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Now that's right funny

Yesterday, there was a discussion of a possible counterpart to The Daily Show, a satirical news show with a conservative slant. In that discussion, there was some rather derisive comments about "conservative humorists" being a bit of an oxymoron.

Now, there is a bit of truth behind that stereotype. Many of the funniest people tend to be rather liberal. And even if you discount those who are inadvertently funny (namely, most of the left end of the blogosphere and many of the national leadership of the Democrats), there are a lot more funny people on the left.

But that majority is not a monopoly.

There are quite a few genuinely funny people out on the right. Besides the aforementioned Dennis Miller (who, as others noted, has had not one but two shows fail out from under him), there are a few who come to mind:

P. J. O'Rourke. The guy cut his teeth at the National Lampoon, and is widely regarded as one of funniest AND insightful conservatives out there. I own several of his books, and they're among my favorites. I've quoted him a few times. Here's P. J. on foreign policy, and here's the quintessential O'Rourke, on Americans. If a "Non-Daily Show" were to grab him, it would be a hell of a coup.

there are also quite a few humorists in the blogosphere who might be able to adapt their style to the television format. Scott Ott of Scrappleface fame is one that comes to mind, along with Iowahawk. The whole crew of IMAO.

I'm getting a little speculative here, but I strongly suspect that the Blue Collar Comedy guys -- especially Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy -- have more than a bit of Red State leanings in them. Their style might not be the most sophisticated, but there's no denying their popularity.

Drew Carey is also pretty much available. He once headlined not one, but two very funny and successful TV series at the same time. (However, it can be argued that he was the "catalyst" on both shows, and not the consistently funniest performer.)

And let's not forget that the Democrats now hold more power than they've had in years -- possibly at least a decade. Good political humor is subversive, aimed against the high and mighty and intended to shake up the status quo. Look -- just LOOK -- at who the top Democrats are. Howard Dean. Nancy Pelosi. John Murtha. Alcee Hastings. Nancy Pelosi. John Kerry. Nancy Pelosi. (The speaker presumptive alone is worth many, many laughs, and bears repeating several times.) Charlie Rangel.

"The Daily Show" has shown that it can be done. I think that it can be done again, differently, and be just as entertaining and popular from the other side.

And if I'm wrong and it tanks, we can just compare it to Air America.


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» Maggie's Farm linked with P. J. O'Rourke

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Comments (42)

P.J. O'Rourke and Scott Ott... (Below threshold)

P.J. O'Rourke and Scott Ott. Now THAT'S an "A" team.

Don't you people have Steph... (Below threshold)
Oleg:

Don't you people have Stephen Colbert already ? A satirical show with a conservative slant ? Sounds like Colbert Report to me.

Oh, wait, Colbert is a liberal. He is just making fun of the Oh Really Factor.

It is hard to be an intellectual and a conservative at the same time. So maybe you are in fact stuck with Foxworthy.

I think the main reason you... (Below threshold)

I think the main reason you don't see more outspoken right wingers on TV is because it's bad business in show-business to be conservative. If you think about the actions of many celebrities, I find it easy to pick out the conservatives. Will Smith comes to mind as a prominent 'closet conservative', someone who seldom speaks of politics. . . and that's a good thing.

I don't mean to switch topic here, but has anyone noticed that since muirgeo was banned. . . Lee hasn't been around? Hmm. . . . .

Apparently Oleg missed my f... (Below threshold)

Apparently Oleg missed my first two paragraphs, when I mentioned Dennis Miller and P. J. O'Rourke. If he'd like to put down THEIR intellectual prowess, that's his stupidity talking.

J.

Frankly, I find most of the... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Frankly, I find most of the current crop of "funny people" to not be very funny. BDS has certainly taken over people who used to be somewhat funny (Maher, Letterman), and what will Stewart do when Bush is gone? Give me Gallagher, Carrot Top, and the Blue Collar guys and let me laugh at myself.

and what will Stewart do... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

and what will Stewart do when Bush is gone?

That's what happens when you are a one-trick pony. When Bush leaves office, all of Stewart material will be gone. Suddenly, he will have to be actually funny. Since he can't attack Democrats, he will be screwed.

I missed it, when did muire... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I missed it, when did muirego get banned?

