Sunday, August 29, 2004

Finally, A Funny Republican

Interesting piece in the New York Times on stand-up Republicans - a tour called ("inevitably and without much comic promise") "The Right Stuff" at a comedy club in Times Sqaure.

The premise of the tour: right-leaning comics are under-represented, most comedy, stand up and situational, targets the right. Of course, perhaps the NYT can't contain it's own liberal media bias since one of the "jokes" it offers as illustrative of their brand of humor involves "political correctness so tyrannical that the automatic teller machines have a Braille alternative even at the drive-in bank." (har har. a) old joke. b) easily explained by economies of scale - their all the same damn machines. there, i killed it with logic and i don't feel bad). [Update: blogging too soon is dangerous. Later in the article, the Times credits the ATM comedian as "genuinely clever" in his case against PC-ness. Clearly, the author doesn't get out much.]

I also find it difficult to argue that comedy can be "liberal" or "conservative." Comedy generally comes from either incongruity or from subverting the prevailing powers. This means what's funny with one crowd isn't necessary going to translate to another. To wit:

For the show, each of the three comedians did a set of about a half- hour, and interestingly, the outright political jokes sprinkled through the evening - which was, for the most part but not entirely, free of vulgarity - provided the most strained and least rewarding humor. The comics were better when they were showing off their different styles and personalities.
There was at least one good "political" line:

. . . she mixed some familiar female humor in with her political observations, noting, for example, that seeing slender women with small behinds on the street was the only thing that made her feel like a Democrat: "It's so unfair that some people have so little."
In certain respects, of course, "Republican" comedians will sweep the nation the same way Air American did. In other words, it won't. Once one side succeeds, it will take awhile for the other to find its own claim to the medium. The Daily Show, then, may be able to build counter-Fox News power, though it's an equal opportunity mocker. Especially with comedy, it isn't enough just to sub-out your language in someone else's tested framework (I'm going to say in advance that this is why Joey will tank even as it tries to use the Friends framework).

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