Conservative Comic Strips
July 21, 2010 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Hopefully people are familiar with the comic strip Doonesbury and the fact that it is sometimes kept on the editorial page rather than the with the rest of the funnies on the comics page. Doonesbury is also considered to be a fairly American left wing strip. Perhaps you'd be interested in seeing some comics with American right wing politics? The Gentleman from Lickskillet, Day by Day, Mallard Fillmore, and The Leftersons are here to help.
posted by josher71 (204 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wait, some of those can't be political cartoons. They aren't on the editorial page likes Doonesbury.

Yeah, I know.

The fact that Mallard Fillmore is considered somehow more reflective of some people's daily lives than Doonesbury sends shivers, shivers I tell you.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:46 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Perhaps you'd be interested in seeing some comics with American right wing politics? "

I wasn't sure, then I looked at four panels of the Leftersons and decided the answer to your question was , no, no I'm not!
posted by HuronBob at 12:48 PM on July 21, 2010 [26 favorites]


Wow, the Leftersons is really painful. I mean, the characters have names like "Stalin," "Imelda," and "Hillary." The whole thing is rawther cartoonish, actually.






Also where are the jokes?
posted by Mister_A at 12:49 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh my god that Leftersons comic is horrible in every metric available and some that are yet to be discovered.
posted by vito90 at 12:49 PM on July 21, 2010 [37 favorites]


I have been reminded that Mallard Fillmore exists.

>:|
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:50 PM on July 21, 2010 [23 favorites]


I'm game for starting a right-wing cartoon, and then subtly shifting the narrative in the sensible direction and see what happens. I can write, can't draw. I can dance some too.
posted by Mister_A at 12:53 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


The papers I've read have always treated Mallard Fillmore and Doonesbury the same, i.e. if one were moved to the editorial page, the other one would be as well.

That said, I seem to remember the Daily News pulling Doonesbury (and even more frequently, The Boondocks) pretty regularly during "controversial" arcs, which always pissed me off.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:54 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here, once more, is the devastating Mallard Fillmore parody from "America: the Book".
posted by interrobang at 12:54 PM on July 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


I am having a hard time believing that The Leftersons isn't some quadruple or even quintuple-meta joke. It's all the things that the Onion parodies in their 'editorial' cartoons and yet it's real? Even down to the lone voice of 'reason' speaking in the last panel?

Someone's having someone else on, and that person is having me on. Or maybe it goes farther up the chain than that.
posted by komara at 12:55 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


> I can write, can't draw.

I'm sorry. You are overqualified to make a web comic.
posted by ardgedee at 12:57 PM on July 21, 2010 [22 favorites]


I had forgotten that Day By Day was as bad as I remembered it being. Now I remember again how bad Day By Day is. It's really, really bad.
posted by mightygodking at 12:58 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


See, blunt-club-swingingly dumb as The Leftersons is, I actually find myself much more disturbed by The Gentleman from Lickskillet. Because while it's self-evident that the Leftersons is "written" by someone who believes satire to be literally the same thing as pointed namecalling, the Lickskillet guy appears to actually think he's an iconoclastic intellectual.
posted by gompa at 12:58 PM on July 21, 2010


The Leftersons have a son named 'Stalin'? Really? I mean really?

*checks again*

No, really?

*checks again*
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:58 PM on July 21, 2010


Hahaha! Based on the samples in this post, perhaps you are correct. Oh well, back to the grind...
posted by Mister_A at 1:00 PM on July 21, 2010


god, few things in this life will get me as teeth grittingly angry as mallard fillmore. fucking hate that god damn cartoon.
posted by shmegegge at 1:03 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the Leftersons:

"Stay here, I'm going to Sierra club him in the head..."

I think that's the only thing approaching a 'funny' in the whole strip. The rest is just random conservative talking points.
posted by Huck500 at 1:03 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Leftersons have a son named 'Stalin'? Really? I mean really?

To be fair, the thing is called The Leftersons. The premise kinda dictates a certain bluntness. Like if you did a cartoon called Rightwingnutigan's Island, you'd probably call the old white dude in the outdated military cap Mr. Hitler or something.
posted by gompa at 1:05 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Perhaps you'd be interested in seeing some comics with American right wing politics?

