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Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:30 PM

Why aren't there More Conservative Comedians?

While we're talking politics and comedy, Dean Obeidallah explains why Paul Ryan is bad news -- for the nations's recession-stricken comedians. This is doubly true when you consider the flush times just four short years ago when John McCain named comedy goldmine Sarah Palin as his veep. Man, I'll bet they thought those good times would never stop rolling. Anyway, in the process of making his case, he affirms a point I myself have made a few times:

I know many on the right see Obama as providing much more comedic material than comedians do. They often send me "jokes" about Obama on issues like Obamacare or the "Fast and Furious" program.

While I appreciate the sentiment, here's the cold, hard truth: Conservatives are not funny. I'm being brutally objective here. There are some funny conservative comedians and pundits, but how many can you name? I have my theories why conservatives struggle so horribly when trying to be funny, but I'll keep them to myself because I'm not a mental health professional.


--snip--

I'd go a step further and say that when humor is coming from a place of authoritarianism -- which modern conservatism is increasingly about -- it's inherently unfunny. It's just mean. That's a conceit that continues to be borne out every time I see the "humorous" postings by right-leaning friends and acquaintances on various social media platforms. Be sure to check out the rest of Obeidallah's piece here.

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/entertainment/why-arent-there-more-conservative-comedians



Short answer: Because they are not funny. At all.

99 replies, 12643 views

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Reply Why aren't there More Conservative Comedians? (Original post)
cleanhippie Aug 2012 OP
no_hypocrisy Aug 2012 #1
Quantess Aug 2012 #14
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #79
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #60
no_hypocrisy Aug 2012 #62
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #67
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #82
no_hypocrisy Aug 2012 #98
librechik Aug 2012 #2
arcane1 Aug 2012 #6
eppur_se_muova Aug 2012 #38
HiPointDem Aug 2012 #43
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #61
NV Whino Aug 2012 #3
hifiguy Aug 2012 #11
ChairmanAgnostic Aug 2012 #51
htuttle Aug 2012 #4
Care Acutely Aug 2012 #5
RZM Aug 2012 #7
1StrongBlackMan Aug 2012 #29
RZM Aug 2012 #44
treestar Aug 2012 #65
Hassin Bin Sober Aug 2012 #81
RZM Aug 2012 #83
Hassin Bin Sober Aug 2012 #90
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #87
HopeHoops Aug 2012 #8
immoderate Aug 2012 #19
HopeHoops Aug 2012 #20
immoderate Aug 2012 #23
pinboy3niner Aug 2012 #9
hifiguy Aug 2012 #10
rocktivity Aug 2012 #36
hifiguy Aug 2012 #40
riverwalker Aug 2012 #52
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #63
hifiguy Aug 2012 #75
Xyzse Aug 2012 #12
reformist2 Aug 2012 #13
ashling Aug 2012 #15
MyshkinCommaPrince Aug 2012 #16
JHB Aug 2012 #17
DisgustipatedinCA Aug 2012 #18
Scuba Aug 2012 #25
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #64
hifiguy Aug 2012 #76
Tom Ripley Aug 2012 #93
five_horizons Aug 2012 #21
Major Nikon Aug 2012 #57
Codeine Aug 2012 #94
surrealAmerican Aug 2012 #22
msu2ba Aug 2012 #24
Proles Aug 2012 #26
Tom Ripley Aug 2012 #27
deutsey Aug 2012 #47
Tom Ripley Aug 2012 #50
VOX Aug 2012 #73
rocktivity Aug 2012 #28
Jennicut Aug 2012 #89
Lone_Star_Dem Aug 2012 #30
Kolesar Aug 2012 #31
unblock Aug 2012 #32
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #68
lunatica Aug 2012 #33
alterfurz Aug 2012 #34
laundry_queen Aug 2012 #54
Hassin Bin Sober Aug 2012 #92
spanone Aug 2012 #35
Proud Liberal Dem Aug 2012 #37
OverBurn Aug 2012 #39
rocktivity Aug 2012 #42
RZM Aug 2012 #45
Major Nikon Aug 2012 #66
Codeine Aug 2012 #95
TlalocW Aug 2012 #96
devilgrrl Aug 2012 #41
Bjorn Against Aug 2012 #46
Generic Other Aug 2012 #48
Taverner Aug 2012 #49
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Aug 2012 #58
VOX Aug 2012 #70
Taverner Aug 2012 #88
Homer12 Aug 2012 #53
nashville_brook Aug 2012 #55
applegrove Aug 2012 #56
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #59
VOX Aug 2012 #69
Tom Ripley Aug 2012 #74
Prism Aug 2012 #71
dflprincess Aug 2012 #72
Warren Stupidity Aug 2012 #77
Greybnk48 Aug 2012 #78
Snarkoleptic Aug 2012 #80
Ken Burch Aug 2012 #99
Kalidurga Aug 2012 #84
Telly Savalas Aug 2012 #85
Quantess Aug 2012 #97
lob1 Aug 2012 #86
treestar Aug 2012 #91

