5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

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5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby SandTea » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:51 am

Written by Seanbaby.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-awful-but-revealing-examples-conservative-comedy/

I'm betting that it's because no one here frequents Cracked anymore that that is the reason the article hassn't been posted yet so I figured I'd throw some chum in the water to see what folks think. Interesting? True? Fake news!!!!?

First paragraph of intro-
article wrote:A lot of people aren't very familiar with conservative comedy. That's because it's usually indistinguishable from ordinary racism or belligerence, but there are conservatives out there trying to be funny. This is an article about how and why it never works. Conservative politics are fine for squeezing a couple extra years of activity out of an incurious elderly brain, but they're not a great inspiration for art.


I thoroughly enjoyed it but I assumed the consensus here would be, more or less, that the article was wrong about everything.

Any thoughts or comments more in depth than the comments on the article from the persistent... people who always disagree?
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby JamishT » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:14 am

The only one on that list I'm familiar with is Ben Garrison, but that's mainly because of the NeverTrumpers on my Twitter feed holding him and his political cartoons as examples of how not to be.

I'm more familiar with Christian comedy, which a similar animal. Complaints about "Hollywood" keeping them down, making fun of literally anything "liberals" are for, and just being super hacky in general. Some are actually good, like John Crist and Bob Smiley (although it's been a long time since I've seen anything from him, so maybe he doesn't actually hold up). Christian comics are also pressured to have their act have a "message", because...that's just what Christians do, IDK. It's also why Christian movies are so preachy.

I also think about Blue Collar Comedy, like Jeff Foxworthy, Larry The Cable Guy (ugh), and others. I'm surprised that Seanbaby didn't swing at them.

I think the reason that "Conservative comics" don't work is because unlike the Blue Collar Comics, they are attempting to appeal to conservatives by constantly roasting their "enemies" rather than roasting their own side and throwing in some barbs against "the libs".

I have more thoughts, but I'm having trouble putting them together (obviously).
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby cmsellers » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:52 am

Seanbaby's article had a few laughs but was mostly not funny after the first section, which is unforgiveable for a Seanbaby article. Seanbaby is not trying to understand conservative humor, he is only mocking it. Which would be fine if it had been funny all the way through.

One point that particularly stood out to me was his contention that conservatives often treat the truth they way they treat taxes and talking about sex. And this is certainly true of a good many conservatives. I mean, look at how "Conservapedia" was created to enforce evangelical dogmas over objective facts; look at all those polls of the bullshit things Trump supporters actually believe.

However liberals also very often hold beliefs based on alternative facts. I have noticed John Oliver say something wrong that feels right to his audience in order to get laughs several times, and I can name several issues on which most liberals hold strong beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. GMOs, nuclear power, and "alternative medicine" are probably being the least controversial ones to mention on TCS.

For some reason conservative media outlets rarely call liberal figures on issues where they are actually wrong, preferring fights over global warming and trans people in the bathroom, which might indeed suggest that conservatives are less likely to care about the truth than liberals are. However given that polls on false beliefs I have seen only look at issues where conservatives are wrong and nonpartisan silliness like ghosts, I have no way of saying if conservatives are actually worse with respect to the truth than liberals are. And I have some theories of my own about what makes conservative "humor" different from the regular kind.

Speaking as a libertarian, I have literally never seen a conservative making a joke about politics that I thought was funny, while I have seen liberals make jokes where I laughed and got pissed at the premise at the same time. I have noticed at least four major differences between conservative comedy and normal comedy.

1. The first and most obvious thing I have noticed is that conservatives like old, unadventurous jokes, and will tell many slight variations on the same joke. However liberals and libertarians are more likely to like adventurous, often risky jokes.

2. The second thing that I have noticed is that conservative comedy is very heavy on hyperbole, while normal comedy tends more towards irony. So a liberal and conservative could both say "Obama was so incompetent that he did nothing during Hurricane Katrina" and find it amusing. The conservative would find it funny because it is a hyperbolic expression of how incompetent Obama was, while a liberal (or libertarian) would find it funny because it demonstrates the tendency conservatives had to blame Obama for everything.

3. The third thing that I have noticed I think that conservative humor tends to draw on stereotypes much more than liberal humor does, which requires you to share those stereotypes. In this it reminds me of those jokes John Oliver makes about Americans not knowing geography: the target audience finds it funny, but since I do not share the same premise it just pisses me off. However most liberals seem to mix stereotype-based jokes with other jokes as a seasoning, while it seems to be the bread-and-butter of conservative humor.