Some of us who have been ar... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

Some of us who have been around for a while recall a very funny comedy half hour named: "That Was The Week That Was" which poked fun at any current event no matter what the political slant of the person doing something dumb/funny. It was truly politically incorrect - would like to see something like that come back to TV, but must have quality "reporters" and outstanding writers that dont lead with their political views. I.e, a "fair and balanced" political comedy would be a good start.

GC

You don't have to make stuf... (Below threshold)
cirby:

You don't have to make stuff up to have a good right-wing comedy show - just run clips of whatever Pelosi and her crew have said during the week.

(That said, anyone who's trying to put together a good funny original-content show certainly has some good right-wing folks to choose from if they want.)

Actually, the south park gu... (Below threshold)

Actually, the south park guys are pretty funny. Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They aren't straight up Republicans (although one of them IS registered, and the other is registered Libertarian), but they consider themselves moderate-leave-us-alone-slightly-more-conservative-than-liberal.

"I missed it, When did M... (Below threshold)
914:

"I missed it, When did Muriego get banned?"

Not soon enough..ha ha

I hadn't heard that muirego... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I hadn't heard that muirego had been banned so I went looking for it, and found this.

re: muirego -- I just notic... (Below threshold)
Lee:

re: muirego -- I just noticed that Jay mentions the banning in his update to the same post.

Update: For his attempts to turn EVERYTHING into a partisan attack, including the losses of some people very dear to me, and general asshattery above and beyond the call of even trolldom, muirgeo has earned the application of Olaf The Troll God's Hammer and been banned. I have blocked both his home and work IPs (yes, muirgeo, I know where you work, and if any of your colleagues enjoy commenting here, they have you to thank for their inconvenience).

If anyone would care to argue against this action, feel free to e-mail me at jaytea (at) wizbangblog.com. If muirgeo himself would like to appeal it, he is also welcome to write me -- I could use the laughs.

Droog, you're choosing a very poor example to follow.


My favorite Conservative co... (Below threshold)
Mike:

My favorite Conservative comedian is Brad Stine. (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/103-4638750-6096639?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=brad+stine). I saw him on tour on his "Tolerate This" tour. A very funny man, one any conservative would enjoy! Plus, he's clean, no crude humor at all.

Lee,Everything in ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Lee,

Everything in context. If muirgeo couldn't keep it non-partisan out of respect for the nature of Jay's post then he is an asshole. He deserved to be banned for being an inconsiderate lout.

BTW, I rather miss him and his inane sophistries. He proved my point many a time.

Clay,Lee didn't co... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Clay,

Lee didn't comment on his opinion about the banning, just provided me with the information of the event.

Thanks Lee, guess I'm too lazy to search. heh

Lee didn't comment on hi... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Lee didn't comment on his opinion about the banning, just provided me with the information of the event.

True enough. Lee did not offer an opinion. My dander was a bit up after reading Jay's post and muirgeo's inconsiderate comment. Personally, I'd have been tempted to deliver a punch to the nose.

Sorry if I appeared to come after you, Lee.

My problem with this concep... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

My problem with this concept is the same problem I have with Air America. If you deliberately create your show with an ideological slant, you have a very good chance of creating a product that comes across as lame propaganda.

--|PW|--

"Thanks Lee, guess I'm t... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Thanks Lee, guess I'm too lazy to search. heh"

or too smart.

If being an "ass hat" was e... (Below threshold)
John:

If being an "ass hat" was enough to get one banned, they'd be throwing people out of here right and left.

People like muirgeo (and that includes myself) keep a two point of view discussion alive here. That generates comments, and that makes the page hit counter run up, which makes this blog attractive to advertisers, and that brings in the cash.

Let's face it, the thing that keeps the lights on is revenue. This site attempts to entertain, but it's a means. The end goal is to make money and vigorous debate makes the cash register ring.

If you don't believe me, go to the Wizbang Bombsquad page. There is no dissent there. No comments. Most articles have no comments at all. Occasionaly, if you see any comments, it's usualy the article author like John Lillpop and his pet ScrapIron patting each other on the back. Average depth is less than one comment per article. This does not make the cash register ring, but you can hear the crickets chirp...

James Lileks would be a goo... (Below threshold)

James Lileks would be a good choice to anchor a conservative style Daily Show.

Since he can't att... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Since he can't attack Democrats, he will be screwed.

You seem never to have watched the show. Stewart regularly lampoons Democrats.

There are plenty of diverse... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

There are plenty of diverse points of view around here, John...and while many of us sharply disagree, there's no place for people who can't have a discussion or debate without injecting their venomous partisan attacks.