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:32 PM

1. Because they aren't funny, amusing, interesting.

Examples: Jay Leno, Ray Romano, Dennis Miller

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:44 PM

14. Jay Leno is funny because his jokes are not political

He is not the funniest man in the world, but I saw him once in Las Vegas and he was entertaining. He didnšt have anything about politics or religion that night.

Edt: Oh, now I see. You posted 3 un-funny examples. I was wondering...
On Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray Romano was the least funny and Patricia Heaton was the 2nd least funny. Dennis Miller sucks rotten eggs. Dennis Miller is a total wash, since he tries to make political jokes.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #14)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:03 PM

79. Dennis Miller thinks that Dennis Miller is funny. So funny that he can't stop laughing at his own

 

comments.

It's a shame that he's not more perceptive. Or that he does not hang around with honest people who can tell him that he's not a funny as he seems to think that he is.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:06 PM

60. Ray Romano is right-wing?

I didn't know he had any particular political views.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #60)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:09 PM

62. I remember him being merciless with Bill Clinton and the BJ -- ten years after the fact.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #62)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:22 PM

67. Didn't know that. Still, is that necessarily right-wing?

A lot of liberal comedians nailed Clinton on that one for years, too.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #62)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:09 PM

82. I have no knowledge of Ray Romano. Was he merciless with Clinton after Clinton signed NAFTA?

 

It's true that Clinton had a big D after his name, but was he a liberal? Was Ray Romano merciless with Clinton on issues which Clinton demonstrated that he was a liberal?

It may be that Ray Romano was not funny, but does that make him a conservative?

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #62)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:18 AM

98. Didn't say RR was RW, but conservative.

The fact that he thought he could elicit laughs on Clinton and the intern a decade after-the-fact indicates he wasn't liberal.

When it was "news" in the Nineties, almost all comedians took a shot at Clinton or what was happening. Even commentaries were amusing. (Example: I remember "Grandpa" Al Lewis on WBAI furious about the topic and shouting on air "Can someone tell me what the big deal is about a blowjob?" and THAT by itself was pretty funny.)

My point: there have been attempts to use conservative political leanings as stand-up but they just don't get the laughs as either liberal comedians or apolitical comedians.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:33 PM

2. well, comedy is based somewhat on cruelty, so they can get that far

but true humor has a forgiving heart and a magnanimous love for the foibles and rare wisdom of humanity. A trait completely lacking in today's conservatives. They're just mean.

"comedy =tragedy+time" they don't have the patience or the understanding for the time part.

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Response to librechik (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:39 PM

6. Mocking the powerful = humor; mocking the weak = cruelty

Conservatives by their nature mock the weak.

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:59 PM

38. I think you've nailed it. nt

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:15 PM

43. +1

 

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:07 PM

61. It's part of the huge interconnection between conservatism and bullying.

In school, bullies always seemed to WANT to be funny, but could never manage it. And they always ended up going after, among others, the kids who do have a sense of humor.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:36 PM

3. Because conservatives are strange, but they're not funny.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:42 PM

11. They're "funny-odd" not "funny-haha." nt

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #11)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:09 PM

51. not to mention, funny smelling.