One of the most common examples is that I see of a conservative "joke" is some riff on how much Democrats spend and increase the deficit. Since Republicans do both of those more, I find those jokes really annoying. But at least one—the song "Obama Budget Plan" by singer Ray Stevens, who has shown himself capable of being funny in his apolitical songs—has such entertaining visuals in the music video that I can see how it might be funny if I shared his (objectively wrong) premise that Obama is a uniquely spendthrift president.

4. Finally, it seems like liberal comedians skewer their own side often and for a variety of reasons, while conservative comedians rarely mock their own side and when they do it is essentially a rehash of the "stupid party and evil party" meme. The only time I see conservative comedians mock their own side is for compromising, which they always seem to treat as a complete capitulation to the other side. Given their love of hyperbole, I can never tell how serious any given conservative comedian is in this respect.



Do 'all remember the video above? It seems clear to me who the authors supported, since the treatment of W is considerably more scathing than the criticism of Kerry. However the fact that they are mocking both sides to some degree makes it come across as a light-hearted attempt at humor. And I notice a similar thing in a lot of Onion articles. But with its love of hyperbole and stereotypes and rejection of self-criticism and compromise, conservative humor feels to me as a non-conservative more like rage-filled rants. Sort of like the Seanbaby article critiquing it, only all the time and without making me smile even once.
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby Krashlia » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:19 am

JamishT wrote:....
I'm more familiar with Christian comedy, which a similar animal. Complaints about "Hollywood" keeping them down, making fun of literally anything "liberals" are for, and just being super hacky in general. Some are actually good, like John Crist and Bob Smiley (although it's been a long time since I've seen anything from him, so maybe he doesn't actually hold up). Christian comics are also pressured to have their act have a "message", because...that's just what Christians do, IDK. It's also why Christian movies are so preachy.
....


I will probably find myself in vehement opposition to Cracked's article. But, related to JamesT's theory, I think another issue with Christian comedy and comics is that they have done something detrimental to themselves or to Christianity: Its a niche. They made their comedy part of a niche brand.
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby IamNotCreepy » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:41 pm

JamishT wrote:I'm more familiar with Christian comedy, which a similar animal. Complaints about "Hollywood" keeping them down, making fun of literally anything "liberals" are for, and just being super hacky in general. Some are actually good, like John Crist and Bob Smiley (although it's been a long time since I've seen anything from him, so maybe he doesn't actually hold up). Christian comics are also pressured to have their act have a "message", because...that's just what Christians do, IDK. It's also why Christian movies are so preachy.


John Crist is hilarious, and the reason for that is that he makes fun of people on his own side. He does a dead-on impression of church people, and he uses that to point out irony and inconsistencies in the way Christians act.

Babylon Bee (basically the Christian version of the Onion) is really only funny when it skewers Christian cultures and hypocrisy. When it tries to attack liberals, it just falls flat.
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby NathanLoiselle » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:19 pm

I disagree with your assessment that I'll disagree with it purely because it's on Cracked. I disagree with it because it is on Cracked and written by Seanbaby.
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby Crimson847 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:14 am

My experience has been that explicitly ideological comedy is pretty bad regardless of who's doing it. You can be a liberal who does political comedy and be funny, but you can't make a show explicitly to promote liberalism and be funny. The same applies to conservatives: you can be a conservative comedian who is funny, but you really can't do a "conservative comedy show" and be funny.

I'm pretty sure the reason is that being funny requires the ability to laugh at yourself, otherwise you just come off as a jerk who likes to say mean things about people. You can't laugh at yourself if you're blind to all your own flaws, and ideologues are blind to flaws in their ideology more or less by definition.
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:33 am

I mean, there are a lot of factors at play here: The notion of punching down, differing sociocultural responses to Authoritarian ethos, people who have an interest in politics tending to be more polarized, etc.

Basically, this article.
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Re: 5 Awful (But Revealing) Examples Of Conservative Comedy

Postby Krashlia » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:47 am

Crimson847 wrote:My experience has been that explicitly ideological comedy is pretty bad regardless of who's doing it. You can be a liberal who does political comedy and be funny, but you can't make a show explicitly to promote liberalism and be funny. The same applies to conservatives: you can be a conservative comedian who is funny, but you really can't do a "conservative comedy show" and be funny.
.


Conservatives can be found trying to do the latter more often.
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