At Science of Us, Thomas MacMillan reports:
"if you’re going to build a joke around a big violation, you need to invest enough time to make it benign. McGraw offered Louis C.K. as an example of a comedian who can get audiences to laugh at shocking, terrible things, because he knows how much to linger on benign qualifiers ahead of the violation, to make something very wrong feel very funny.
"McGraw pointed to one of Louis C.K.’s “of course, but maybe” jokes, in which Louis C.K. says that while of course kids with deadly allergies should be protected from exposure to nuts, just maybe “if touching a nut kills you you’re supposed to die.” Louis C.K. spends over a minute setting up the context — he assures everyone that he really believes that dangerous foods absolutely must be kept away from vulnerable people — in order to present the idea that people should just let kids die so that it lands just right.
“I think that what Louis C.K. explicitly or implicitly knows is, if he’s going to say something on its own that would be terrifying, he needs to spend time to offset it,” McGraw said. The audience still feels like letting kids die is a shocking idea, which gives the joke its transgressive power, but Louis C.K. has put in the time to make it okay to laugh at that idea."