Look at their stances on rape and women's rights. Those topics just cannot be made into a funny skit or a joke. Whereas, a car elevator just lends itself to digs and jokes.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:36 PM

4. If a little guy kicks a big guy, it's funny

If a big guy kicks a little guy, it just seems mean.

That's why conservatives aren't funny.

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Response to htuttle (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:38 PM

5. well put.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:39 PM

7. The entertainment business as a whole is pretty liberal

 

So that's the first thing. I also suspect there are more conservatives in the business than we might think (still a fairly small number), but they are closeted for fear of not getting work because of their politics.

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Response to RZM (Reply #7)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:23 PM

29. I don't believe that to be true ...

about the entertainment business as a whole (being) pretty liberal", because the entertainment business is a business ... focused on what sells to the public. If conservative thought sold, the entertainment industry would sell it ... Period.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #29)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:25 PM

44. But conservative thought does sell

 

Quite well, actually. Fox News has been number one in cable news for a while now and many prominent conservatives write books with good sales numbers. There's also radio and any number of conservative periodicals.

There's a lot of money to be made on conservatives, which is part of the reason Fox News exists in the first place.

I really do think the messages that come out of the entertainment business have to do with the fact that so many people who produce and write it are liberal.

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Response to RZM (Reply #44)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:16 PM

65. But then why are they liberal?

The entertainment business has to be able to have people in it who are different. Conservatives don't like people being different.

For instance their inability to stay married to one person (with a few exceptions)

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Response to RZM (Reply #44)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:06 PM

81. Don't confuse conservatism with fear and hate.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #81)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:11 PM

83. Ok, but

 

Stock conservative issues/positions (lower taxes, less regulation, certain interpretations of the constitution, etc.) are featured in conservative products that sell. Those aren't really hate/fear issues. You can make money articulating that stuff just as you can make money articulating liberal positions on these same issues.

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Response to RZM (Reply #83)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:32 PM

90. My experience with 'conservatives' is that lower taxes = ...

... "I don't want my money going to black people."

The rest of those issues you mention?

Sure, they are featured. But those features aren't the main product or what sells to the average conservative riding around on his government paid hover-round screaming 'keep your government hands off my medicare.'

My car features back seat cup holders but that ain't why I purchased it.

I've known far too many so called conservatives in my day. Every one, to a tee, was, at heart, a big government loving teat-sucker. They just had a problem with anyone ELSE receiving government benefits.

I've never met a real conservative. I never met William F. Buckley - but I hear he was a racist homophobic pig too.

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Response to RZM (Reply #44)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

87. They "write books with good sales numbers"? They say that they have good numbers. Are you not

 

skeptical at all?

The numbers are whatever they say that they are. If a well-financed publisher wants to push money in the direction of an "author," and uses inflated numbers to push more money in the direction of the "author," who is going to complain? Who is ever going to be in a position to say or or say, "The numbers are bogus."

The numbers are as accurate as Enron-type accounting. They are not verified by any governmental regulator. The "authors" in many cases, and in most cases or politicial-type books, are not even the authors of the books which are commonly ghost-written.

The ghost-writers "write books with good sales numbers"? There's no way to know for sure.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:40 PM

8. No sense of humor.

 

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #8)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:55 PM

19. Conservative brains work differently.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #19)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:01 PM

20. They work?

 


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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:10 PM

23. Fart control, but they miss the humor.



--imm

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:40 PM

9. "...it's inherently unfunny. It's just mean."

That pretty much nails it.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:41 PM

10. Conservtives don't get the basic concept underlying

most humor. It's alien to them.

When the king slips and lands ass-first in a mud puddle it is funny. Why? The gap between his pretentions and the actuality of being a human being sitting in a mud puddle. The conservative is outraged at this defilement of the dignity of the king. The liberal (or peasant) finds this immensely funny because it reinforces notions of common humanity and neatly deflates the king's claim to higher status.