Thank you, I get enough of it on a daily basis elsewhere. I don't need it in my comics too.

Adding: many of the so-called non-political comic funny strips also have plenty more than enough reactionary sociopolitics in and of themselves. Even proto-liberal Cathy is no longer the exquisite bleeding heart she once was. Ack.
posted by blucevalo at 1:05 PM on July 21, 2010


Interesting that you have to go through three or four Day By Day strips before you get to one that doesn't feature a naked woman with gigantic breasts...
posted by Huck500 at 1:07 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Henry Luce, the very conservative owner of Time Magazine (way back when) once explained why he had some liberals on his staff. He said, "conservatives can't write."

Conservative humor can exist. On rare occasions, The Daily Show does it - brilliantly.
There is nothing that requires liberals to be funnier than conservatives. It's just that conservative humorists are lazy-assed and know they can get away with a poorly drawn duck making rancid statements. Or a family of libruls with a kid named Stalin. Or cutting and paste the same drawing over and over again. They get away with it because conservatives grade themselves on a curve. If they didn't, they would all be jobless.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:08 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I actually find myself much more disturbed by The Gentleman from Lickskillet.

The Gentleman from Lickskillet seems to me to be the "best" of these not just for it's superior artwork, but because it's the only one that tries to make actual arguments for its cause, instead of just pathetic name-calling. Those arguments are wrong, of course (yes, Science evolves and isn't always right. You know what proves it wrong, though? More science, not economically-driven political ideology.) But at least it kind of tries, and has at least a whiff of humor to it from time to time.

The Leftersons is so bad it might just be a conspiracy by the "Girls and Sports" guy to look better by comparison, and Day by Day is like listening to a rant by a tripping and xenophobic schizophrenic. Mallard Fillmore is just bad.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:09 PM on July 21, 2010


Holy shit, these suck. I am kind of glad I'm not a conservative, because I'd be really depressed about how my people can't do comedy. At all. At. All.
posted by edheil at 1:09 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just learned that the Annie comic, despite calling her adopter Daddy Warbucks in an apparent dig at war profiteering, was virulently right wing.
posted by GregorWill at 1:12 PM on July 21, 2010


Actually, as bad as it seems, Mallard Fillmore does some good in this world: it keeps an entire county in Thailand in the black manufacturing straw men for the comic to burn down.
posted by notsnot at 1:12 PM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


If it's really satire, you don't really need to put "THIS COMIC IS SATIRE" on the top of every page.

A lot of these just seem like random political complaints or insults, attached to drawings, with no humor at all
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 1:12 PM on July 21, 2010


Hey Pope Guilty, do you have the PITIABLE ASS! cartoon handy?
posted by boo_radley at 1:14 PM on July 21, 2010


I chuckled at "Sierra Club him in the head," but I didn't actually read the strip so that probably helped.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:15 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The weirdest part about Day By Day is how poorly drawn it is. It's the visual equivalent of hearing smooth jazz over the phone while on hold.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:16 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Regrettably, the absolutely batshit "Annie" can no longer be counted among the first rank of arch-conservative comics. It ended last month on a cliffhanger, as the "Butcher of the Balkans" prepared to force our plucky orphan into the Guatemalan jungle at gunpoint.
posted by Iridic at 1:17 PM on July 21, 2010


Huh. Weird. I was just thinking about standup comics and politics, and a lot of what i was thinking applies here, too.

So, I really like David Cross and Patton Oswalt. I think they're very funny guys, and I listen to their standup sometimes when I walk my dog, and I wind up being the weird guy who's laughing as he walks down the streets.

And both Cross and Oswalt veer into jokes that could be called "left-wing." Cross makes fun of the Tea Party, Oswalt (in 2006) compares Bush and Cheney to the Dukes of Hazzard, and so on. Both guys, speaking after 2008, mention being happy Obama won.

But here's the thing: these are funny guys who happen to have left-wing views. With both of them, the bulk of their act has nothing to do with politics. The funny is way, way more important than the left-wing.

Self-branded "Conservative humor," both in standup and in comics form, has this exactly wrong. They put way, way more thought into being conservative than into being funny (which, it hits me, is hilarious given that they love to botch about "political correctness;" if you look at any branded Conservative humor, there's clearly a political line that they're very careful to follow correctly). Since being funny is priority #2, the strips are never, ever funny. They just succeed at political purity.

