What Seth Rogen had to say about his old, 'blatantly homophobic' jokes.

What does comedy, the peppered moth, and President Obama's position on marriage equality all have in common?

They've evolved. But, as the saying goes, change doesn't always come easy.

Those moths had to put up with pollution. Obama had to deal with political pushback. And Seth Rogen was forced to come to the realization that some of his old jokes were actually pretty terrible, now that it's 2016 and all.


Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Rogen recently admitted that a few of his old movies totally crossed the line when it comes to offensive jabs.

In an interview with The Guardian, Rogen reflected on how his own comedy has changed to be more cognizant of how a joke can go too far:

“It’s funny looking at some movies we’ve made in the last ten years under the lenses of new eras, new social consciousness. There’s for sure some stuff in our earlier movies — and even in our more recent movies — where even like a year later you’re like, ‘Eh, maybe that wasn’t the greatest idea.’”

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV.

One movie that's particularly cringeworthy?

“There are probably some jokes in ‘Superbad’ that are bordering on blatantly homophobic at times,” he said, noting that the film had been trying to reflect the immaturity of high schoolers. But still, he said, the jokes were "glamorizing that type of [offensive] language in a lot of ways.”

His comments get at an important topic: the evolution of comedy.

Sure, comedy shouldn't be forced to adhere to anyone's rules. But isn't comedy best when it's actually relevant to the times?

Evolving comedic standards are why Eddie Murphy wouldn't strut on stage in 2016 and drop gay slurs at the expense of AIDS patients (like he got away with doing way back when). It's why Trevor Noah admitted to being an "idiot" for tweeting out sexist and anti-Semitic jokes in 2012 — "you should not like [the jokes you cracked] back then, because that shows that you’ve grown," he explained. And it's why Amy Schumer decided to confront her own racist routines from years ago.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Critics' Choice Awards.

In one of her old standup sets, Schumer told an insensitive joke suggesting Hispanic men are rapists. The joke resurfaced last summer, and many people weren't pleased. So the comedian dealt with it, head-on:

“I wrote this joke [two] years ago. I used to do a lot of short, dumb jokes like this. … Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence, I stopped telling jokes like that on stage. I am evolving as any artist. I am taking responsibility and hope I haven’t hurt anyone. And I apologize [if] I did."

Sarah Silverman (who, by no means, plays it safe) also thinks comedy shouldn't be an exception to the rest of society — it should "change with the times" and "change with new information," too:

“I caught myself a few years ago fighting ‘gay.’ I [said] ‘gay,' like, ‘that’s so gay.’ … And then I stopped myself and said, ‘What am I fighting? I have become the guy from 50 years ago who said, ‘I say colored. I have colored friends.’ … It’s not hard to change with the times, and I think it’s important."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Even Patton Oswalt — who detests political correctness — said he "gets to be wrong, and [he] gets to change" when it came to his own failures in grasping the nuances of why a particular rape joke (told by a different comedian) was a bit of a problem:

"There is a collective consciousness that can detect the presence (and approach) of something good or bad, in society or the world, before any hard 'evidence' exists. It’s happening now with the concept of 'rape culture.' Which, by the way, isn’t a concept. It’s a reality."

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images.

Comedy — like basically every other thing in the universe — needs to evolve to stay relevant.

It should be edgy. It should makes us uncomfortable at times too (Schumer just proved that sometimes uncomfortable comedy is exactly what this world needs).

But as Rogen hinted at this week, if you're punching down with a lazy joke that doesn't belong in 2016, you should probably ask yourself if the punchline's really worth it.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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