Comedy is about nothing if not puncturing pretentions. Us poor folks don't have many pretentions to puncture. We're too busy dodging the mud puddles we are all too familiar with.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:43 PM

36. DING DING DING! Hifiguy, you're our grand prize winner!

Comedy is about nothing if not puncturing pretensions...




rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #36)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:10 PM

40. "Are you married? Do you have any money?

Answer the second question foist."

The Marx Brothers were my introduction to the ridiculousness of the upper classes and how deeply satisfying it is to see them put in their place - part of the rabble of humanity like the rest of us.

Groucho remains one of my true heroes to this day.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:09 PM

52. exactly

you nailed it

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:12 PM

63. It's why they always had laws banning "Lese-Majeste' "(humours disrespect of monarchs)

Here's an illustration of such laws, from the Wikipedia entry on "lese-majeste' "(an illustration that ends up being funny in spite of the intentions of those who created it in eighteenth-century Britain) :

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #63)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:53 PM

75. The fart joke has a long and distinguished

history. I'd bet the ancient Egyptians were telling fart jokes. Carlin was right - farts are funny. They sound funny - even the word fart sounds funny.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:42 PM

12. But I always thought Rush Limbaugh was a Comedian

Or trying to be. He's just not funny when talking in real time.
Slow the camera down a little bit, and watch his cheeks jiggle. You'd probably crack up too.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:43 PM

13. Comedians make fun of ridiculous people, and most of these people are conservative these days.


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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:52 PM

15. Because Cruelty is not funny

period

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:52 PM

16. Perhaps their humor requires a victim?

Hadn't thought about it much, previously, but perhaps "conservative humor" would require a victim or scapegoat, and the culture at large isn't very receptive toward that sort of thing nowadays?

Huh. It's an interesting question.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:53 PM

17. It's like a roomful of flatulent people constantly breathing each other's backwind...

Their comedy is making fun of the guy who walks in and starts gasping for air and saying "OH GOD What is that smell!? How can you people live like this!!!?"

If you don't basically agree with them, there's no context for the joke. It falls flat.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:55 PM

18. because jokes against the powerful can be funny, while jokes about the powerless just aren't

Exhibit A: Dennis Miller

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #18)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:11 PM

25. Bingo!

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #18)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:15 PM

64. Exhibit B: P.J O'Rourke and the shit he published

when he took over editing the National Lampoon in the mid-1970's...racist, sexist, homophobic, poor-bashing(he always had a special fixation with single African-American mothers on welfare).

Before O'Rourke took over, the 'Poon went after Nixon and what he did to Vietnam and the country. Afterwords, it read like Rush Limbaugh on bath salts.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #64)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:56 PM

76. I dissent. The Lampoon was always about tipping over sacred cows

and then barbequeing them. After Nixon, the original target-rich comedic environment, resigned the newer generation of writers had to find something else to make fun of. I always thought O'Rourke was pretty damned funny at the 'poon until he admitted in 1980 that he was a repuke. Even a fair amount of his travel writing for Rolling Stone was pretty funny, but he completely fell off the Ayn Rand deep end in the late 1990s and hasn't written or said one funny thing since.

Hell, Michael O'Donoghue was a far blacker, crueler, and meaner writer than O'Rourke ever dreamed of being or ever could be. Mr. Mike could really make you wince and cringe as he made you laugh and wonder if you really should be laughing.

BTW, O'Rourke is a Miami of Ohio alum, just like Lyin' Ryan. Though to be fair O'Rourke also got a Master's in Englsh from Johns Hopkins.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #76)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:40 PM

93. Michael O'Donoghue truly was a genius

while O'Rourke was merely a clever fuck with his finger in the wind

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:02 PM

21. Nick DiPaolo is pretty funny

That's all I got.

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Response to five_horizons (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 09:50 PM

57. Only if you think homophobia, misogyny, and racism are funny

I don't. YMMV.

