Driving to work today I heard about how Jon Stewart single handedly got republicans to finally give 9/11 first responders health care, after almost a decade of telling them no. I was thinking how great it was that we have guys like Stewart and the republicans have people like Rush Limbaugh , then it hit me: conservatives don’t really have any political comedians. Why is that?
Conservatives rule the radio waves and utterly fail when it comes to comedy. Liberals fail on the radio, but are the kings of comedy. Why is that? Why is it that the format of radio works better for conservatives whereas the format of comedy and satire work best for liberals?
I think the answer is obvious, short, and blunt: Conservatives are blow-hards.
Ya, ya, not all conservatives are blow-hards. I know plenty who are very nice people, but as a general rule, the majority of them have a stick up their ass and are so authoritarian they don’t understand satire. The format of an overweight pill popping bigot screaming into his microphone about gays, feminists, blacks, and the ALCU straight to an eager audience of drones waiting for instructions works perfectly for the conservative message of conformity, order, and respect for authority. It doesn’t work so well for people who are trying to step back from the world and examine the absurdity of what’s happening.
Political humor is great for that, for taking deadly serious issues and pulling us out of that serious mindset so we can really see what’s going on. Stopping, thinking, and making jokes at authority’s expense is antithetical to the conservative mindset of “march in line.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there are no conservatives who are comedians, being conservative doesn’t prevent you from having a sense of humor, but there aren’t any conservative political comedians. I think being a conservative comedian really limits your act as well. If you’re conservative, you’re probably also concerned about the “family image” and thus tend to keep your act on child friendly topics. Conservative comedians tend to avoid not only politics, but issues like sex and religion. Sure you can still be funny without mentioning those topics, but it really cuts out a huge chunk of what it is to be an adult. Sex, politics, religion, and swearing are adult issues. Adults want to hear things that are relevant to their lives. We get coddled and sheltered as children; part of being an adult is coming to terms with those issues and dealing with them. I can’t help but feel that the conservatives who are made uneasy by such things are stuck in an immature state.
Instead of trying to elaborate further, I think it’s only appropriate to let a comedian get my point across. Here’s Lewis Black on conservatives and humor: