Political Comedy In 2017: It’s Amateur Hour | Josh Lieb


I think the political situation always has
a huge effect on what is humorous or what’s funny, what people are laughing at. And when the situation is bad people need
that escape. When our leadership is poor you need that
satire, not just as a release but also as the strong finger of the people pointing back. There’s no punishment worse than being laughed
at. And there’s nothing our leaders hate more
than being mocked, any leader across the board nobody likes it. You don’t like being mocked. So that’s the most effective tool we have
as a people is being able to laugh at our bosses. So when our bosses are especially oppressive
that’s when that kind of humor comes to the forefront. I mean right now I think we’re in an extremely
difficult political situation. Like I’m glad I’m not at The Daily Show anymore
for instance. I was there during the Bush administration
like there was plenty to laugh at in those days and every American administration has
plenty to laugh at. And this is going to feel dated I’m sure a
year from now or ten years from now or whatever, but where we stand in the middle of February
in 2017 there’s always a temptation in comedy to go for the low hanging fruit, to go for
the easy jokes. And right now it’s not even that the fruit
is low hanging, it’s on the ground, it’s rotting on the ground. Like you don’t need a comedian to pick this
up and look at this fruit, examine this this is why this fruit is funny, anyone, anyone
walking up can point down at this joke on the ground and go oh my god what the hell
is going on? A lot of the brilliance of Jon Stewart or
Trevor Noah is finding this apple and going you’ve probably seen this apple a hundred
times you haven’t thought anything of it, look at this apple really look at it when
you examine it you realize oh that’s a crazy goddamn apple. But anyone can see the apple tree you have
pineapples falling off the tree now, you have coconuts falling off the tree, you have frogs
falling off the tree. It’s so intrinsically bizarre that there’s
almost not a challenge for a writer or a comedian to make fun of it. And by the way I’m not even being partisan
here I’m not even talking like I do think the administration is doing some crazy stuff
but I also think like our country is so divided right now that we’re hearing crazy stuff from
the other side too. And don’t get I mean about a false equivalence
and I’m not going to take, it but I just think there’s too much – everything is to the forefront. There’s no subtlety anymore. You don’t need a brilliant comedic mind to
find the comedy in things. Your grandmother can go on Twitter and say
that’s fucking ridiculous and she’s right and she’s just as funny as your brilliant
friend who spent 20 years studying this at the University of Southern California.

Maurice Vega

41 Responses

  1. But it's NOT funny today, just mean. SNL is not funny (mostly) people just love to hate Trump. So this guy is a hack. Big Think should add some conservative voices…. for once

  2. Trump is a character to distract the masses to argue over that character. He is a joke on purpose so you do not pay attention to real issues.

  3. This is why the South Park guys have said they're done doing political satire. The reality is far funnier than anything they could come up with.

  4. Trump's not the sickness, he's just a symptom of what ails America. The American voters are a big part of the problem. And the electoral system is the sickness. Understand that the Electoral College is an arcane throw-back to pre- Emancipation, pre-women's suffrage. But it persists like a disease in American Democracy. You are NOT the smartest people, you have a faulty version of Democracy. And the wealthy don't give a rat's arse about the majority of citizens. Surely you must be able to see this!

  5. Apparently it's ok to make political jokes, just as long as they fit in with the liberal rules. Otherwise you're a racist, nazi, paedophile or misogynist.

  6. i dont understand why this video is being downvoted. Is what he's saying such common-knowledge that you think the video is pointless? or is it the opposite; do people just hate seeing trump get criticized?

  7. progressive victimology has no humour. i've seen Trevor's new special… it's all f*ck white people, just as all of the left is. you lefties (of which i thought i was apart a couple of years ago) really pushed a lot of people away. your ideology is so destructive and dangerous that i can easily compare it to many evils of the past.
    you know not in what world you live in. even nature is your enemy…. sad.

  8. People that use satire in political discourse are most of the time intellectually dishonest. It's easy to just laugh at an arguement and sattirize it but makes harder to engage it without using humor or any type of charisma to trick people into thinking the idea is stupid.

  9. Wow, so a liberal comic is bitching about how conservatives aren't funny? I don't need politics in my learning shit, boys. Get fucked.

  10. Anyone spending twenty years studying something, well that sounds more like an obsessive-compulsive disorder to me, or a career, whatever.

  11. Seems like he knew he was going to get shit on for what he was saying, so he tried to explain himself, which caused him to never get his message across.

    If he's saying what I think he is, I agree. I love various comedy shows, and a well-crafted joke can really make you think, even if it's directed at something you support; that's what makes comedy so powerful. But ever since the primaries, what passes for a joke is "Trump is stupid!Ahaha!" or "Trump voters are all racist pieces of shit! Aren't I funny?"… You're allowed to exaggerate to make something funny, but everyone in the comedy business is just allowed to be shitty instead of witty because it's acceptable to hate Trump. I don't support the man, but every time a joke gets made just because "he's a Nazi!" I feel for him just a little more…

  12. 2017's political "comedy":
    Trump is Nazi and best friends with Hitler; Trump is best friends with Putin; Trump is a fascist; Trump has weird hair. Rinse and repeat. Rehash it, over and over. Oh and I also love that even late-night 'comedy' shows are now a vehicle for political outrage… We not only have newsrooms echo-chambers, but now also comedy echo-chambers.
    Jimmy Kimmel's "Politically Correct Thanksgiving" was a rare breath of fresh air.

  13. first of all: politicians are our servants, not our bosses. Secondly: If everybody can see it, it's not comedy, but tragedy. Lastly: twenty years studying comedy would not make you a comedian it would make you a joke.

  14. Every comedian it seems is trying to cash in on this shit show we have going on. The first year of the administration I kept thinking this is a gold mine for comedy and it quickly turned into amateur hour. Just repeating what happened in the news is not clever nor satirical, its stale. The comics I respect the most have made it known they are doing original material without the massive crutch that is the current political climate. Patton Oswalt has a great bit about this situation with the low hanging fruit of the Trump administration.

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