I used to host a morning radio show and once I did a joke about Amadeus. That's right Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
It was the anniversary of his birth and birthday calendars are staples on some morning shows.
I asked the listeners if they knew that he was "composing at the age of four! And hey, now... he's decomposing!"
(I know, I know, c-o-r-n-y but hey it was morning radio and what do you expect for free?)
But the next thing you know I got a phone call from a listener who was upset with me because their father had just passed away and they found my joke had crossed the line.
After I explained to them I meant no disrespect, being as the joke wasn't about his father. I added I felt that maybe he was just kinda taking it out on me because his dad had passed. That only served to upset him even more.
With any kind of humor you're going to cross the line from time to time. Sometimes unintentionally and most of the time intentionally.
I would never joke about something as personal as the crime of rape. I would never joke about child molestation either. I do believe that some things are probably "off limits" just out of respect.
My "decomposing" joke didn't seem like something that could be off limits but I guess we all have friends and relatives that are "decomposing". So maybe it touches off something more intensely personal, whereas most of us don't know what it's like to face a situation where rape is involved and we can maybe laugh about it.
But those who've dealt with something that horrible see it for what it is and know that humor can make light of something that is very real to it's victims. Making light of something that stirs so many negative emotions can re-open deep old wounds. Is that something we should want
I'll bet that if you can find out what Daniel Tosh and his ilk find to be majorly offensive and you made jokes about that, they might not think it was so funny.