So, fuck that shit.

sorry if this is only semicoherent; I just got back from a 5-day road trip and have been busy making (apolitical) comics
posted by COBRA! at 1:17 PM on July 21, 2010 [18 favorites]


Clicking makes them money.

In the immortal words of Nancy, "Just say no."
posted by Muddler at 1:17 PM on July 21, 2010


I just learned that the Annie comic, despite calling her adopter Daddy Warbucks in an apparent dig at war profiteering, was virulently right wing.

Oh god yes. "Warbucks" was meant as a compliment. Did you know Daddy Warbucks died back in 1944? This was Harold Gray's attempt to say that "capitalism was dead." When FDR died, Gray celebrated by bringing Warbucks back to life, claiming that his condition had now "much improved."
posted by Navelgazer at 1:19 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


conservative:humor::math:div/0
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, one thing I meant to add but forgot: Doonesbury works because Trudeau writes stories about complicated characters instead of just talking points. there are lots of political jokes, and a definite leftward slant, but it sits on an armature of old-fashioned story.
posted by COBRA! at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Day By Day is redeemed only by having boobies.

THat a virulently sexist remark is the best thing that can be said says a lot itself.
posted by GuyZero at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


You forgot Prickly City (the Conservative character is a cute little girl and the Liberal character is a goofy coyote), although the comicker behind it has recently turned against the Tea Party.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:21 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


god, few things in this life will get me as teeth grittingly angry as mallard fillmore. fucking hate that god damn cartoon. I wonder if Rush and his friends feel the same way about Doonesbury and The Boondocks.

I'd be really depressed about how my people can't do comedy. At all. At. All. Look at it this way... the conservatives can't do comics, and the liberals can't do decent talk radio outrage. In the end, it all works out.

I guess I always thought that Peanuts and Family Circus were conservative. They're not that funny, either.
posted by crunchland at 1:22 PM on July 21, 2010


Nancy said that?
posted by Mister_A at 1:23 PM on July 21, 2010


IMHO, if you want to make fun of the left, you have to have spent time around the left. There's plenty to make fun of. The later years of Alison Bechdel's "Dykes To Watch Out For" does this brilliantly.

However, there's a difference between what you think leftists are like, and actually portraying the left. Sometimes, you just end up with kids named Stalin. (Good goddamn, that is a bad comic.)
posted by Tesseractive at 1:23 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Peanuts is more humanist - I have no idea why you'd think it was conservative. Perhaps Snoopy's desire to get another dish of food for supper represents the incessant demands of big labor unions while Charlie Brown is the factory owner being bled dry?
posted by GuyZero at 1:24 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I guess I meant small-c conservative --- the world of Peanuts didn't ever seem to leave the mid 50's.
posted by crunchland at 1:25 PM on July 21, 2010


Interestingly, Prickly City is not nearly as howlingly awful as the others posted here.
posted by Mister_A at 1:26 PM on July 21, 2010


Even in the case of Family Circus (I'm setting the Peanuts part aside because I don't want to turn this into a thousand-word screed on the genius of Charles Schulz), there's a key difference between it and the stuff linked above. Family Circus has a conservative worldview, but doesn't brand itself as Conservative and expend a lot of ink bad-mouthing political opponents. I think it's not remotely funny, but it's at least failing more honorably than Mallard Fillmore.
posted by COBRA! at 1:29 PM on July 21, 2010


Peanuts was firmly non-political, but could definitely be funny. Family Circus has always sucked. On the other hand, newer strips like Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy definitely have a leftward bent while going for the funny first and foremost.

And then, until recently, there was For Better or Worse, sneaking Mississauga liberalism into the hearts of middle-American suburban homes.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:29 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


What, no Pluggers? I learn all my life lessons from obese animals in coveralls.
posted by Skot at 1:31 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Why did the chicken cross the road?

LET THE CAPITAL GAINS TAX CUTS EXPIRE!


Nope, not funny when leftists do it either.
posted by Legomancer at 1:34 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Many of those are indistinguishable from The Onion's editorial cartoons. Although the Onion cartoons are actually funny, and were discussed previously on MeFi.

