Oxymoron Defined – Conservative Christian Comedian

Quick, off the top of your head, name your five favorite comedians.  I don’t care who you are, what your ideology is, or even where you fall along the sense of humor spectrum, I’ll bet you a wooden nickel your five favorite comedians have one thing in common with my five favorite comedians — none of them are conservative.

And I think I know why.  In order to be a great comedian, I believe you have to have a sense of humor about yourself.  This is something all conservatives inherently lack.  They cannot laugh at themselves.  A little healthy self-loathing is the wellspring of good comedy.  A lot of unhealthy self-loathing can be the wellspring of great comedy.  But when you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t be funny.

I had the misfortune of catching Brad Stine on at CPAC (the Conservative Public Action Conference) on CSPAN yesterday.  He is billed as a “Christian Conservative Comedian.”  He is obviously the first two things.  But he is not a comedian.  I hereby issue the following challenge: First, I dare you to make it all the way through the video above.  Second, Find a funny part.  I’m not talking about the chuckles you get from watching a terrible contestant on American Idol.  Unintentional comedy doesn’t count.  I’m talking about intentional comedy– i.e. The Jokes.  There are none.  He can’t for one second take himself as anything less than a very serious, conservative Christian.  He cannot make light of himself because he fears it might make him appear weak.  Because he can’t do that, he’s not funny.

Maybe Brad Stine could learn a thing or two from this guy:

This is a clip of Louis C.K. on David Letterman.  So it’s clean.  It’s clean and it’s funny.  And it’s funny because Louis C.K. understands that if you’re going to make fun of other people for being idiots, you had better make it clear that you’re perfectly capable of being an idiot yourself.  The best comedy always involves a bit of self-deprication.  That’s why there are no genuinely funny conservative comedians.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask Dennis Miller or Victoria Jackson.

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2 Comments

Filed under Atheism, Humor, Politics

2 responses to “Oxymoron Defined – Conservative Christian Comedian

  1. The phrase, “reality has a well-known liberal bias”, comes to mind when I compare the two videos. It’s always been odd to me how conservatives, and especially conservative Christians, try to isolate themselves from reality by attempting to create their own version of it… But what they end up actually doing is making thoroughly uncreative, unoriginal, impotent versions of things other people have come up with. They steal the delivery device and fill it full of the shit-sandwich that they call content. For example, Conservapedia, christian rock, christian rap, christian metal, christian poetry slams (it exists, google it.)

    The thing is, I’ve got no problem with conservative or Christian content if it’s good and original. I can think of artists all the way across the spectrum who come up with incredibly good content that is sometimes conservative or Christian. Take, for example, Tom Waits, John Coltrane, Sam Beam, Merle Haggard and the Golden Gate Gospel Quartet. I think the common thread for all of these artists is that ART is the thing that comes first for them and the message second.

    But why stop there, some of my favorite art of all time is overtly Christian: Caravaggio, Bach, gothic cathedrals, etc… Which brings up a topic I often think about: when and why did Christian architecture, art and music stop being good? I mean, there’s still no shortage of funds with the church… Maybe most of the people with the talent decided that reality was much more interesting.

  2. I think the same thing could be said of any ideology. In fact, I recall it being said in the past that liberals can not be funny because they are too concerned with being morally good. Hence, you have the sort of libertarian “South Park Conservative” humor which is perfectly in line, actually, with everything conservative except for extreme Christian conservative politics (though on an international scale I would think South Park would actually be considered a liberal form of humor).

    Likewise, people have often said that women are not funny. Even asked it sincerely. I believe the late Hitchens thought it might be a chromosomal abnormality of the Y chromosome, much like hemophilia, that causes comedy. I would say that it’s true that you have to be able to laugh at yourself, but you also have to be secure and respected securely within your culture to some extent. People have to be willing to tolerate your misbehavior, or you have to focus on an audience who will. The South Park conservative can be funny because they reach for a broad audience. Today’s liberal comedian can be funny because they’ve mastered self deprecating humor. This guy is trying to reach a narrow audience, and he’s trying to “win” something. Comedy is about subverting power and allowing people to confront things, not winning. You can’t subvert *anything* from a position of insecurity and fear. You can’t be subversive if your audience will not tolerate misbehavior from you. You can’t be funny if you have too much to lose, in other words.

    Laughing at yourself is a sign of power and security, after all. These days we see a lot of funny women, but not many funny Christian Conservatives. I think this is because if your ideology is based on fear and anger then you already can’t laugh at things. You’re taking life as too much of a threat, and people who feel as much fear and anger as you won’t be able to laugh at much either. You’re stuck with two things “fuck I hate everyone” and “people should take me seriously more” neither of which is exactly comedic gold.

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