The veteran stand-up comedian Nick Di Paolo rolled out a new comedy special on Tuesday, and to say the release didn’t go well for him would be an understatement.
In the new special, titled A Breath of Fresh Air, Di Paolo doubles down on his on-stage persona as a cranky, middle-aged white man, fed up with political correctness and other such modern impositions on his prerogatives. The special was released straight to YouTube, for free, and is billed on the comedian’s social media as “too ‘dangerous’ for Netflix and too ‘honest’ for Comedy Central,” although it looks an awful lot like there simply wasn’t any interest from those outlets in paying him for this material.
Di Paolo first released a clip from the special to Twitter, with the caption “there’s no respect for white European males anymore.” The attached video clip contains a segment complaining that Vince Lombardi, the late football coach, has a rest area named for him in New Jersey.
However, Twitter responders noticed several things about the clip: the Lombardi service area, rather than a newfound sign of disrespect for the white males of old, has had that name since 1974, per The New York Times; Lombardi was in fact a political progressive who went to bat for African-American players and at least one gay player, and the service area is far from the only thing named after Vince Lombardi — in fact, the trophy presented each year to the Super Bowl champions is called the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The guy in the Black Lives Matter shirt is activist Muhiyidin Moye who was shot and killed last year. but yeh sure, use him as your prop in a shitty photoshop job to demonstrate how edgy and brave you are. pic.twitter.com/jMqc1xSdmg— Sachi Ezura (@misstrionics) May 7, 2019
Not long after that, it was noticed that the still image appearing at the end of the video clip, which doubled as the comedian’s Twitter cover photo, was a picture of Di Paolo standing on stage, giving a middle finger to a collage of women and people of color, one of whom was a man in a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt. Furthermore, per The Daily Beast, the man in the shirt featured in Di Paolo’s collage is Muhiyidin Moye, an activist who was shot and killed in New Orleans last year. Moye had made the news the year before that for grabbing a Confederate flag during a protest in South Carolina.
Di Paolo apologized on Twitter, stating that he “did not know that as I found it online in stock photos,” but not long after, the comic thanked “whining leftist maggots” for causing his name to trend on Twitter.
Di Paolo has been performing stand-up comedy since the 1980s, and spent time as a mainstay on Comedy Central roasts.