The reason Doonesbury succeeds while these are so lame is that the conservative strips lack any subtlety whatsoever and merely regurgitate tired old stereotypes of liberals and others conservatives dislike.
posted by TedW at 1:35 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Conservative humor can exist.

Well, this always makes me laugh, but I don't think it's supposed to.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:35 PM on July 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


The problem with right wing humor is that it just isn't funny.
posted by chillmost at 1:37 PM on July 21, 2010


Like if you did a cartoon called Rightwingnutigan's Island, you'd probably call the old white dude in the outdated military cap Mr. Hitler or something.

Landlady: Ooh, planning a little excursion are we, Mr. Hilter?

Hitler: Ja, ja. We haff a little... (to others) Was ist rückweise eine dreistündige Tour bewegen?
posted by armage at 1:38 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


The art in The Gentleman from Lickskillet kind of reminds me of Dave Sim. I'm just sayin'.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:40 PM on July 21, 2010


TedW: "The reason Doonesbury succeeds while these are so lame is that the conservative strips lack any subtlety whatsoever and merely regurgitate tired old stereotypes of liberals and others conservatives dislike."

Yeah. Doonesbury actually has sympathetic conservative characters. Also, as COBRA! mentioned, it's just good storytelling.

interrobang: "Here, once more, is the devastating Mallard Fillmore parody from "America: the Book"."

I can't seem to find it online, but "America: the Book" also spoofed Doonesbury's "dry humor". No dialog. All four frames were identical static shots of the White House with a butterfly flying by in the 3rd.
posted by brundlefly at 1:41 PM on July 21, 2010


The problem with right wing humor is that it just isn't funny. I wonder if that's true or if it's just that it's not funny when you're the one being laughed at.
posted by crunchland at 1:42 PM on July 21, 2010


Every single last one of you people are literally hitler.
posted by fnerg at 1:45 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Judging by the examples here, I'd say the former. Yeah. Pretty sure about that.
posted by brundlefly at 1:45 PM on July 21, 2010


> The problem with right wing humor is that it just isn't funny.

I wonder if that's true or if it's just that it's not funny when you're the one being laughed at.


The problem with right wing humor is that it isn't meant to make you laugh, it's meant to make you shake your head ruefully and clench your fists.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:46 PM on July 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


I think the story of Dennis Miller applies here. He was always sort of funny, I thought, or when he wasn't funny, he was interesting, with his thesaurus-like wit. But then, he seemed to either switch sides (since I assumed he was liberal), or just embraced his inner-asshole, and started doing Conservative venues, and he hasn't been funny since. In fact, I've seen clips of him on Fox News, and he just seems like a frothing, angry mess. I mean, the guy knows funny, or at least he knew it, but his material just doesn't appeal to me anymore.

Is it that it's conservative, or that the material he uses is just insulting?

I read somewhere that Stephen Colbert is liked by both the left and the right, and I have trouble believing that the right can find him all that funny, but maybe he's just managed to walk the fine line of being insulting to everyone equally.
posted by crunchland at 1:53 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Liberals are like this, correct? You hold this stereotype to be true, do you not? Is it not humorous how I have depicted this stereotype in a way that you recognize and agree with?"

/right wing humor
posted by brundlefly at 1:54 PM on July 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


OK, so based on these comics and the comments here, I am thinking of an experiment:

-we take a static set of drawings, much like Dinosaur comics does
-we insert conservative talking points, at random, into the speech bubbles
-profit from all the people coming to see our brilliant webcomic.

No drawing or writing involved...
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:55 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Conservative Comic Strips:Comedy::Christian Rock:Music
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


never used baby shoes - I'm in. Let's do this.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2010


But here's the thing: these are funny guys who happen to have left-wing views. With both of them, the bulk of their act has nothing to do with politics. The funny is way, way more important than the left-wing.

This is true in Patton Oswalt's case, but I have to say the last time I saw David Cross he'd moved pretty hard into preaching to the choir over actually constructing jokes. IMO Cross has always been a poorly skilled stand-up who has coasted on his natural wit (as opposed to Oswalt, who is both naturally funny and a skilled, disciplined stand-up artist). But recently he seems to have gotten even lazier and closer to "my politics = joke."

Oh, and libertarian Doug Stanhope is one of the funniest men in America today.

