A while back I read an interview with Hollywood comedic legend Mel Brooks. In it, the producer and director said America has become “stupidly politically correct, and that has been the death of comedy.”
Brooks added that many of his films – including the 1974 comedy western “Blazing Saddles,” which satirized racism – could not be made today–and that’s not good for comedy. Ditto “The Producers,” which satirized not only Broadway but Nazi Germany, and “To Be or Not To Be.” Brooks played Adolf Hitler in that one.
“Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior,” Brooks said.
The more I read Brooks’s interview the sadder I got. He is so right. Political correctness and leftist dogma have turned us into a bunch of humorless misanthropes and cynics who can no longer laugh at ourselves. I wondered if there was any hope for a nation that can no longer laugh at itself.
Then I read the following story in the Epoch Times. It looks like there is still hope–at least three comedians think so. Here is that story. Please read on.
Conservative Comic Trio Wants to Win America Back—One Joke at a Time
Three conservative comedians with three different styles of humor are all bound by a common belief that to be an American means never having to say you’re sorry for speaking out.
Together, Brad Stine, Kevin Jackson, and Tim Wilkins make up the Unapologetically American Comedy Tour of 2022, taking no leftist prisoners as they fight to win America back through laughter.
On March 31, the stand-up comics delivered their message of raucous patriotic revival before a large conservative audience at Venue8600 in Scottsdale.
The show was billed on Happening Next as an “intervention for crazed Americans who are high on nonsense or political correctness: it’s time for a detox! Sorry, no cry closets or safe words allowed.”
Whether the topic is race, Joe Biden’s economic policies, COVID-19 restrictions, LGBTQ antics, or the “woke” cancel culture assault on American values, everything is fair game for these comics.
Their mission, since they chose to accept it, is to “Make America Laugh Again.”
Do Something Together
“So, the idea that one, black people should be getting reparations, is stupid. And white people should be paying—stupid. Okay. Let’s make a funny stupid little thing about it, and that’s how we started,” Jackson said during a backstage interview with The Epoch Times.
“Here’s the thing. We’ve got all this insanity, and you’re not supposed to talk about it. We needed to figure out how to do something together.
“If we can’t talk about it, nobody can, and then we’re done.”
Jackson is also the host of a nationally syndicated conservative talk-radio show revolving around politics and pop culture, but with a heavy dose of comedy mixed in.
He makes no apologies for being fired as a FOX News contributor in 2018 for calling out those who accused then-Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of committing sexual assault in his youth.
As the comedy tour’s organizer, Jackson said the show’s real humor can be found in its hidden political messages. Although their comedic styles are very different, “mine’s better,” he joked. “I like to focus on race and class.”
Stine said of Jackson, “When he doesn’t get laughs, he sues. He’ll go to litigation. I’ve seen it happen.”
Jackson also did a Reparations Comedy Tour a number of years ago, and he joked that having four white guys working under him was reparations enough.
No Conservative Voices’ in Comedy
“I’ve always been a big fan of these guys’ work,” Jackson said of Stine and Wilkins. “We always wanted to keep the concept going. So when the new series of politics came along, I said, ‘Let’s keep it going.’”
“We all find there needs to be a voice for our comedy [and] for a way to defuse the issues and make light of the things we find important,” said Stine, a 30-year veteran stand-up Christian comedian. “Right now, it’s dominated by the left. It’s all packaged by them and fed to the country.”
Jackson said, “It’s sickening. It’s not even comedy. It’s just attacking us with no counter-voice. If we can’t make those observations that the emperor has no clothes, who’s gonna do it?”
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between modern politics and comedy, since it’s all a comedy show now, the trio agrees.
“I’ve been hiding my views for 30 years,” said Wilkins, a 20-year stand-up comedian, and TV and radio personality. “Now, I’m seeing we have to fight back. Everybody get behind us. It’s time to defuse this.”
The material they use is heavy on social commentary and how the ideal of America’s Founding Fathers is being discarded by the left.
Stine said he considers himself a constitutional “originalist,” believing in America “not as judges have reimagined it,” but solidly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, which is “not a living, breathing document, manipulated into something else.”
“Ultimately, the comedians can’t make fun of everything. If we are stifled, then there’s nobody left. It’s crucial that we do it,” he said.
When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, everything once hailed as scientific went out the window, according to Stine.
During his routine, he lampooned that the No. 1 symptom of COVID-19 is having “no symptoms.”
“How are you feeling?” the doctor asked.
“Good,” the patient answered.
“Oh, that’s too bad. You better get your affairs together,” the doctor said.
Stine followed with a philosophical observation.
“Two years ago, people were paranoid because they ran out of toilet paper,” he said. “What happened to America?”
Today, Stine sees “an existential threat to the existence of this country” and a general lack of courage to do something about it.
“We can play around all we want,” he said. “But there is a real problem whether we will exist or not. That’s what we’re trying to do is to get people—Americans—to realize you’re the government of the United States of America. Start acting like it.”
Wilkins joked backstage, “As of tonight, I’m working for gas cards. I have to wrap my show quickly before they lose value.”
A Slap in Face of Decorum
Regarding the delicate matter involving Will Smith’s conduct at the 2022 Oscars, the comedians pulled no slaps—er, punches.
“Will Smith already knew that he was slapping somebody who probably couldn’t defend himself,” Jackson said. “I’ve never known [Chris Rock] to be a pugilist of any type. He’s probably laughed his way and talked his way out of many fights.”
Though Rock “handled himself very well,” Jackson said, “I would have put a beat down on Will Smith. He’d be in a coma. That’s No. 1. No. 2 … Will Smith hits like a girl.
“No guy that’s defending the honor of his woman is gonna slap a dude. If you insulted my wife, I’m gonna lay you out in so many ways you’re gonna be filleted. By the time you wake up, you’re gonna be Rip van Winkle.”
Of Rock’s response, Stine said, “To me, yeah, it was good the way he tried to reel it back in, but that’s what you do when you’re a host and a professional in that venue [and] assuming that people are going to take care of the problem. [But] you’re on live television. What are you supposed to do?
“In that instance, I would have accepted it and dealt with it later because I had a job to do. I was being filmed at that moment.”
Wilkins said the lack of consequences for Smith means “open season” has been declared on comedians who offend people.
“I think more people are going to take it upon themselves to charge the stage, throw drinks, be unruly. It’s gotten progressively worse over the past decades,” he said.
On this point, the comics were all of one mind: that Smith’s public slapping of Rock wasn’t staged.
“He [Smith] is not that good an actor. I’ve seen all of his movies,” Wilkins said.