weekend. As the comedian revealed to Marc Maron on a recent episode of the WTF podcast, it’s a joke that would never work on stage, but rather in the context of a specific kind of conversation. Given the cultural themes of The Big Sick, a film in which Nanjiani’s Pakistani Muslim parents cannot find out he’s dating the non-Muslim love interest played by Zoe Kazan, it fits in perfectly. To describe the joke any further would spoil it, so have a look for yourself in the clip below.
The Big Sick is out in limited release on June 23.