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Response to five_horizons (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:43 PM

94. Nick DiPaolo?!

He's the most unfunny piece of shit I've ever seen work a club. Just horrible. Makes Dennis Miller look like fucking Chris Rock.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:02 PM

22. You need to be able to laugh at yourself to be funny.

You need to recognize how your own beliefs are, in at least some ways, ridiculous. Conservatives are more apt to miss the detachment that leads to that understanding.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:11 PM

24. Except for puns and slapstick.....

humor has to have some basis in truth. Dennis Miller making a joke about the President being stupid isn't funny to most Americans because it doesn't have that nugget of truth at its core.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:12 PM

26. Because conservatives rely on fear and anger to get their point across.

Any attempt to put their views into comedy would just show how lame and ridiculous their thought process actually is.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:16 PM

27. Mort Sahl is the only funny conservative in existence; he must get very lonely

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Response to Tom Ripley (Reply #27)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:39 PM

47. The bio on his official site is interesting

http://www.mortsahlofficial.com/biography.html

SNIP

Mort was really rolling during the Sixties. Then, Jack Kennedy was assassinated. Jim Garrison,the New Orleans DA, found the assassination to be an inside job, and, in one of the bravest acts in recent American History, sued Clay Shaw and the CIA, and got as far as a jury trial. Many people do not know that Mort worked with Garrison as an unpaid investigator on the case. Mort was a smart man, politically and socially, involved in a very heavy, publicized case. The government planted agents inside Garrisons staff, spirited witnesses out of the state, tapped phones, and put forth a lot of effort for a case that they and their stooges in the press ridiculed.

Many among us, including educated Liberals, know that we killed Torrijos in Panama, Lumumba in Africa, Mossadeq in Iran, pushed Aristide out of Haiti. We supported the murderous Sadaam Hussein in the eighties and early nineties, knowing what and who he was. Rumsfeld even sold him the nerve gas he used on the Iranians and the Kurds. Thanks to Youtube, we have Dick Cheney stating, famously, in 1994, what a tactical mistake it would be to invade Iraq. More recently, we invaded Panama, and kidnapped the Sovereign leader of a neighboring country. Why? Because he was getting ready to spill the beans on the Bush family, Iran Contra, and cocaine trafficking. Knowing this to be true, why is it so difficult to believe that these same fascist forces of darkness would kill President Kennedy. He said "I intend to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces."

MORE


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Response to deutsey (Reply #47)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:00 PM

50. He is a very complex individual with a lightning fast wit

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Response to Tom Ripley (Reply #27)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:43 PM

73. Wouldn't classify Sahl as strictly conservative -- it's all fair game to him...

One of his best lines: "Washington couldn't tell a lie, Nixon couldn't tell the truth, and Reagan can't tell the difference."

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:21 PM

28. Here's a similar sentiment from DU-er Plaid Adder:

Last edited Mon Jun 16, 2014, 11:22 PM - Edit history (7)

...(W)hy is it that so much right-wing political humor just plain doesn't work -- even for its target audience?...I think..(it)...has to do with the basic conflict between comedy and authority...(D)isrespect for authority is the foundation of real comedy...

Mocking the powerful has the positive effect of reminding everyone that though these figures may be powerful, they are not superhuman, and can be resisted/outwitted/defied; it also has the therapeutic effect of validating the anger and pain we feel as we suffer for these people, and reminding us that in fact, it's not us, it's them.

Mocking the vulnerable is just bullying, and all it does is pander to the audience's worst instincts. Right-wing pundits in the main either don't understand this rule, or have a seriously warped understanding of who's vulnerable and who's powerful...
link

And here are some thoughts I had about Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert, and their ill-fated competition, Fox News' Half Hour News Hour:

I've come to realize that when Stewart and Colbert claim to be in the fake news business, they're faking. The method in their madness is that they simply point out how fake the REAL news is.

Last night's TDS featured a segment where CNN turned Anna Nicole Smith's "Fridge of Death" into an investigation of the contents of the CNN break room refrigerator, followed by a segment on a group who likes to swim in the northern Atlantic in the winter. The story that's supposed to be "real" news feels fake; the story that sounds like it must be fake is real. And THAT'S why we laugh--even when it's the Dems who get skewered.

