I have a bone to pick, as they say, with a Kansas City comedian but it isn’t a funny one.
I have a word for him too, but it isn't funny either. It's a good one though:
It’s the word my daughter Emily used recently in an Instagram post.
It’s the word Trey Kennedy used in mocking her post.
He is just SO funny!
But as my grandmother used to say, “It’s all good until someone loses an eye!”
Where comedic acts are concerned, I have a saying of my own: “It’s all good to break a leg, as long as it’s your own.” Whoever came up with the break a leg thing? It’s SO not funny.
Here’s the thing, we all love a little good-natured humor. Until it crosses the proverbial line. The one that allows for it at another’s expense. Then it’s a problem. But maybe that’s just the way I see things. And usually, when I see things that need to be spoken up about, I do.
It’s the old journalist in me. The campaigner for good. An advocate for truth. You see, I have AMBITION that way. If you’re any of those things, maybe you agree with me. Maybe not.
Maybe you just need a good laugh. I SO get that.
We laugh because God laughed first! He’s got a great sense of humor, something I’ve learned firsthand at my own expense. Laughing at yourself is pretty therapeutic, if you ask me. I know better than most. I’ve been doing it long enough.
God laughs more often than I do on these occasions, truth be told.
It’s interesting Jesus’ first miracle was to create an excellent wine. Because his mother asked him to. See what I mean? A sense of humor. I’d like to believe it a dry one, my favorite.
I’m not laughing, however, when it’s at the derision of others. I know God isn’t laughing then either.
Which is why, when I listened to the well-known, Christian comedian who has generated tens of millions of views, make fun of my daughter’s Instagram post on his podcast last week, I was frustrated for her. Angry even. But not a lot. I was mostly confused.
And I definitely wasn’t laughing.
It was so…unnecessary. There’s waaaayyy better material out there than to make fun of a young woman trying her hand at selling something for the first time.
For crying out loud, Emily, a Bible student and graphic designer, is one of the nicest people I know. She’s never been prideful or out there, if you know what I mean. She’s confident but humble, and she’d only recently begun to risk exposure to sell a hair care product she believes in—one that has changed her life. She asked what I thought about it. I told her I hadn’t any experience with multi-level marketing, but why not go for it? “You believe in it, so people will believe in you!”
“Just be authentic,” I told her. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
And Lord, doesn’t everyone have a side hustle these days?
Emily was authentic. So authentic, two days later Kansas City based comedian Trey Kennedy, decided to have a little fun with it.
He started with the photo Emily linked of herself.
As a designer, Emily knows how to take a decent picture for social media, and she did. She’d posed in a long, floral skirt in front of a white, minimalist background in downtown Kansas City. It was well done by any standard.
But Trey’s harangue made it a “little skirt”. The way Emily looked, funny. Multi-level marketing, the plague.
I didn’t see the humor. Neither did a lot of people.
He read her Insta post entitled “AMBITION” and laughed uproariously.
I am certain it isn’t because he doesn’t know a thing about it. He has 2.8 million Facebook followers and 2.3 million Instagram. The man has to know ambition, am I right?
The entire post. Word for word, stopping every few words or sentences to mock her, and me, since she mentioned her “ambitious mom”. Chuckling all the while.
Trey has a lot of followers here in Kansas City, so nearly as soon as the podcast aired, Emily began hearing about it. Emily has a lot of friends here too. They all knew who he was making fun of.
I should add that none of her family members has been able to listen to it all the way through. It’s too much, knowing how much this has hurt Emily.
But let me tell you something. Emily is a smart, capable, grace-filled woman. Neither was she deterred nor discouraged. She was hurt and angry but eager to put it behind her, figuring she'd get back to him one successful day. For the time being, she sent him a text (something he encourages on his website) and though she hasn’t heard back from him, she’s moving on. This won’t break her stride, or anyone’s.
Except, perhaps, Trey Kennedy’s. Oh, I know he’ll not lose any sleep over it, and neither will we, but really, it should break his stride.
Because one day each one of us will have to give an account for every word we have spoken.
That includes well known comedians.
Personally, I’d like to try to make each of my words count for good from now on. I’ll be giving enough account as it is, thanks to the time I spent doing morning radio in California and here in the Midwest.
Alas, I've said a few things I regret myself.
So, I guess this is where I’ll address Trey directly, if he chooses to read this post, one I will surely forward to him.
You’re funny Trey, clearly—I’ve watched your videos and enjoyed them. Your AMBITION paid off. Congratulations. I mean that.
You’ve operated within the fair bounds of the parameters set by our society, which is to say, you’ve taken advantage of fertile ground. The world in which we live has paved the way, encouraging the mocking of others, especially our politicians, and in all actuality, they deserve it sometimes. It’s fair fun occasionally. I’ll give you that.
Even so, while we may laugh, the majority of us are probably feeling a bit uncomfortable about it on occasion. Then, what we may acknowledge as entertainment is tickling a place deep in our conscience, warning us it's no good.
Reminding us of that account we will one day give.
In the meanwhile, I am going to be remembering what the enemy intends for evil, the Lord intends for good. And that can be really funny sometimes!
When Emily wrote her mom is AMBITIOUS, I was taken back. Am I? And then I realized, I am!
I am ambitious for love.
I am ambitious for compassion and generosity.
I am ambitious for truth and authenticity.
I am ambitious for liberty and justice for all.
I am ambitious for good.
I am ambitious for Jesus!
So, here’s that word again Trey, the one I have for you now:
Because we all should have AMBITION for good.