"'Too Soon' and the 'Meta-Joke'"

A friend of mine was telling me about the "Too Soon" restriction on comedy at a Pittsburgh Improvisational Theatre Organization (Friday Night Improvs). Occasionally someone onstage would make a joke about some topical event that cut a little too close to the bone-that is, that the event in question was relatively recent, or particularly horrific, or some index of these two values. Were someone to attempt such a gag, he/she would be met not only with the proverbial chorus of boos, but also with several cries of "Too Soon!," further indicating the crowd's displeasure. Unless...

Unless the index value of recency and horror was so high as to indicate the performer's obvious awareness of the complete offensiveness of the joke. In that case, it's funny.