Frank Rich’s recent piece in The New York Times, ‘Can Conservatives Be Funny?’, comes to a shocking conclusion: no. Liberals ask this question on a regular basis because they treat conservatives like zoo animals they don’t quite understand. Rich’s five page effort says less about comedy rooted in conservatism and more about him as a man pathetically seeped in his own ideological narcissism. He casts himself as a political Darwin, who goes to the a conservative version of the Galapagos Islands and concludes that the finches are not funny.
Here’s the Frank Rich scientific method at work:
The right, like the left, has a habit of overplaying the victim card. Given that there are many out A-list Republicans in Hollywood, from Rupert Murdoch to Clint Eastwood to David Mamet to Adam Sandler, it would seem that all the paranoia about left-wing McCarthyism is unfounded.
Got that? Because Clint Eastwood and Adam Sandler exist, Hollywood’s heavy-hitters don’t make it abundantly clear that outspoken conservatives aren’t welcome. Eastwood is an old man who doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks at this stage of his life and Adam Sandler may be a Republican, but have you ever heard on a single talk show talking about? Good one, Mr. Rich.
Let’s run down the bulk of Mr. Rich’s list:
Dennis Miller: Too preachy. Not funny.
Jeff Foxworthy: Not preachy enough. He jokes about domestic life. He’s part of a “declining niche.” Not funny.
Greg Gutfeld: Obsessed with old men from the 70s. Not funny.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone: Not conservative. They don’t count.
Jeff Dunham: He makes “encoded” jokes about Jews ruining Christmas. Not funny.
Nick DiPaolo: His jokes are innocuous. Not funny.
Larry the Cable Guy: He had a few one-liners. Not funny.
Michael Loftus: He has a new show coming out and seems funny…put it probably won’t be funny.
I’ve said for ages that Greg Gutfeld is funny, saying in 2010 that if he was a video game character he’d be Bionic Commando to Mark Steyn’s Mega Man. Howard Stern (a very funny guy) agrees with me:
On his Tuesday SiriusXM radio show, shock jock Howard Stern admitted his admiration for Fox News Channel’s “The Five” and particular for show co-host Greg Gutfeld: “I love it,” Stern said. “Greg [Gutfeld], I think, is very funny. He’s a pretty conservative guy, but that doesn’t bother me because he’s very funny.”
He even said Gutfeld should replace David Letterman. As we all know, the gig went to Colbert…
Who do you trust on Gutfeld’s comedic chops: Frank Rich of the New York Times of Howard Stern? I think I’ll go with the King of All Media.
The thing is, most comedians aren’t primarily political like Bill Maher or Jon Stewart — they just want to be funny. And some really good comedians have conservative streaks in them, even if they don’t want to admit it. Remember when Jerry Seinfeld took down the liberal racial bean counters of comedy?
Buzzfeed Editor Editor Peter Lauria: I have noticed that most of the guests are mostly white males. Of 22 episodes you’ve had —
Seinfeld: Yeah, let’s get into that. Take a look over here, Peter. What do you see? A lot of whiteys! What’s going on here?!
Oh, this really pisses me off. This really pisses me off, but go ahead. […] There were a lot of things about ‘Comedians and Cars’ from the very beginning — the first ten I did were all white males and people were writing all about that. People think it’s the census or something. It’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that, but everyone else is kind of calculating ‘Is this the exact right mix?’ To me it’s anti-comedy. It’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC nonsense than “Are you making us laugh or not?”
If Seinfeld wanted, I’m sure he could write a ten-minute sketch on people who are obsessed with race…but as far as I know he hasn’t done that. Why not? I guess I shouldn’t ask that question because Clint Eastwood and Adam Sandler are alive and well, right Mr. Rich?
Was George Carlin conservative? No. But he definitely had some conservative streaks in him. Remember when he took liberal environmentalists to the intellectual woodshed? I do.
“See, I’m not one of these people whose worried about everything. … Let me tell you about endangered species, all right. Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It’s arrogant meddling. It’s what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn’t anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90 percent — over, way over — 90 percent of the species that have ever lived on this planet — ever lived — are gone. They’re extinct. We didn’t kill them all. They just disappeared. That’s what nature does.
They disappear these days at the rate of 25 a day. … Let them go gracefully. Leave nature alone. Haven’t we done enough? We’re so self-important. So self important. … And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? … We’re going to save the fucking planet? I’m getting tired of that shit. … I’m tried of these self-righteous environmentalists. These white bourgeoisie liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. … Environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. … Do you know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that someday in the future they might be inconvenienced. Narrow unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.”
Interesting, isn’t it? Does Frank Rich know anything about stand-up comedy, or does he only know about the comedians referenced in his Entertainment Weekly magazine that he reads on the toilet?
Louis CK is a pretty funny guy and, while he’s not conservative, it can be argued that he has conservative streaks in him. Watch his stand-up; intermixed between sex jokes and self-loathing there is plenty of social commentary conservatives can crack a smile at. Or…just turn on David Letterman and watch him rip Common Core to shreds.
In his appearance with Letterman, Louis said it’s good when his daughters face challenging test questions. “I’m there for [my kids] in those moments. I say, ‘Come on, look at the problem. And then I look at the problem and it’s like, ‘Bill has three goldfish. He buys two more. How many dogs live in London?’” … Louis said he doesn’t blame the teachers — he blames the people who write the tests: “nobody knows who they are . . . it’s very secretive,” he said.
Actually, we do know who writes the tests, Louis. They’re often weird liberal nutcase professors from New Hampshire.
Campus Reform reported May 22:
A teacher told attendees at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Monday night that he helped write the controversial Common Core education standards to end white privilege.
Dr. David Pook, a professor at Granite State College and chair of the History department at The Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire, argued in favor of Common Core.
“The reason why I helped write the standards and the reason why I am here today is that as a white male in society I am given a lot of privilege that I didn’t earn.”
Someone get Louis CK on the phone and let him know that we do know the type of person who is making his children hate math, and they’re men like Frank Rich. Perhaps then Louis CK can call Mr. Rich and talk about how he should be writing New York Times pieces on Common Core’s problems instead of exercises in intellectual masturbation that cast all conservatives as unfunny white men.
There are plenty of reasons why very funny conservatives don’t get into comedy for a living, but you won’t find the reasons for it in the New York Times. Some of the funniest guys I know are conservatives, but they tend to go into other professions. And unlike successful comedians like Aziz Ansari, they don’t think child molestation jokes are funny.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some George Carlin to watch. He spends eight minutes mocking men like Frank Rich. Watch it if you’re in the mood for a laugh.