DANIEL VAUGHAN: Conservatives laugh at comedy, too

A recent piece in Slate lamented the rise of Fox News host and funnyman Greg Gutfield. The article bemoaned how the “left lost comedy.” Their evidence for this phenomenon is that Gutfeld’s late-night comedy show on Fox is blowing the competition out of the water. No other late-night show can compete; thus, the left has lost comedy.

It’s funny to consider that conclusion since Gutfeld is only one person. Late-night comics can be found on all the major networks and streaming services. But one conservative-libertarian comedian rakes in the ratings on Fox, and suddenly “it’s a problem.”

Perhaps the most unintentionally funny line in the entire Slate piece is this one: “Gutfeld’s success, we argue, proves that, given an accommodating industrial and cultural context, right-wing viewers are in fact open to political comedy, ambiguous and otherwise.”

Group therapy for liberals.

People on the right like to laugh at comedians. I hope everyone reading this isn’t floored by that observation.

The real story isn’t that conservatives enjoy humor like any other person. It’s that the left has chased away all comedians because the world is too serious to joke about, and late-night comedians reflect that reality.

Stephen L. Miller was the first to note the late-night trend where Democratic politicians would go on to talk seriously to the hosts. Miller called it “group therapy” instead of comedy. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex is on every other week talking about the latest inanities of Congress, or Nancy Pelosi returns to talk about the evils of Republicans, it’s all meant to reassure the liberal viewers, not induce laughs.

Jim Geraghty at National Review expanded on this observation to include all of journalism. Jim says, “Think about how much print, television, and web journalism features the subtext, ‘You are right, and your uncle who votes for Republicans is wrong. In fact, he’s racist. And sexist. And homophobic and transphobic. And selfish. And doesn’t care about the earth. You are the good and righteous one, and you were right to scream at him and storm away from the Thanksgiving table.'”

Breaking news: conservatives laugh.

Right-wing comedy is the new thing that leftists must worry about, according to the Salon article. They end it by saying, “Once more, Greg Gutfeld is making a comedy show that conservatives like and that liberals would rather wave away with “that’s not funny,” even as right-wing comedy plods along, growing in stature and influence. It is understandable to be upset at how expensive the heating bill is every February, but at a certain point it shouldn’t be hard to remember that winters are cold.”

These are the conclusions one draws if everything in your world is so siloed off that nothing else can even exist. Conservative comedy predates Greg Gutfield by a lot — it’s just that liberals only know conservatism from Fox News and nothing else.

The Blue Collar Comedy Tour starring Jeff Foxworthy and the gang made a ton of money and helped make Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, and Ron White all household names. You can find conservative jokes going back to Roy Acuff and radio performances.

What’s changed is that liberals believed that all comedy belonged to them, and anything they didn’t like wasn’t funny. Or it gets canceled. They don’t seem to understand that people of all political persuasions enjoy comedies. They can’t understand that point.

It’s ok to have a good time.

Everything is a political statement for the progressive mind and must conform to the strictest of liberal Puritan standards. Progressives are no different than the Moral Majority of the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Everyone else wants to have a little fun.

I’ve been reading the great Mel Brooks’s autobiography “All About Me.” Mel Brooks is an American icon and one of the funniest people to ever get on a movie screen. It’s also impossible to see any modern leftists giving the green light to movies like Blazing Saddles.

Brooks says early on, what drew him to comedy was its power. “Comedy is a very powerful component of life. It has the most to say about the human condition because if you laugh you can get by. You can struggle when things are bad if you have a sense of humor. Laughter is a protest scream against death, against the long goodbye. It’s a defense against unhappiness and depression.”

He’s right on every point. Liberals want everyone to join them in an open group therapy session to lament the state of the world. Laughter isn’t allowed because everyone is constantly in the state of a wake. But no one wants to be like this; it’s no fun and makes life miserable. There’s no reason to live a miserable existence.

It’s better to laugh. Conservatives enjoy laughing as much as anyone else. If the left could learn to laugh at itself again, we might see a thawing of relations across the political divide. There’s a lot of dumb stuff out there, and it’s ok to make fun of it.