The Half Hour News Hour seems to believe Stewart and Colbert are funny because they spend most of their time insulting conservatism. It tries to retaliate by insulting liberalism, but nobody's laughing -- why? It's because the Half Hour News Hour is rooted in fake news. It can't condemn liberalism without exposing its own sins, so it can't help but congeal into a cringe-inducing caricature of neocon media. I mean, where does Fox News get off poking fun of Obama's media hype when they just finished trying to destroy him with a FALSE story (the madrassah) that they STILL haven't retracted?

Right-wing humor is restricted to mocking the vulnerable because it can't mock its own power structure without holding it accountable. Left-wing humor is rooted in pointing out how dangerous, phony, hypocritical, immoral, or just plain illegal the inherent authoritarianism of conservatism is. And while that may present a problem for "professional" political comedians, we "amateurs" are doing just fine!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #28)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:26 PM

89. So true.

Mocking authority is what left wing comics excel at and it is what makes them funny. I laugh the hardest watching the Daily Show when Jon Stewart simply puts some clips of the news together. It is irony, something the Repub so called comics don't get. They take themselves way too seriously and just don't get it. They don't get Colbert and that he is essentially mocking the idea of what a conservative is.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:26 PM

30. They're not funny because they can't laugh at themselves.

For the most part, that's a core of comedy. Being able to see the humor in our daily lives and beliefs.

Conservatives just mock other people. Which gets old and worn out really fast.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:28 PM

31. Stupid people don't understand dry humor and sarcasm

Animals think
They're pretty smart
But they don't even know
What a joke is
--Talking Heads, Fear of Music, 1980

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:30 PM

32. much comedy involves being able to think in parallel tracks in real time.

much of comedy involves telling a (possibly very brief) story where social norms lead the audience to expect a certain, familiar conclusion, and then the comedian throws in a curveball and takes it in a surprising direction. done properly, this violation of social norms can be not only humerous, but an interesting commentary on our social conventions.


the modern right-wing has become based on strict loyalty to official catch-phrases and code words. there's ZERO empathy or tolerance for competing views, which amount to blasphemy or betrayal.


the i'm-right-you're-evil mindset doesn't lend itself to exploring grey areas and getting the audience expecting to go one way then taken another.


so, sure, they can have their go at weak, base humor like making joke about obama being a muslim or something. or self-depricating jokes about being of a certain religion or being a redneck or whatever.

so the kind of routine that really gets you going for a full set, an hbo special, that sort of thing, well, right-wingers just don't seem to be good at it.

they're much better at anger, which usually doesn't work well for comedians (don rickles has a good run with it, though i never cared for him; and to some extent lewis black, although he seems to have too much fun with it....)

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Response to unblock (Reply #32)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:24 PM

68. You've made another good point there...the roots of comedy are unpredictability & surprise

and conservatives don't approve of either. They can't handle hearing anything they didn't expect to hear in advance.

It's why Bob Hope's comedy was basically zombified after the late Fifties or so.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:32 PM

33. Becasuse they're only funny in the head

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:39 PM

34. "Republicans don't have a sense of humor--

--they have a mean streak, and think it is the same thing."

Read somewhere years ago, but don't recall who deserves credit!

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Response to alterfurz (Reply #34)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:17 PM

54. That's a good one. nt

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Response to alterfurz (Reply #34)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:37 PM

92. See: Mit Romney....

.... gay basher, cop impersonator, running a blind man in to a door jamb and dog torturer - all for 'good fun.'

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:42 PM

35. stupid isn't funny

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:47 PM

37. Hate and fear (which largely make up the conservative "DNA") just doesn't translate into humor

Jon Stewart can occasionally point out (and poke fun at) at foibles by the left but most people on the left just don't say or do a lot of outright dumb and/or ridiculous stuff for the Dennis Millers of the world to gin up the joke factory with.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:07 PM

39. 10-15 years ago Dennis Miller was some what funny,

I recently watched his last comedy concert and it was just an embarrassment of non funny. Other than Miller I can't even think of any other right wing comics.

