Not Funny

This is a never ending problem, isn’t it?

Around 200 people walked out of Amy Schumer‘s show in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday when she called Donald Trump a “orange, sexual-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The paper claimed Schumer was met with loud booing about halfway through the show when her jokes switched from raunchy topics to more topical matters, including gun control and the upcoming presidential election.

Artists, actors, writers, comedians – and I use those terms charitably – of a left-wing bent cannot resist the temptation to use their popularity as a platform to sound off on politics.  The result is usually tedious in the extreme.  Take this by way of example:

During her show, she asked a Trump supporter to join her up on stage so he could explain why he was voting for the GOP candidate. The audience member responded that he was voting for Trump mainly because he didn’t trust his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

People paid money to go to a comedy show and found themselves in a political Q&A session.  No wonder there was booing.

This comes from living in a bubble.  I am sure Schumer’s hilarious jokes about Trump go down a storm among some audiences, i.e. those who share her politics to the letter.  They then take their show to the wider world and find nobody is laughing.  I remember when Chris Rock first burst onto the scene with Bring the Pain, which was fresh, pithy, and hilariously funny mainly because he was providing an insight into black American culture that had never been described in such terms before.  Fast forward a few years and he’s on stage saying “Barack Obama!  Barack Obama!” and his audience is going wild.  This isn’t comedy it’s politics, and it only works if your audience shares your political view.

Not that you can’t make money out of it.  John Oliver seems to do extremely well out of telling sophisticated, educated Europeans and Democrat-voting Americans how thick Americans are.  But he’s preaching to the converted: they’re not laughing because he’s funny, they’re laughing because he is telling them what they want to hear and allows them to feel smugly superior.  A decent joke shouldn’t depend on who you want to win an election.

I don’t know if right-wing comedians do the same.  I expect they do, but they don’t get allotted the same airtime on the likes of the BBC and regular columns in newspapers.  I also expect right-wing comedians would be hounded out of the studio by a baying mob of the Permanently Outraged if they broached any subject which was even remotely controversial, i.e. immigration.  I suspect a lot of this has to do with state funding, with any budding artist or comedian needing to pass a strict political test before being commissioned.

If this keeps up, the arts in the west is going to look like that of Enver Hoxha’s Albania after a decade or two.

Share

15 thoughts on “Not Funny

  1. The Joke by Milan Kundera seems to have as much resonance today as it did in cold war eastern Europe.

  2. Pingback: Samizdata quote of the day « Samizdata

  3. A few years ago, I was half-heartedly listening to Radio 4’s Loose Ends programme – a sort of whimsical revue of chat, music and substandard, generally left-of-centre comedy. The generic leftwing comedian of the week (whose name I didn’t catch) was amused by the taboos surrounding immigration and multiculturalism. A disdain for the unsophisticated views of many working-class people was quite strongly implied, and of course chuckled at. The gist of the comedian’s punch line was, “Isn’t it hilarious that people who have concerns about immigration and assimilation now have to be quiet because otherwise they’ll be called racists and possibly lose their jobs. Ha! We won!” This triumphal non-joke was deemed terribly amusing and much mannered clapping ensued.

    Of course this was aired before our age of migrant rape gangs and the uncovering of events in Rotherham.

  4. Left wing ‘comedy’ is almost entirely based on self-deprecation about sharing the stuff of their pointless lives that you don’t care about, or by trying to rouse the rabble. I blame Ben Elton (among others) for getting some sort of laugh by shouting “Fatcha!” into microphone in the 80s and then beaming about it like he had cracked the core of what makes a comedian into a legend.

    One way or another these sort of performances have become a laugh-free zone. It may be correct and state-approved but it is dull, dire and utterly forgettable. Still, I bet Schumer was paid for her disastrously unfunny evening and is probably laughing all the way to the bank.

  5. I blame Ben Elton (among others) for getting some sort of laugh by shouting “Fatcha!” into microphone in the 80s and then beaming about it like he had cracked the core of what makes a comedian into a legend.

    Yes, I was thinking about Ben Elton when I was writing about John Oliver, who seems to have inherited Elton’s mantle. Although I hear Ben Elton now lives in Australia: what the poor buggers down there did to deserve him I don’t know!

  6. If all this leftist bullshit from performing artists stayed on the stage like the adorable and body beautiful Amy doesmyarselookbiginthis then I could rest easy. But what really, and I mean really gets up my tits is the recent phenomenon of comedians in particular being asked their views on serious matters as if they are some sort of font of professional knowledge and expertise when in reality they are a bunch of berks with physiological problems who stand up on stage in a desperate attempt to get people to like them.

    Here in sunny socialist Australia there is an ABC program called Q&A, a Monday night discussion panel on the serious political topics of the day before a live audience. It is routinely stacked 5 to 1 for the lefties and they always, and I mean always have a fucking comedian on there. Lately with the looming of the gay plebiscite we’ve been inundated with fat ugly lesbian “comedians” having a good cry at the injustice of it all and how awful the rest of us are for daring to want to have a vote on whether or not we destroy the institution of marriage.

  7. The last “rightwing”comedian i remember was Jim Davidson i am almost sure he did not appear on any radio 4 panel game shows and to a certain extent Billy Connolly his live standup performance after 9/11 was something to behold i am amazed he didn’t have a Fatwa placed on him.

  8. @ marc,

    The problem I had with Jim Davidson is he wasn’t funny. Billy Connolly I’ve always regarded as one of the funniest, finest comedians of all time.

  9. You are right about Jim Davidson nick nick but he did do his bit entertaining troops and i suppose they would rather have him then Marcus Brigstocke.

  10. Take a look at Ms. Schumer’s “apology” she issued. What a rancid human being. I expect people on the right to be treated like complete shit in the coming years with Hillary and her goons are in charge. It’s going to be ugly for the indefinite future. These people go for the jugular..They just don’t care.

    nydailynews

  11. Howard,

    I’d not heard of Amy Schumer until she went completely over the top in response to a 17 year old film critic’s wisecrack. That, and what I read about her afterwards, told me pretty much everything I needed to know. That “apology” doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  12. I suspect a lot of this has to do with state funding…

    More likely the capture of practically the entire intellectual class by the left. Here is some evidence from the current election: donations to presidential candidates, September 2015 to April 2016, by faculty and staff of large elite colleges and universities (5,000+ students, median admission SAT 1300+).

    92% went to Democrats. Private schools gave 93.5% to Democrats. So there doesn’t seem to be a state-funding effect.

Comments are closed.