Archive for December 11, 2018

Corporate Approved ‘Comedians’ Perform Virtue Signalling, Not Comedy

December 11, 2018 11 comments

Some readers might remember a couple of my previous posts in which I wrote that most female comedians were not funny and that watching female comedians is largely about virtue signalling. Most of you, probably, did not notice something else I wrote in those posts- namely that most comics (male or female) are not funny. Yes.. you heard that right. It has long been my opinion that most comics are not especially funny or talented. That is why most of us can recall only a few super-talented ones such as Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, Eugene Levy, Larry David, Ricky Gervais and George Carlin. And yes.. I know that was not an exhaustive list. Nonetheless, my point stands and most are not funny- even if you were drunk or high while watching them.

And this brings me to the issue of corporate media approved ‘comedians’. In case you are wondering what I am talking about and why the word comedians was highlighted in previous sentence- let me ask you a simple question. Have you ever found most late-night comedy shows to be funny? Now.. I know that humor is subjective and all, but how many of you think that Dave Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert ever were (or are) good comedians? Sure.. once in a while they did material which was genuinely funny. But most of the time, they sucked and this is not a new phenomena. Try watching YouTube clips of Johnny Carson as a late-night comedy show host. He sucked a lot, most of the time. And yet, all of got very rich doing that same gig for multiple decades. But why were they so highly paid?

Well.. it comes down to one simple reason. They were corporation and establishment approved, which was absolutely necessary to be on TV or any other pre-internet media. But why were they “corporation approved” in the first place? To answer that, let me pose a counter question- Do you think somebody like Richard Pryor or George Carlin could have ever gotten a late-night comedy show in the pre-internet era? Were they untalented or unwilling? Or was it something else? Long story short, they would have never gotten a late-night show gig because anybody with a spine, self-respect or genuine connection to their core audience would be seen as highly problematic and undesirable by corporate types. Instead they prefer milquetoast “comedians” who could be relied upon to do anything, say anything or support any cause as ordered.

Which brings me to a recent article by Michael Tracey in which he bemoans the fact that late-night TV in USA has become a tedious monoculture where every host thinks that he (or she) is subversive because of expressing hate for Trump. To illustrate his point he links to a number of clips from recent late-night TV shows which contain an almost identical theme, namely Robert Mueller as a Santa Claus who will magically indict and provide evidence of Trump ‘colluding with Russia” leading to the later’s impeachment and arrest. Tracey points out writing entire skits and shows around one (or more) Trump’s daily brain-farts is increasingly being portrayed as a brave act of #resistance- when it is not. The darkly comic part of all these sad attempts at “comedy” is that these “comedians” end up looking like cynical purveyors of pseudo-subversiveness.

More relevantly, he points out even an alleged “maverick” late-night comedy host such as Jon Stewart only started poking fun at Bush43 once it became obvious that everything the later touched had turned to shit. In other words, even the “bravest” comedian appeared to grow a pair only after they knew it was totally safe to do so. Even then, Stewart largely avoiding talking about the truly disastrous effects of policies followed Bush43.. you know like all that depressing stuff about mass civilian casualties and effects of Shia-Sunni civil war in Iraq until it became obvious that the tide of public opinion had turned against that president. Then again, one cannot expect moral courage and ability to introspect from corporate lackeys and dancing monkeys. Oh ya.. Stewart was also really quiet about all the shit that went on during the Obama44 presidency.

Anyway, my point is that all these mainstream and establishment-approved “comedians” are dancing monkeys who got lucky. While I do not deny that some of them may, at one time, have displayed evidence of real comedic genius- it is safe to say that ability was lost or buried years before they decided to kiss corporate ass. But why does any of this matter today anymore than it did a decade or two ago? Well.. because it is really obvious in 2018 in a way that it was not in 2008 or 1998 (or before)- for a number of reasons. While we can all agree that the orange-haired idiot is an incompetent loser, he has not yet started some new unwinnable war or two (like Bush43) or deported record number of Latino immigrants (like Obama44). Nor have his past sexual misadventures been any worse than past presidents (Clinton42, JFK etc).

Let us be realistic.. the lives and behavior of most past presidents have seldom been worthy of emulation. For example, the guy on the 2 dollar bill was banging his 14-year old slave (who was also his wife’s half-sister). Over a dozen past presidents owned slaves. Nixon was responsible for the deaths and disability of millions of innocent people in Cambodia and the subsequent rise of Pol-Pot. And yet we hardly hear mainstream comedians ever mention these things. For example- Nixon was (and is) the butt of jokes for his paranoid and vindictive behavior towards other politicians, rather than all the shitty and genocidal stuff he ordered in SE Asia. My point is that corporate approved “comedians” are dumping (ineffectually, I might add) on Trump for reasons that are all about virtue signalling, rather than for its comedic value or moral courage.

What do you think? Comments?