A local councillor has hit back at comments criticising Limerick made by US comedian, Chris Rock, branding the notorious stand-up “lazy” and “unimaginative”.
Performing in Dublin at the weekend, Rock talked about his “scary ass drive” through Limerick, equating his experience with a visit to the Canary Islands where he saw “little kids eating dreadlocks” and “Shabba Ranks stabbing a dog”.
Yet, despite his criticism of the city, it’s unclear whether Rock has ever actually been to Limerick, something which County Councillor Daniel Butler is quick to point out: “How he knows anything about Limerick I don’t know. He’s probably been told by people.”
“It’s just tiring at this stage now,” continued Cllr Butler, “what I would describe as really lazy, unimaginative jokes. You just get tired of the rhetoric of Limerick as a dangerous place. And this comes off the back of John Bishop who I saw in Ennis, he made a similar comment about Limerick in his show. After a while you just get sick of it. If you’re going to make a joke of Limerick do something more creative.”
The Fine Gael councillor also believes that these comments can have a lasting, injurious effect on his constituents.
“It is putting an image on Limerick on an international scale which we don’t deserve. After a while it has an impact on the people, people do carry that burden, it does affect their mentality and how they feel about themselves, if you’re constantly the butt of the jokes, eventually it does take its toll. After a while we have to say ‘we’re not that anymore,’ and there’s a responsibility on us to challenge it rather than roll over and accept it.”
Alluding to Rock’s own upbringing in a tough area of Brooklyn which has “its own reputation”, Cllr Butler suggested that although it’s “all well and good making fun” of Limerick perhaps Rock should put a little more effort into his material. “He’d want to research his jokes a bit better. It’s just lazy,” concluded the councillor.