Wayne Brady's
Tacky Joke

Wayne Brady is quickly losing his reputation as the king of nice comedy, judging from a joke he made at Roseanne Barr's roast. His new personality is understandably upsetting some parents.

Wayne Brady upsets parents with Down syndrome joke

Wayne Brady is known for his family friendly jokes and personality. But, if he's consciously trying to get away from that reputation, it's working. First, the comedian went on an expletive-filled rant against Bill Maher a few weeks ago — and now he's making jokes about people with disabilities.

The joke in question came courtesy of Brady's portion of the Comedy Central roast of Roseanne Barr.

"Now the thing is, Jeff, these are all jokes, and I really like you. I really, really like you," he said, referring to roastmaster Jeffrey Ross. "But a lot of people hate you, especially Sarah Palin because you remind her of what Trig is going to look like when he’s 40."

Basically, he's saying that Ross looks like he has Down syndrome. Pretty hilarious, eh? Yeah, no — and the parents of children with the genetic condition aren't too pleased, either. One father, Rick Smith, wrote an open letter to Brady on his blog, Noah's Dad.

"Your remarks about Trig Palin during Comedy Central’s roast of Roseanne Barr were out of line, hurtful, and disrespectful not simply to the Palin family, but to thousands of individuals living with Down syndrome today, their families, friends, and all of us who place a high value on all human life," Smith wrote.

"…It breaks my heart that someone could say things to purposely hurt my little boy. Perhaps what hurts the most is that while I’m expecting these sorts of comments from children too immature to understand the gravity of their words, I don’t expect them from adults," he added, going on to say that his son is a fan of Sesame Street — a children's show where Brady frequently makes guest appearances.

"Were you aware that Sesame Street features children with Down syndrome on their show from time to time? I’m curious if you have ever met any children with Down syndrome while on their set?" he asked. "…if I see you on an episode of Sesame Street after these comments, I would turn the channel. I would not want to watch you on that show pretending to be a person who loves and cares for all children."

Smith makes several great points in his letter. It got us thinking: How can we expect children to not to bully each other when adults like Brady — and 50 Cent with his autism comment — say these things? Well, we can't.

Image courtesy FayesVision/WENN.com

What do you think: Is Noah's Dad right, or are people taking Wayne Brady's Down syndrome joke too seriously?

Tags: wayne brady

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Comments on "Wayne Brady's Down syndrome bit is a bad joke, parents say"

get a life August 21, 2012 | 7:36 PM

Someone call the waaaahmbulance for Noah's dad!!!

Sarah August 21, 2012 | 2:40 PM

Seriously, everyone needs to bend over and gently remove their tampon. I work with Downs kids, and just like everyone else, they make fun of each other, other people, they're normal kids. We'd all laugh at a blonde joke, some of us might even snicker at a mild racist joke, this is no different. Take humor where you find it, don't be such a tight wad, jeeeez

Kim August 21, 2012 | 5:35 AM

You can't be serious. It was funny and kinda right-if he wasn't, no one would have laughed. I'm a mom of one Down's boy and a second boy so severely autistic, he is a 3 year old in the body of a 17 year old. They're both awesome. One of the first things you learn as the primary caregiver of a disabled child is that you have to take humor where you find it and not feel badly about what you're laughing at, or you find yourself stepping in front of a bus. You want to see someone get insulted at a CC roast, watch the one with Charlie Sheen. So very many things for the gallant warriors of special ed to take offense to.

Jenna August 17, 2012 | 12:30 PM

I'm disgusted by him. I am not a Palin supporter by any means, but what he said disheartening. I usually could care less what celebrities say or think, but this comment has directly effected people I care about, therefore I am not okay with it. If he can live with himself everyday after cutting down people, then good for him. He's a heartless person for it. I don't ever expect him to apologize because he doesn't think he is wrong. He can justify his actions all day long, but one day he'll get it. At least I hope he does. Good for everyone calling him out on it. Maybe next time he'll think before he speaks.

MADELINE M. RAYLMAN August 16, 2012 | 11:15 PM


Jenn August 16, 2012 | 10:21 PM

Part of the issue here is Wayne's apparent ignorance of the condition. The average life expectancy for an individual with DS is 55 years. Several parents live daily with the fear their child will not live to see 40, let alone care if they look like Jeffery Ross. And let us not forget he had to pull in a child into his punchline. Kari is right. The joke, from a C level actor, wasn't that funny and the defensiveness (especially telling the audience what he did when they booed him) turned a situation that I personally would have let slide into the reason I will make sure than myself and everyone close to me does not support the Wayne Brady brand ever again. Let's face it - some things are off limits - especially to people that aren't really that funny to begin with.

Kari August 16, 2012 | 9:28 PM

I teach kids with special needs & I'm outraged by not only Mr. Brady's comments, but by his handling of the situation. He retweeted a comment implying that only Palin supporters care about the distasteful joke. I think any decent human being should be offended. In no situation is mocking a person, especially a child, with a disability okay, not even at a roast. When 50 cent made a joke about autism he was bombarded with tweets & ultimately he apologized. I don't understand why this situation is being taken any more lightly.

peggy manninen August 16, 2012 | 12:06 PM

c'mon, it was a roast of Roseanne... It was not something I would have planned to watch, but maybe for lackof nothing better while channel surfing.. I did. I thought the Wayne Brady jokes were in poor taste, but every roast I have ever seen was chock full of jokes with a bad taste, that seems to be the theme of the show (meaning any "roast" I've seen on Comedy Central". It wasn't any worse than all of the rest. I have cared for people with Down's Syndrome in my line of work and also have a late family member with Down's Syndrome and I still think no less of Wayne Brady. He is a talented comedien who I have respected since the first time I saw him on Who'se line...

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