You have no idea how many times I've heard the question of when is it too soon to tell a joke in my short comedy career. This question has been asked by minds more comedic and vastly more genius than mine for decades. Along with that question is always the debate if everything is fair when it comes to comedy. The guys at South Park seem to think so and have stuck by their guns in their decision.
But what about your own personal life? When is it too soon to joke about aspects that affect your life and those around you? It may seem that I'm talking about the news of the recently deceased Steve Jobs, but I'm really aiming at the bad news that we encounter on a daily basis that hits home.
I don't have an answer. I honestly don't think I ever will. To be honest, no one will ever have that answer. It's such a "personal conviction" type of deal that everyone should follow. What one person deems ok will inevitably be challenged by another individual, and that's ok. It's what makes the comedy world go round. Hell, it's what makes life easier to bear.
Not to mention, I'm guilty of cracking jokes at my Grandmother's funeral a few years ago.