The politics of comedy?


Council Member
Mar 29, 2009
Calgary, AB
I found this yesterday, and thought it was an amusing tidbit.

Is political comedy inherently leftist? -

I've been a fan of Jon Stewart's for years, don't view myself to be a leftist, a member of any intellectual elite or socialist (I see myself more in the modern center as a classical liberal, with socially liberal but fiscally conservative views... I voted Conservative more often than not for most of my life) and to be honest, I can't say I have seen an overt agenda in most of his schtick over the years, other than mocking political absurdities, especially American ones for ratings/sponsours. I found I agreed with a lot of the statements in the article.

"Comedy has a recklessness that doesn't lend itself to the conservative lifestyle," said Rory Albanese, an executive producer and writer for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." "It's the same reason why Christian rock bands aren't as good as regular rock bands."

"There's funny stuff on the left, but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper. I can't say all the lies in politics come from the right. I think a lot of them come from the left," he said during the event Friday. "I do think it's important to try and come at things from all sides. What we do is poke fun at the [political] system, poke fun at the process."

Panelists agreed that partisan politics has almost nothing to do with what's funny online. "I don't think the Internet leans left," said Albanese, citing the Drudge Report and the far-right rhetoric in some online-comment threads. "It's a bad idea [for comedy sites] to pick a path politically before they go after what's funny."

Now I realize some of the more partisan types will want to dismiss this as some lefties rationalizing a media outlet that "works for them", but I thought it was interesting to see the thoughts of comedians/writers and why/how they target some issues/people. The one comedian described other comics as "angst-ridden and questioning" which does fly against a lot of social conservatism (for example in some cases you're not supposed to question the validity of the statements made by various religious texts/persons but accept them).

I also think its interesting that the "left" turns to more comedy while the "right" turns to political talk shows (especially on the it Rutherford et al in Canada or Rush Limbaugh & Co in the U.S.); neither one should be accepted as an unquestioned source for information but some do. Its interesting as well, that many talk show hosts profess to welcome debate, and present themselves as an authority on many subjects, where many comics seem to back away from assuming influence (Bill Maher being an exception, who tries to unabashedly combine comedic derision/satire with political activism).


Prickly Curmudgeon Smiter
Jun 28, 2010
Of course comedy is mostly leftist.

Comedians are rational and empathetic human beings.


Senate Member
Jun 24, 2011
Im sure Jon Steward probably is on the left if not centre of the spectrum, but he tends to attack whoever happens to be in office from whatever party. Same with Rick Mercer for Canada.

Bill Maher has also attacked Democrats a fair bit at times. Then again the American spectrum is strange. Their left (Democrats) seems to be much further right than our left. Democrats seem to be more like our old PCs.

When it comes to the right in the US, well, the GOP candidates seem to be comedians. No need for others.


Blah Blah Blah
Aug 31, 2006
Under a Lone Palm
It's easier to be funny when you see things from the perspective of reality without the poo smeared on your eyes when you finally take your head out of the bible's ass.