/stand-up derail
posted by Bookhouse at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2010


The Worst Damn Comic in the World: Day By Day.
posted by Epenthesis at 1:57 PM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


crunchland: "I read somewhere that Stephen Colbert is liked by both the left and the right"

Anecdata: the conservatives in my family hate him.
posted by brundlefly at 1:58 PM on July 21, 2010




"Liberals are like this, correct? You hold this stereotype to be true, do you not? Is it not humorous how I have depicted this stereotype in a way that you recognize and agree with?"


*nods then laughs politely*
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:58 PM on July 21, 2010


The odd thing about these comic strips, at least in my experience is that they are scattered in odd places throughout the newspaper.
Mallard Filmore in the sports section or Prickly City in the classifieds, for example.
posted by madajb at 1:58 PM on July 21, 2010


And then, until recently, there was For Better or Worse, sneaking Mississauga liberalism into the hearts of middle-American suburban homes.

I loved For Better or For Worse for a long time, but by the end, well... somebody else said it much better.

Lots of good discussion about it from here.
posted by kmz at 1:59 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bookhouse: if I could draw, I would draw a comic about a super-antihero called "Standup DeRail".

And he'd be a real Wild West badass.
posted by chavenet at 2:00 PM on July 21, 2010


It's not funny because there's no juxtaposition of expectations, no subtlety, no misdirection. It's all just: "why did the chicken cross the road? because liberals are fat communist fucks"

i.e. brundlefly nailed it.

It can be done: southpark, pj o'rourke.... struggling to think of others.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 2:00 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


And then, until recently, there was For Better or Worse, sneaking Mississauga liberalism into the hearts of middle-American suburban homes.

Well, sort of, unless you count the last ten years or so, when it became a bizarre, racist, antifeminist bucket o' batshit.

It was never once funny, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:01 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


But here's the thing: these are funny guys who happen to have left-wing views.

Exactly -- also the difference between "The Daily Show" and "The Half-Day News Day", or whatever they called it.

Oddly, their don't appear to be many funny guys who happen to have right-wing views, except maybe P.J. O'Rourke. Not sure why that is.
posted by steambadger at 2:01 PM on July 21, 2010


I mean, not to get too far afield but I sometimes read #tcot Fred Thompson's twitter feed on the GOP Insiders page on TPM, and while I'm sure he and his 36k+ followers think he's a total laugh riot, I don't find anything he says to be funny at all.

(And maybe I should take a lesson from this guy's failures in my own feeble attempts at injecting humor on metafilter.)
posted by crunchland at 2:04 PM on July 21, 2010


Navelgazer - ok. I have no idea how to start, even with no drawing or writing involved.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:05 PM on July 21, 2010


Wait, the Leftersons have a kid named Imelda? After Imelda Marcos? Is that supposed to be irony from someone who presumably admires Ronald Reagan? Because the Marcoses and the Reagans were pretty cozy.
posted by brownpau at 2:06 PM on July 21, 2010


There's always Steven Crowder. (warning video starts immediately)
posted by josher71 at 2:10 PM on July 21, 2010


never used baby shoes, use this as a starting point. (You'll have to click on the text to see the picture, then pretend it appears in a speech bubble or something.

PARENT: Dang it you suck at violin! I knowed I shoulda aborted you and yer twin brother Fluffy and yer twin sisters Reba, Shazbat, Dingbat, Krunk, and Mittens!

CHILD: There you go again!

posted by Mister_A at 2:15 PM on July 21, 2010


Bob Dole used to be pretty funny. A reporter once asked him why he wanted to be vice-president, and he said "it's indoor work, and there's no heavy lifting".
posted by steambadger at 2:16 PM on July 21, 2010


Bob Dole would probably be a Democrat in today's political climate.
posted by Mister_A at 2:18 PM on July 21, 2010


Hey Pope Guilty, do you have the PITIABLE ASS! cartoon handy?

Pitiable ass! I shall explain the error you have made, in words you can understand. See also Anthromorphic Republican Talking Duck, POLITICAL CARTOON, SMBC's guide to making political cartoons, and this Mallard Fillmore parody.


If you want more batshit right-wing comics, see also the liberal-hating Diversity Lane and the so-Zionist-Menachem-Begin-is-embarassed Dry Bones.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:20 PM on July 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


The Gentleman from Lickskillet was cancelled in February and is appealing to fans to find it a home. Day by Day is begging its readers for money so that it can continue. The Leftersons hasn't appeared in three years. Only Mallard Fillmore thrives.

