France’s most popular humorist, Dieudonné Mbala Mbala, has been arrested and charged with providing material support for comedy.
After detaining the French comedian Wednesday at his home in Quenelle-sur-Seine, the French authorities announced that anyone caught laughing at Dieudonné’s performances, whether on youtube, Facebook, twitter, or anywhere else, would also be arrested and charged with providing material support for providing material support for comedy. “And if you think that’s funny, wise guy” added Police Commissioner Jerque Culfoutre, “we’ll arrest you for providing material support for providing material support for providing material support. So don’t try any funny stuff.”
After confining Dieudonné in a laugh-proof cell, the French police cancelled his sold-out comedy tour, citing the need to protect free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
“If we let Dieudonné make jokes, and the people laugh, free speech will be finished in France,” Culfoutre explained.
Asked to explain why Charlie Hebdo’s free speech should be protected by tens of thousands of police and military, while Dieudonné should be banned and imprisoned, French President François Hollande issued a statement:
“Charlie Hebdo is unthreateningly stupid and obnoxious, while Dieudonné is dangerously hilarious. If Dieudonné were allowed to speak, laugh riots would break out; some innocent people might even die laughing. We have a French expression ‘mort de rire’ (MDR) which succinctly summarizes the threat posed by Dieudonné.
“Some members of Dieudonnés audience have actually begged the comedian to stop his rapid-fire gags, protesting ‘stop, you’re killing us!’ Yet Dieudonné keeps right on blasting away with his jokes and endangering public safety.
“Charlie Hebdo poses no such threat. According to painstaking research by our intelligence services, the last time anybody actually laughed at a Charlie Hebdo cartoon was in the spring of 1972, and we blame that incident more on the marijuana the reader was smoking than the magazine itself.”
Hollande told reporters that Dieudonné’s sharp, slashing wit is a dangerous weapon capable of drawing more blood than an AK-47 shot to the head at point blank range. The French President also said Dieudonné provokes powerful explosions of laughter that can turn audiences into helpless blobs of quivering jelly, shake auditoriums to their very foundations, and even threaten to “bring down the house.” He added that while blasphemous, obscene attacks on revered religious figures are fine, “the right to free speech does not include shouting something funny in a crowded theater.”
In attempts to circumvent the ban on laughing at Dieudonné’s youtubes, the comedian’s fans have taken to guffawing, chortling, cackling, snickering, howling, snorting, and splitting their sides.
Dieudonné supporters have also vowed to hold a Je suis Dieudonné march in support of the gagged and imprisoned comedian. A French official, Ministre de Démarches Rigoleuses Alex Craimant, told Je suis Dieudonné organizers:
“I will grant you the permit to march as much as you want. But there is one condition: You must keep a straight face.”
Craimant said that the marchers will be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of police and soldiers, including elite counterterrorism units with helicopters, drones, RPG launchers, and tactical nuclear weapons, all ready to instantly respond with overwhelming force if any of the participants even cracks a smile.