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.

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.
***
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:

Family
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular