Dear Uncle Richard

In the age of safe comedy, I’m turning to a legend for the key to big laughs, memorable moments, and ultimately, freedom from diversity and inclusion plays.

Jael R. Bakari
5 min readDec 22, 2023

I’m having a shitty fucking day.

Quite literally. I’m downwind of an epic turd that has been marinating in the toilet of my two bedroom 1 bathroom apartment because the complex shut off the water around 11 this morning and just plain forgot to turn it back on before dipping for the night. And it wouldn’t be so bad if i was clean. But seeing as i need to brush my teeth and wash my ass (and do my dishes) right now, I am beyond annoyed.

Couple all of this with a near zero bank balance, a near empty gas tank, and a fucking check engine light that I can barely afford to fix right now, and you have pretty much a blueprint for how well the last year of my life has gone. In fact if I’m keeping it a buck with you, this shit sandwich of a year is just the cherry on top of what has pretty much been two shitty fucking decades for me. And given the various gripings and groanings of the other folks in my age group, I’m pretty safe in assuming that for most folks in my generation, it’s been a fucking horrible ride for them too. Exactly what’s been making this shit terrible is too numerous to get into but suffice it to say ain’t shit changed but the date and we are all grappling with the impending sense of doom that seems to come with being in a country that may or may not be on it’s last legs. But bitching about why life sucks right about now is not why I’m writing you.

I’m writing you because tonight in the middle of this shit storm, I turned on my tv to watch a comedian who has been wildly successful in my day, in hopes of getting the laughs I need to soldier on and fight the good fight of faith. So color me surprised to watch this guy perform the most boring, run of the mill act I’ve ever seen.

I mean sure he kinda captured the essence of what we talk about day in and day out, even opening with a bit about enjoying America now cause this very well might be the end of it (shit’s real touch n go right now Unc I’m not gone lie. I’m seriously regretting not getting out of this bitch sooner. But where else am i gonna go? Seriously I’ll accept any heavenly point in the right direction at this point. But i digress). The rest of the humor though was bland and dry and sanitized and well…white.

It was so damn white it was painful. And its not the comic’s fault per se. His jokes were tightly written. It’s just the marker of success in this current landscape is how well you manage to tell the truth without offending anyone. It’s safe. A natural response to the social upheaval we’ve experienced as we continue to fight for things like equality, and fair wages and all the things that would make life livable. Nobody wants to set anybody off because somehow, I’m not entirely sure how or when, white folks took the fight for progress, flipped sides on us, and turned it into an excuse to pretend to be inclusive through making a show of being diverse while simultaneously keeping everything the same; subsequently draining the life and color from social interactions as we all trip over ourselves trying not to offend and be cast out of society for saying, thinking, or doing the wrong thing. And the landscape looks very similar to the clean cut era you came up in and walked the fuck away from. Dont ruffle too many feathers, don’t take any risks, just make sure you have a black, a woman, a gay, and an asian somehow involved in your creative endeavors and you’re good. Bonus points if you can fit all of those things into one person.

That shit makes a terrible plan for inclusion and for absolutely terrible fucking comedy. And it is without a doubt the last thing you want to hear when you’re trying to escape the remains of a terrible fucking day with at least a shred of your sanity intact.

And I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.

I want the freedom for comics to be wrong again. Have people laugh because I’m saying something that we’re all thinking, even if it’s not right or the best way to say it. And if I’m the only one thinking it I want people to see it and laugh because i’m the only one. I want the freedom to be vulnerable and talk about what I feel and be okay if those things are off color, or stupid or god forbid mistaken. I just want to laugh until I’m weak again. I’m talking holding my stomach and wiping tears because I am literally weak from laughter. And if I can’t then I want to make people feel like that. I want to help them laugh the worries and pains of this shitty era of life we are in as a collective away.

Because the end is nigh and I’ll be damned if I take that bitch seriously. You better believe I will not go quietly and calmly into the great good night. Nothing about me ever has or ever will allow that to be how I meet mine or the world’s end.

So Uncle Rich, seeing as you’ve been here before and you risked it all to get that freedom, I called you up to ask for something I never thought I would. I wanna ask you to lend me your audacity. Strengthen me with the ability to greatly offend everyone equally. Give me the ability to be an equal opportunity asshole, unafraid to say what’s on my mind and transparently document my experiences in real time. Let my retellings capture the truth and most importantly do so in raw, full, glorious and absurd color. Let me be wrong or right, I don’t care. So long as I am on somebody’s stage, or social media page and above all else, hilarious. Because the night is dark and full of terrors and we can all really use the laugh.

Thank you for making us laugh before and heres hoping you’ll help me to hopefully do it again.

To one more time,

Your comic niece-in-the-spirit

Jael R. Bakari



Jael R. Bakari

hero maker by day, psychic clown witch by night. writer of literary crack. future poor white billionaire. your favorite —ist