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Response to OverBurn (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:13 PM

42. When I first heard about his Monday Night Football gig

I asked, "Madonna wasn't available?"


rocktivity

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Response to OverBurn (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:30 PM

45. I enjoyed Miller back in the 80s and 90s

 

I caught a bit of his most recent stand-up routine and I agree it was really bad. But that kind of thing isn't all that uncommon either. Relatively few entertainers can sustain a winning streak for decades at a time. Some can, but most can't. Eventually you run out of steam.

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Response to OverBurn (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:20 PM

66. I never thought he was

When he was on SNL other people were writing his material and even then I didn't think he was funny. When he started doing stand up his material was either largely stolen or simply recycled material like the French stink or marriage/toilet seat jokes. When he decided he was a conservative his shit just got that much more unfunny.

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Response to OverBurn (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:44 PM

95. Way back in his early SNL days he was great.

Something broke.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #95)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:14 AM

96. I watched SNL religiously back then... He wasn't that great

Even when he was spouting somewhat more liberal jokes, the smug look on his face, and his incessant need to show how smarter he was than you with the 5 minutes dissertations that referenced everything from, "War and Peace," to Hitchcock movies just was too much. Being the Weekend Update anchor at least forced him to try and keep things a little shorter, but other than that, no one ever used him in any of the other sketches, and apparently if he wrote any sketches, they didn't get used (since the comedians mainly write skits for themselves to be the stars in) because all he could do was Dennis Miller/Smarmy-Jackass-Who's-Full-of-Himself. I remember one skit he was in, and he was playing a teenage son in a dysfunctional family at Christmas, and it was just painful to see him attempt to "broaden" himself and "act." Even when he gets bit parts in movies - I'm thinking stuff like, "Joe Dirt," - his character is just him. Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz could disappear into their roles, especially when they were fast-talking 1940s archetypes (this is gonna be the way it is, see?). Hell, once, on Weekend Update, they had a special correspondent who was Dennis Miller, played by Dana Carvey, and he nailed the Miller character perfectly.

I listen to a comedy radio station, and they play him every now and then. There was one time that he stepped outside himself and told a touching and humorous story about getting to bring his mother to a private dinner with Frank Sinatra and how gracious he was. Otherwise, it's just his talking about, "how we need to take those cats in the Middle-East out, cha-cha."

TlalocW

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:33 PM

46. There are actually a lot of them

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, George Bush, the list of Republican comedians is a long one.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:40 PM

48. They are only funny when they are serious?

And then it is not funny "haha," it's funny in the head!

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:55 PM

49. But that "American Carol" was soooooo funny!!!

 

I mean, the main guy, he was FAT! Isn't that funny!!! And guess what? He liked to eat! Food! Cuz he's FAT!!!! Haw haw haw!

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Response to Taverner (Reply #49)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 09:57 PM

58. Hey!

The four people who actually saw it loved it!

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Response to Taverner (Reply #49)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:33 PM

70. I actually watched this turd, and if it's funny to anyone, then I'm an Albanian aviator. ;>))

No offense to any Albanians, of course.

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Response to VOX (Reply #70)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

88. What's that you say? Albanian Vibrator?

 

Sorry - I couldn't resist

No offense to any Albanians or Vibrators

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:11 PM

53. Because conservatives have a hard time laughing at themsleves

It would mean self evalution, and that is the last thing rightwingers want to do.

