A question: Why aren’t there popular conservative comedians?
It’s a question that nagged me while watching the video sweeping the InterWebs today…
Stephen Colbert, a liberal playing a conservative, has plenty of material on a nightly basis, but conservative politicians aren’t the only ones saying stupid things that are good for comedy.
This is a situation, actually, that has had some study. At this year’s South by Southwest, one panel, moderated by Alf LaMont of LA’s Comedy store, considered it:
Even while prepping for the panel it had become clear to me that the available resources for political humor were, by a huge margin, a ridiculously huge margin, leftist. My desire to be an evenhanded moderator was hindered by my lack of access to comedy or comedians who self-identified as right leaning. Regardless of how deep online I searched, there was little in the way of “Right-Wing comedy” that made any sort of mark on the political spectrum. Not in the enormous ways that Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have been making waves, by tying satire to genuine political action. At best, right wing comedy seemed to be relegated to the notorious conservative radio talk show circuit, where pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter gently dip their toe into satire from time to time and Dennis Miller holds court as the sole comedian who will dive into conservative politics exclusively.
An academic to whom he turned, acknowledged there’s not been scholarly research on the questions, though he theorized that the economics dictate that comedians appeal “to the downtrodden masses.”
Comedian Stephen Kruiser, writing at Breitbart, didn’t think that was all that funny.
The other part of the reality is this: most liberals in the entertainment industry expose themselves to conservatives about as readily as they would a leper colony. The only conservatives they know are politicians on TV and their great-uncle Cedrick. They assume we’re all book-burning freaks who sit around comparing scowls on those rare occasions when we take breaks from THE WAR ON WOMEN.
The caricature conservatives they know in their heads couldn’t possibly be funny, therefore none of them could ever really exist in the world of comedy.
Today, the BBC presented an interview with Alison Dagnes, author of A Conservative Walks Into A Bar: The Politics of Humour, who says comedy is anti-establishment, “and that is firmly in the liberals’ wheelhouse.”
“Conservatives are not funny. I’m being brutally objective here,” comedian Dean Obeidallah, told CNN a few months ago, while refusing to say why “conservatives struggle so horribly when trying to be funny.”
“To be a conservative comic you’re going to poke fun at feminists and gays — politically incorrect stuff — but it is just too taboo these days,” comedian Nick Di Paolo told the Daily Caller. For the last few years the media has just gotten so politically correct, and I mean it’s not just the news. It is throughout the media. Just look at how white heterosexual men are portrayed as compared to women and minorities. And that is why I don’t think you are ever going to see a conservative comic as famous as Jon Stewart on the right. As Colin Quinn says, ‘it’s so big it’s not a conspiracy.’