Few would disagree that we're in living in a golden age of political comedy — or at least that politics are more important to comedy today than ever before. When historians write about humor in the early twenty-first century, the names of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher will definitely be key players. And just as noteworthy will be the fact that a large majority of this humor has come at the expense of conservatives, and often to the benefit of liberals.
No matter if you’re on the left or right, pretty much everyone agrees that liberals dominate political satire and humorous commentary (at least in popularity), but few have answers about why this is. It’s certainly not that conservatives haven’t tried. From Fox News’ short-lived The Half-Hour News Hour, to “liberal media watchdog” series News Busted, or the recently launched The Flipside, attempts to roll out a conservative version of The Daily Show or Weekend Update have never been in short supply, but without fail every single one has been an unpopular disaster. READ MORE
While fans of her 2005 special, Jesus Is Magic, will not be disappointed with the material in Sarah Silverman's highly anticipated new release, there is no denying that this pot and poop loving comic has grown up a bit. There's still plenty here to offend the wince-ready audiences with no patience for AIDS jokes and religious irreverence, but when placed next to her smash-hit special from eight years ago, with We Are Miracles Silverman has taken her format of childish prodding and wrapped it in a provocative message of therapy and social commentary.
“At the Largo? That's, like, barely 300 seats!” a tattooed Mexican laughs with his car-full of friends during the cold-open of the film, after Silverman explained to them she's about to shoot an HBO special at the club. “Well, I'm actually doing it in the littler room,” she clarifies, admitting that she'll be performing for only 39 people, which inspires laughs and suggestions that she get a new agent from the vatos outside the club.
Yet it's hardly groundbreaking that Silverman would choose to place her special inside the intimate, cafe-like walls of The Largo's smallest room. Just last month, Marc Maron's Thinky Pain brought fans inside the close quarters of Greenwhich Village's Le Poisson Rouge, which was practically the Hollywood Bowl compared to last year's The Special Special Special!, where Maria Bamford was filmed before an audience of only her mother and father. Whether it's standup becoming comfortable as a respected institution that doesn't need to prove itself with massive audiences, or that provocative material works best with miniature crowds, there seems to be a trend with the hippest comedians preferring clubs that resemble a city council meeting in Buford, Wyoming. READ MORE
Just as the news broke on Monday that sociopathic dreamboat Anthony Jeselnik’s Comedy Central show The Jeselnik Offensive was canceled (to no small amount of glee from certain New Zealanders), Huffington Post Live released a video interview with Artie Lange, where the recently sober comic addresses his past use of the word “faggot” and other offensive slurs. “Times have changed, comedy has changed,” Lange says. “We live in a more enlightened time where you should think twice before you speak, because we’re talking about people.” While Lange was only referring to himself, it was a very timely comment for Jeselnik, who has built a career out of manufacturing public outrage. But this ultimately begs the question: was Jeselnik canceled for being too much of a button pusher? Or, perhaps more importantly, should he really be considered offensive if he’s doing it on purpose? READ MORE