You can't laugh at yourself when you think your 100% correct at all times.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:18 PM

55. b/c punching down is never funny, also...

humility is necessary for comics to succeed, and that's something that RW'ers lack.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 09:33 PM

56. Great humour punches through to truths. Republicans are liars, selfish or patsies or pawns.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:05 PM

59. There's too much rage and fear in the right-wing mindset these days to produce actual comedy

Also, to be able to get laughs about the other side in politics, you also have to be able to laugh at yourself, and conservatives these days refuse to accept that anything they do can ever be mistaken or absurd. When you believe your viewpoint to be infallible, you don't have the internal space in which to see humor.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:27 PM

69. The greatest comics have always been observers who are outside of the mainstream power structure...

And they comment on social ills and inequities from the outsider's point of view. Not surprisingly, many of them happen to be something other than WASPs, and their frequent targets are the wealthy, the powerful, the privileged and of some "higher" social status:

W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, Godfrey Cambridge, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters -- just a quick short list of outsiders who specialized in sticking it to the powerful. (I'm sure I've left off some great ones.)

Same applies to the best humorist/writers: S.J. Perelman, George S. Kaufman, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, etc.

One would be hard-pressed to find even ONE successful conservative/rich/right-wing comic or humorist. And no, Dennis Miller isn't funny.

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Response to VOX (Reply #69)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:46 PM

74. This is the correct answer

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:35 PM

71. The rise of anti-PC humor makes it unnecessary

Many of the major successful comedians, particularly those successful with younger crowds, specialize in racial and sexual humor that isn't exactly liberal in nature or target. Daniel Tosh, for example, is highly successful, and I'd be highly pressed to call his humor liberal in nature. With the rise of the Internet, there is also a rise in a kind of anti-social "inappropriate" humor, where the comedy is generated by comedians saying things they're not supposed to say.

I happen to love inappropriate humor. The more inappropriate it is, the better I like it. My friends (in their 20s and 30s) also latch onto it as a matter of course.

I would never ever ever post it on a place like DU. People would be outraged by the content.

I don't find liberal vs conservative a good yardstick to measure humor or comedy by. The measurement is always "What is socially acceptable and what is not." The comedians who violate what is not supposed to be said tend to find more success with younger generations. If society's prevailing sentiments are liberal (as I believe they now are), anti-PC humor will find a niche just as it has. When society's prevailing cultural standards were more conservative, you had a lot of liberal comedians puncturing those sensibilities.

It ebbs and flows, but I don't think political labels apply. And humor is, as always, subjective. I don't find political humor totally hilarious like many people around here do. I'm not a partisan, so oftentimes what gets posted on DU as the funniest thing ever often seems to me like an applause line (a "joke" that isn't really funny, but which reinforces a pre-existing political belief and is thus considered good). I find applause lines the laziest and least entertaining forms of humor. It's why I don't get, say, Margaret Cho, while many of my LGBT friends worship her. She's just parroting their beliefs back at them, which is fine, but I don't think she's actually funny or creative or even particularly clever. She bores the ever-lovin' out of me.

But, YMMV.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 10:36 PM

72. You have to be smart to have a sense of humor n/t

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:00 PM

77. Dennis Miller. That's why. Nt.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #77)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:01 PM

78. You took the words out of my mouth, exactly. n/t

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:03 PM

80. Because they can't sense irony.

Methinks.

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Response to Snarkoleptic (Reply #80)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:48 PM

99. Good point. A great illustration of that was Dubya's statement that 9/11 was "the end of irony".

How could he say that when the security and defense apparatus of the strongest and most heavily-armed nation on the whole freaking planet was defeated by 19 guys with box-cutters?

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:12 PM

84. Because racism, sexism, and homophobia just aren't funny.

Those are their core principles. They make fun of people that stick up for people's rights and call them hateful names. That is what passes for humor if you are a conservative.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:14 PM

85. There are lots of them

Unfortunately their irony is too subtle so people elect them to office. After that happens they realize they've got a good thing going and hush up about how their schtick is just a big joke.

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Response to Telly Savalas (Reply #85)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:50 AM

97. Maybe Glenn Beck the drama queen, part-time comedian should run for office.

Historical biographers will look back and marvel at Glenn Beck. Probably will compare him to the olde-time snake oil peddlers who went around with the traveling circuses.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:16 PM

86. It's hard for the punchline of a joke, to actually make a joke.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 11:35 PM

91. Example from FB today



He's right. They're just mean. That's not funny. It just shows how self centered they are and how vengeful against those who disagree with them.

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