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Funny conservatives - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 13th 2007 12:02PM

ben steinThe lackluster response to FOX News' Half Hour News Hour and the continued popularity of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have led many to conclude that liberals are funny, and conservatives are not.

I say that's a load of hogwash. It's not about being liberal, conservative, libertarian, or whatever else you happen to be. It's about being funny, or not being funny. To paraphrase something comic Doug Stanhope once told me during an interview: 'if you're good, and you're funny, you can find work.'

That's it. You want to be a stand up comic? Be funny. You want to make a funny TV show people will love? Then make a funny TV show people will love.

All that being said, here are three funny conservatives I admire, not because they're conservative, but because they make me laugh:

Michael J. Nelson: Nelson took over as host of Mystery Science Theater 3000 after series creator Joel Hodgson left the show, but rabid fanatics like myself know that Nelson had always been a part of the show, both as head writer and in various "guest roles." Below, see Nelson playing Morrisey in a classic clip from the series. God, how I miss this show.

Larry Miller: Aside from his stand-up specials from years ago and an occasional guest role on television, Miller is probably better known for his roles in Christopher Guest movies like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. I think he's one of the funniest and smartest improv actors next to Fred Willard.

Ben Stein: Out of these three, Stein is probably the most well-known conservative and the most unapologetic. I suppose being a speech writer for Richard Nixon might have something to do with that. Still, the man is deadpan funny, and Win Ben Stein's Money was one of the best game shows ever: not only was it a great concept, but Stein seemed to really hate losing, which made it all the more worth watching.

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I understand, Adam. I might not completely agree, but I realize that from where you sit you have a reason to be a bit more diplomatic.

Oh, and I'd like to second your "Thumbs Up" to Elf for making the most cogent remarks with regards to this article.

March 13 2007 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

Elf: Very Good point.

Rick: The word "funniest" doesn't appear in my post.

E-Nick: Thanks, but I must say I do like all the different voices, bloggers and commenters included.

March 13 2007 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Your comments were so...typical.

March 13 2007 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Jones

Political leanings don't matter ... its your ability to put comedy before them that does.

Daily Show is a liberal show, Stewart is a liberal guy, but its a comedy show and a comedian first.

Fox put some terrible jokes in the pilot, that were not funny but that met their political desires ... Jon Stewart wouldn't put something that isn't good enough in, no matter how much it lambasted Republicans.

March 13 2007 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

So let me get this straight: You listed 3 people, none of which have a current television show, one of them took a good television show and made it unbearable, one that everyone confuses for another actor, and one that is a one-trick pony and have hailed them as the funniest conservatives? Then you go on to say that "It's not about being liberal, conservative, libertarian, or whatever else you happen to be" while explaining that these guys are funny conservatives? Which is it? Do politics make you funny or not?

I also love how the neocons on this board immediately cry out that the big bad liberals are "typical" in saying that these people aren't funny, and how "they always go on the attack" when a conservative is mentioned. It looks to me like those conservatives that are feeling so "attacked" are just the ones that are doing it.

Besides the truth is, conservative humor isn't funny because their serious talk is far more hysterical than anything they can poke fun at.

March 13 2007 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just love the fact that Michael (post 2) thinks that Colbert is a conservative because he makes lots of jokes about liberals. Proof that he's doing perfect satire...his targets think he's serious.

March 13 2007 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think most conservative comedians have trouble mocking themselves, and hence don't tap into their true potential.

Whether or not you think things should change, most people agree that it is only socially acceptable to mock a minority if you are of said minority.

In other words, liberal comedians are not criticized for making fun of blacks, Jews, gays, women, Latinos, etc.

The bonus is that liberals also get away with mocking white trash and Evangelical Christians because it is also socially acceptable to make fun of behaviors (vs. characteristics a person is born with).

Show me a rich old conservative telling a joke about his yacht and I'll... well... I'll think to myself, damn, I wish I was born into a rich white family.

In the end this post made me realize that I have no idea what the political affliations of most of my favorite comedians are. I could guess, but really, I'm laughing so who cares.

March 13 2007 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i find the entire bush administration the best long running comedy show of all time!

March 13 2007 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like all three of these guys, but I only find them moderately funny. I'd say my favorite is Stein and especially when he had Win Ben Stein's Money. That was a fun game show to watch.

...and it's no surprise that there are asinine comments of a partisan nature. Happens every time anything conservative is mentioned and it's either commenters who only jump in to snipe or some who are more regular but don't have the stones to use their usual nicknames.

Thanks, Adam, for being a blogger who keeps to the tone of television entertainment and fun in your writings.

March 13 2007 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. P

Much of liberal "humor" consists simply of making fun and mocking people. Watch them on the cable news channels. Whenever they get cornered, they'll go for an attempt to be funny at somebody else's expense to deflect their own lack of substance. Rosie's a perfect example.

March 13 2007 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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