If you simply scroll up to the link to the thread, you'll see that it was in no way a political topic, yet what's the second post?

Yep, these sort of things make me glad for people like FDR who helped decrease the horrendous poverty rates of our elderly prior to his reforms which went unnoticed during the preceding 40 years of Republican rule by greed.

Posted by: muirgeo at November 17, 2006 07:05 PM

Jay warned him, he wouldn't listen. Anyhow, I don't see why I need to defend Jay's actions, if you can't figure it out for yourself given the context of the situation, than that's your problem, not ours.

People like muirgeo (and... (Below threshold)
Clay:

People like muirgeo (and that includes myself) keep a two point of view discussion alive here.

Jay's post was not partisan and deserved at least a modicum of respect. There's such a thing as taste. That doesn't require explanation does it?

One's ability to post here is a privilege, not a right. If one insists on loutish behavior, then one shouldn't complain if such behavior is not accommodated.

Enough said.

People like muirgeo (and... (Below threshold)
mantis:

People like muirgeo (and that includes myself) keep a two point of view discussion alive here.

There's way more than two points of view around this place.

Don't forget Christopher Bu... (Below threshold)
Fritz:

Don't forget Christopher Buckley. He just did a "Jeeves and W" piece in the New Yorker that was very very funny.

And anyone who thinks Jon Stewart doesn't attack Democrats hasn't been paying attention.

My problem with th... (Below threshold)
My problem with this concept is the same problem I have with Air America. If you deliberately create your show with an ideological slant, you have a very good chance of creating a product that comes across as lame propaganda.

This is an excellent point. If it's going to be a conservative comedy show, it should, above all else, be funny. That is, the humor should come first, whether or not it makes an explicitly conservative point.

Some jokes won't have any discernable slant to them. And some jokes should be directed at conservatives because (a) self-deprecating humor has a charm all it's own and (b) Republicans and conservatives do dumb stuff, too. And when they do, it ought to be made fun of.

If the comedian (or comedy writer) is conservative, his conservative world view is going to be seen in what he writes and what he says, regardless of who his target is. Maybe not in every joke, but over the long term.

Totally seriously, I think ... (Below threshold)
Doug:

Totally seriously, I think O'Reilly and Hannity on Fox News are about the funniest thing I've ever seen, much funnier that Stewart and Colbert. I laugh out loud, honestly, and try to catch their shows whenever I can.

Uhh Dougie let me guess--ar... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Uhh Dougie let me guess--are you a far left liberal?

Oh and I forgot to add--hav... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Oh and I forgot to add--have you checked thier ratings against PMSNBC and cnn?

When Stewart was more even-... (Below threshold)
IllTemperedCur:

When Stewart was more even-handed, he was devastatingly funny. But ever since the bruhaha with Tucker Carlson, he's let it go to his head, and the comedy has suffered for it. Plus, losing all of the good second bananas (Colbert, Carell etc.) really tanked the show.

However much I dislike the Daily Show now, I still remember and heartily approve of his first show after 9/11, specifically his monologue about the attacks. Considering that it's a comedy show, he struck just the right mix of grief, humor and anger. Probably the absolute high point of his career.

there's no place for peo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

there's no place for people who can't have a discussion or debate without injecting their venomous partisan attacks.

Venomous personal attacks seem to be OK around here, but partisan attacks are not?

If you simply scroll up to the link to the thread, you'll see that it was in no way a political topic, yet what's the second post?

I understand that muirgeo touched a nerve on a post that Jay was sensitive about. And he shouldn't have pushed after Jay warned him. But not a political thread goes by here where someone doesn't inject personal attacks. No one has a problem with that. But in a rare post of a personal nature, where muirgeo injected a political comment, that gets banned.

I declare Frank J. to be th... (Below threshold)

I declare Frank J. to be the perfect candidate, though he is rather busy planning a coup of the Republican Party.

Brian,You are relati... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Brian,
You are relatively new here. Muirgeo has been pushing the boundries of taste and decorum for some time. The post that got him banned was far from being an isolated incident.
Wizbang tolerates alot more disent and bad behaivor than most blogs, and some people abuse the free wheeling atmosphere that Kevin has created and most of the editors and authors here support.
Personal attacks: glass houses and first stones... too many people forget about those lessons when hiding behind a keyboard. Everybody in the blogosphere is 6'5" and built like a brick layer, it seems...

