The Most Predictable Idiots In Comedy Decide To Defend Dan Schneider

Odds are that even if you are a hardcore fan of modern stand-up comedy, you aren't familiar with the Legion Of Skanks podcast. Perhaps you've heard about it, most likely in some story that involved a nationally known somewhat mainstream comic half-heartedly apologizing for some dumbass comment they made while on the podcast. 

I am not going to get into some deep-dive into the history of the podcast, the quite popular Skankfest live event, or the careers of co-hosts Luis Gomez, Big Jay Oakerson, and Dave Smith. I'll just say they are part of the trend of aggressively obnoxious and predictable comedians who follow the mantra that cracking jokes about child or sex abuse is the height of cleverness. 

Weirdly, this comedy style (which to be fair, is wildly popular with its fans), is the flip side of the predictable conservative political humor that cares more about "triggering the libs" than being clever or funny. The Legion Of Skanks podcast is all about the outrage. "Isn't it funny how people got worked up about X?" It's for the people who say to themselves, "I like Joe Rogan, but I find he's a little too intellectual and way too subtle."

This is one reason I almost hesitate to get into the discussion about Dan Schneider that took place on the Legion Of Skanks most recent episode. But I decided to wade into it because this type of show is off the radar for most people. And this is a podcast that deserves a bit more attention from people who live in the non-Asshat world that most of us call home.

As you likely know, the recent Investigation Discovery investigative documentary Quiet On Set recounted the career of famed Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider and it reported a number of really troubling allegations about the emotional and sexist abuse experienced by cast members and crew. Drake & Josh star Drake Bell also appeared in one episode, revealing publicly for the first time that he had been sexually abused by a dialogue coach hired by the show. 

The special has been a topic of intense discussion since it aired and every journalist, pundit, and podcast host has struggled to find a new angle to approach the subject. And it won't surprise you to learn that a podcast named Legion Of Skanks opted to take the "oh, sexual abuse isn't so bad" angle. Which, to be fair, is certainly a unique approach and definitely on brand.

The guest for the episode was Joe List, the standup comedian who opens for Louis CK. So I knew this was going to be an infuriating listen going into it. But I had no idea what level of idiotic trolling I had signed up for.

It's important to know upfront that only two of the four comics actually saw any of the documentary, although I don't think that having a lack of direct knowledge of the special heavily impacted the quality (or variety) of dick jokes that followed.

To give you an idea of the level of humor on display, early on List joked that he had been hanging with some people earlier, and they were all talking about the special. "Who were you hanging with?" he was asked. "I can't say, because they were all fourteen," joked List. And I use the word "joking" rather optimistically in this case.

Then we move on to the level of joking you would expect to hear from a quartet of 14-year-olds who had spent the past two years sniffing paint cans and torturing local stray cats. Lines about sniffing fingers, teenage buttholes stretched from sex, and random explanations that various victims were probably asking for it on some level followed.

The discussion quickly turned to their theory that the documentary is actually a positive for Schneider since it didn't include any of the weird sexual rumors that have swirled around him in recent years:

“It kind of reminded me of the Louie thing,” Gomez says. “The rumor about Louie was that he held the door closed and he forced these girls to touch his dick. And then when you found out that Louie just pulled his dick out, you’re like, okay, that actually wasn’t that bad.”

“[He] asked, and when they said yes, proceeded to do it,” Oakerson agrees. “On paper, the man did literally nothing wrong.”

“When I was under the impression that he held the door shut, I didn't care,” Smith adds. “So you're telling me now I'm supposed to care?”

"If I heard that he had given them a Vulcan grip and knocked them out..still chill," added Oakerson.

Which proves if nothing else that they are likely also hypocrites. They'll argue that Louis C.K. whipping his unit out and pleasuring himself in front of coworkers and employees who didn't ask for it was just a case of a bit of fun taken to the extreme. But I am pretty sure if someone did a Louie C.K. to their girlfriend or sister or wife, they wouldn't think it was nearly as funny.

Then after a side discussion about Roman Polanski, Gomez returns to Schneider. "Today, we have decided to celebrate the leadership stylings of Dan Schneider," Gomez explains. And then he proceeds to ask one of the female crew to squeeze the water out of a cucumber, in the same way Ariana Grande massaged a potato in an infamous video that was included on Quiet On Set. "And when I say asking you, I'm telling you to get the juice out of this cucumber," he told the crew member.

The discussion moves on to Drake Bell and the idea of whether an underage teen can consent to sex and whether that should be considered rape. 

“I'm not saying this is right, I'm just saying I remember when I was 16 and a couple of the 16-year-old girls in our crew would fuck a 25-year-old every now and then,” Dave Smith says. “And the response would be universal: ‘You whore.’ You know, ‘You're being a whore, going and fucking a 25-year-old. You know what you're doing.’ Now, I guess by 2024 standards, that was a child being raped."

The group didn't have much more sympathy for the two writers featured in Quiet On Set, with the conversation focusing on Schneider allegedely forcing writer Chrissy Stratton to simulate sex acts in The Amanda Show's writers' room. “But here’s the thing: she did it. She did the thing… And then she did it in a room that—I have a feeling it was brought up in a very, like with a room full of writers," explains Oakerson. "If this was something that was so crazy for him to say, she could have ended his career that day."

But Oakerson manages to both be unsympathetic and wrong in one sentence. No, Stratton couldn't have ended Schneider's career. That was the whole freaking point of her story. She had no leverage. Based on previous behavior, it was clear Schneider would face no consequences, so complaining was pointless. I'm not surprised that Oakerson didn't pick up on that fact, it wasn't exactly subtext, either. 

“I'm not victim-blaming. Maybe they were super mean to those chicks," Oakerson explained. "I'm just saying, when you bent over and pretended to get butt-fucked while you were pitching your thing—seems like if you hated what was happening right there, that you could have fucking just said, flat-out, ‘No.’ And like, who's gonna go, ‘What a dumb bitch.”

And in case you think the group's lack of comprehension or compassion was a temporary thing, they proceed to ask a crew member to come out and pitch an idea, but do it while bent over the desk. 

Keep in mind that at this point, I am less than a half hour into a TWO HOUR podcast. So forgive me if I end this retelling by simply saying the following 90 minutes is just as dumb and predictable as everything I've discussed so far.

Chuckleheads like this say stupid things because they want to get people outraged. Like the conservative MAGA heads who think claiming Michelle Obama is a man is somehow funny and triggering to their critics, the Legion Of Skanks exists in order to troll people for money.

And here is the secret of comedians like the trio hosting Legion Of Skanks. They're not brave or truth tellers or comics with no filters. They're bullies when they can be, but they never have the stones to accept responsibility for what they say. Confronted with criticism, they fall back on claims someone is trying to cancel them or isn't discerning enough to understand their 4-D level comedy musings. "Hey, I was just joking, you can't take a joke?" works whether you're talking about Dan Schneider or suggesting Michelle Obama's real name is Michael. There is never a bad joke. It's always the audience. 

The Legion Of Skanks are just asshats. And honestly, I'm sorry I wasted two hours of my afternoon listening to the podcast.