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A comedian went on TV and viciously insulted a fellow comedian. Here's her eloquent response.

After being mocked by a fellow comedian, she fired back with a message about life, comedy, and humility.

A comedian went on TV and viciously insulted a fellow comedian. Here's her eloquent response.

You might not know self-described "fat, one-armed stand-up comedian" Damienne Merlina, but you should.

Merlina recently posted a powerful, must-watch YouTube update about overcoming adversity, even when others try to make the world a darker place for you.


In her own stand-up act, she makes a few jokes at her own expense.

Some studies have suggested that being able to make these types of jokes can actually be good for your health.

For her, this means making a few jokes about the fact that she lost her right arm in a car accident.

It's one thing to joke about yourself, but it's entirely different when someone else makes you the target.

In a recent Comedy Central special, comedian Ari Shaffir devoted time to making fun of Merlina for only having one arm.

He also took some shots at her weight.

The biggest problem with Shaffir's joke was that it wasn't really a joke at all.

Whether or not someone finds it funny depends entirely on whether or not you find someone losing their arm in a car accident funny. It depends on whether or not you think that fat people are just naturally funny.

In other words, Damienne Merlina was the joke.

Some people might argue that Shaffir's jokes are protected by the First Amendment, and they'd probably be right.

But that's not what this is about. At all.

This isn't an argument about free speech; it's an argument about human decency and kindness to others.

He has every right to decide what jokes go into his set, and Comedy Central has every right to decide whether or not they want to put out his material.

It should be noted that in her video, she doesn't ask that Comedy Central pull Shaffir's special, demanding an apology, or anything like that. She's just a person who seems really confused how she became a target and why someone would do this to her.

While he had every right to make the joke, it's still really, really, unnecessarily mean.

On her Facebook page, Merlina explained exactly what it was about Shaffir's set that upset her the most: the fact that he used her first and last name, making her a target.

Shaffir has a significantly larger platform than Merlina. By naming her by first and last name in his special, he opened her up to a massive amount of criticism — criticism she did nothing to bring upon herself.

"In the many years I have been acquainted with him we have never exchanged more than 2 paragraphs of polite conversation.
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It wasn't even funny. I know that comedy is comedy. I understand that being in the public I risk criticism and unkindness. My issue is that he used my FIRST and LAST name. Per the US Census there is only one Damienne Merlina."

Good comedy should "punch up."

"Punching up" is a term used to describe comedy that takes aim at people or institutions better off than the person making the joke. This is how people like Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, John Stewart, and others usually operate.

What Shaffir did, though, was "punch down." His joke wasn't aimed at a large institution or powerful figure. The punchline of the joke was essentially "Hey, this fat woman only has one arm. Isn't that hilarious?" That's just mean.

She ended her video with an awesomely heartfelt speech about life, comedy, and humanity.

"You can have bad experiences in life, and you can still be a nice person," is a concept that goes way beyond just the world of comedy.

No one's life is perfect. Bad things happen to good people. Life isn't fair.

Still, you don't need to needlessly inflict pain on others.

Watch Damienne Merlina's heart-wrenching response to Ari Shaffir below:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.