And I forgot to close a tag... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

And I forgot to close a tag.... only the word most should belong on the set of Batman.

But in a rare post... (Below threshold)
But in a rare post of a personal nature, where muirgeo injected a political comment, that gets banned.

Yes, but more importantly, Muirego committed the one unforgiveable sin. That is, he did something one of the blog owners specifically asked him not to do. All muirego had to do was show just a little restraint. Not much. Just a little.

It's his own damn fault he got banned, not JayTea's.

This blog is rather like being invited into someone else's living room for a chitchat. Now, we're a pretty rambunctious crew, and no mistake, but Jay (or Kevin) get the final say. Jay asked for a moment of respect, and muirego's response was to drop trou and take a dump on the coffee table. I would have banned him, too.

Muirgeo has been pushing... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Muirgeo has been pushing the boundries of taste and decorum for some time.

From what I've seen, he at least usually had an on-topic argument, and usually some links to back it up. And however tasteless you may have thought them (never struck me as any more tasteless than some on here), he provoked political responses that drew others into the (admittedly, sometimes heated) discussion.

On the other hand, you have some posters here who drive by, post personal attacks (often childish tripe about peoples' names or calling them "shit for brains"), and make no meaningful contribution to any thread. These people you apparently feel espouse an appropriate sense of "taste and decorum".

I don't believe it. Days af... (Below threshold)

I don't believe it. Days after I ban him, muirgeo is STILL a major topic of discussion.

Let me sum up: I am far more protective of others than I am of myself. Especially those closest to me. I will shrug off far worse attacks on me than muirgeo did on my dear friends. muirgeo decided to turn my solemn tribute to their losses into yet another partisan "the rethuglicans are eeevil" screed.

That action pissed me off far, far more than anything else he had done before, and more than pretty much anything else anyone had done. Perhaps it's an unreasonable response, but I don't really care. I warned him twice, first in very strong terms and next in carefully-chosen, coded words that should have demonstrated that I knew precisely how to ban him and him alone. I laid down the law, as is my privilege and duty as editor. He chose to ignore that, so I followed through on what I said I would do.

In the nearly three years I've been here, I think I've banned less than a dozen people. I don't like doing it. It's usually for very grave offenses -- one guy was banned for repeatedly cutting and pasting copyrighted material in complete form, putting us at a serious legal liability. Another was out-and-out profane and threatening. muirgeo's offense? Finding one of my personal "hot buttons" and hammering on it repeatedly despite warnings.

To speak directly to a few others who regularly sided with muirgeo, specifically lee, brian, and jp2: do NOT read anything into his fate as it might apply to you. As I noted above, and said initially, muirgeo went way, way beyond the pale -- and continued after very, very clear warnings. His banishment does NOT indicate a new, stronger policy on comments and dissent, but merely an assertion that there are some things that are beyond the pale -- and even then, there will most likely be a warning first.

Back on topic: yeah, Lileks would also be a great addition. And damn, I forgot about Buckley -- "Thank You For Smoking" and "The White House Mess" are classics.

J.

Oh shoot now I got brian ma... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Oh shoot now I got brian mad at me. He don't think I should be here because I don't "add" to the discusion. He got added to the club (mine) because I don't agree with his opinions. Well my posts show what my opinion of the poster's comments are in ways that you don't seem to like. Well boo hoo to you. Oh I could go find something long winded and post a link (would that make me look smarter) but it still comes down to an opinion and you know what mine is of you. Until Jay says cool it I will still "express" my opinion.

And let me add one more thi... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

And let me add one more thing--is there another blog where you can do and say what we do here? Try going to the Kos Kiddies or DU and try to post something that they don't agree with. You never get past the "post" button. Have you not noticed that those kind of blogs are stocked with people with broken noses? They go around with their noses up each others rear and if the leader stops to guick all behind him ends up with a dislocated nose. Enjoy your stay because this is one of the rare blogs where you can disagree with even the owner without being banned.

I'm glad to see you recogni... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I'm glad to see you recognized yourself from my description. Be proud.

I saw Drew Carey do his sta... (Below threshold)
Cletus:

I saw Drew Carey do his stand-up a couple of years before he got his TV show, and I laughed so hard I feared for my life because it got pretty hard to breathe... He toned it down and went campy to keep it safe for TV. Given a cable format I'd put him up against any of them out there now (unless he's forgotten how to do it in the meantime)...




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