If Anyone Wants to Make a Conservative Daily Show, I am Available for Writing Duties

A very insightful article from The Atlantic (and a surprisingly even-handed one coming from a liberal-leaning publication) about why American comedy tends to lean left:

So if philosophy isn’t preventing conservative comedy from flourishing, what is? Structural, demographic, and financial issues.

Successful comics often rise up out of thriving, crowded standup scenes, which tend to mainly exist in urban areas. Jon Stewart, for instance, spent five years in the New York City comedy world before landing a show on TV. Big cities tend to be liberal, and it stands to reason that so would be the people who attend comedy clubs in them. Funny urbanites who are conservative may decide that there just isn’t much of a market for their political material. One comedian who I was referred to declined to be interviewed because, the comedian said, the conservative label, “has never been good to me.”

Similar impediments exist in the entertainment industry, which has a not-undeserved reputation for being run mainly by liberals. “People always ask why there aren’t a lot of really big conservative comedians but I think the deck is stacked against that and I doubt it will ever happen in my lifetime,” Nick Dipaolo told The Daily Caller, mentioning that he suspected that his politics were why HBO wouldn’t air a recent hour-long special he taped. There just aren’t many outlets for conservative comics. The feeling, as Stephen Kruiser writes on Breitbart, is that “most liberals in the entertainment industry expose themselves to conservatives about as readily as they would a leper colony.”

The deck is stacked against conservative comedians to begin with, and now they find themselves in a position where instead of attacking, they’re only counter-punching liberal comedy institutions. It’s not a recipe for good comedy just to say we need a conservative version of existing comedic vehicles like The Daily Show or The Onion. If comedy isn’t fresh and innovative, then it’s just your Uncle Ned saying “Hashtag” before every sentence and thinking it’s hilarious.

It’s also tough to be funny when your explicitly trying to deliver a political message. There’s nothing more cringe-inducing than a political candidate trying to work a joke into his stump speech. That’s what you get when a political message is higher priority than bringing the funny.

I’ve mentioned before that Christian musicians would help their cause not by making more Christian music, but just by making better music. In the same way, conservatives would help their cause not by making more conservative comedy, but just by making better comedy. If you’re conservative and funny, you don’t have to tell people you’re conservative with every punch line. Just be yourself and let the conservative perspective show through subtly. It’ll be obvious enough when you’re not just exactly like every other comedian.

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