I’m in the final editing process of a piece for The Atlantic about whether conservatives can be funny. It’s been a long time in the making, so I’m really excited to get it out there. Today at the gym I was watching the Nantucket Film Festival’s Comedy Roundtable 2012 with Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jim Carrey and Bill Hader.* At one point in the discussion (around 15 mins) Carrey interrupts and asks what makes something funny. After some discussion (at 18 mins), Ben Stiller says, “the truth.” I don’t want to give away my take coming up, but if “truth” is funny, and someone is arguing that conservatives aren’t, isn’t she saying that conservatives can never say anything true? Is that a proposition she wants to accept? Can she avoid arguing that?
P.S. Not going to lie, neither of these roundtables are particularly impressive. Far better is Talking Funny.
* They’ve done two and so far had no female panelists and Rock was the only black one. In a very embarrassing moment in the 2012 one, the panelists are asked to name a female comedian they admire and Hader forwards Wiig. She is the only female comedian mentioned in the entire round table. **
** This is, of course, absurd. I regularly go to the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and frequently see hilarious female comedians. Off the top of my head, Amy Shumer, Kathleen Madigan, Aubrey Plaza, Maria Bamford, Natasha Leggero…
Edit: I realize that if you don’t know what I’m writing about, these questions sound logically absurd. That is, many, if not most truths, are not funny. What I mean by my question is that, if there is truth in conservatism, than it could most certainly be expressed in a funny way. So is the idea that conservatives can’t be funny just a sneaky way of saying, “facts have a well-know liberal bias”? Is it hubris?