Just sayin'.
posted by CCBC at 2:20 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Self-branded "Conservative humor," both in standup and in comics form, has this exactly wrong. They put way, way more thought into being conservative than into being funny...

Ding! Ding! Ding! Exactly correct. Remember the utterly painful "The 1/2 Hour News Hour"? They would start with a political point and try to wrap the funny around that. But given that much conservative ideology is harsh and prickly to start with, the funny didn't stick.
posted by zardoz at 2:24 PM on July 21, 2010


The "Freep!!!" sound effect in the Mallard Fillmore parody is inspired.
posted by josher71 at 2:26 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Isn't P.J. O'Rourke (also: the South Park guys) more of a libertarian than a right-winger? Contrarian jerk, yes. Money-worshipping asshole, sure. But lover of authority and respecter of "traditional values"? Never. And those, in my opinion, are the true comedy-killers (as evidenced in the above-linked "comic" strips).
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:31 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


But then, he seemed to either switch sides (since I assumed he was liberal), or just embraced his inner-asshole, and started doing Conservative venues, and he hasn't been funny since.

Miller's always been on the libertarian end of things. He was a big Perot supporter. I think he's become more conservative and curmudgeonly as he gets older (it happens), and I think that's been exacerbated by a couple of things:

First, 9/11. He was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge supporter of President Bush following the attacks. He (from what I could see) fell in with those whose revelation following the attacks was of the "you're with us or you're with the terrorists"/"anything to keep us safe" vein. Remember, this is a man who went on The Daily Show and told Jon Stewart that he thought W had restored respectability to the presidency. Which leads us to number two:

He totally lost credibility with his core audience. From SNL to HBO, he was big with younger people. Then the HBO thing ended and he took his conservative tack and then he got a cable news talk/comedy show, in which he announced that he was not going to make fun of President Bush. A political comedian told the world that he was not going to make fun of a sitting president, and one of the most reviled politicians of the previous two centuries to boot. IIRC, he even used a phrase like "I'm going to give him a pass." Young people can be easily led, but they can also smell when someone has shit on their own image of independent satire. They know phonies, and largely felt he'd abandoned them.

In essence, Miller boxed himself into this. He tanked his own career by allowing the comedy part of political comedy (and, really, the ethics of honest political comedy) to take a backseat to the politics. The only things he had left at that point were FOX and bitterness about the instantaneous evaporation of his fanbase. Conservo-tainment looked like a way to reinvent and sustain his career, indeed the only way, so he took it.

Mel Gibson's essentially done the same thing, with the revelations that he's a woman-beating misogynistic racist. The image of charm and punny wit he so carefully cultivated is dead. Only hardline right-wingers will give him an ear now. My guess is that, unless he can give the public an excuse to forgive him, you'll see him on FOX in no time.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:34 PM on July 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


The problem with these right-wing "comics" is that they aren't funny.

Other than that, great.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 2:35 PM on July 21, 2010


But lover of authority and respecter of "traditional values"? Never. And those, in my opinion, are the true comedy-killers (as evidenced in the above-linked "comic" strips).

There's the core of the difficulty of conservative comedy right there, I think. Comedy used as a tool for zinging the wealthy and powerful works, because most of us don't feel empowered and can share in the laugh. Comedy used by those supporting the wealthy and powerful, comedy that's used to zing the weak, well, to put it charitably you've got an uphill battle there.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Day by Day is begging its readers for money so that it can continue. The Leftersons hasn't appeared in three years.

O happy day! The Leftersons seems to be cut of the same cloth as The Goode Family; it's worth noting that while Mike Judge's previous series King of the Hill ran for twelve years, The Goode Family ran for a single summer. (He's going back to doing Beavis and Butthead.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:39 PM on July 21, 2010


a subforum on somethingawful has had a long-running (2 years now) conservative cartoon thread. it tends to focus on editorial cartoons but everything in this post is covered as well. the admittedly fucking gargantuan OP has a run-down on pretty much every conservative cartoonist alive, as well as some pretty awesome parodies.
posted by p3on at 2:40 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I truly don't think a good humor has a political position, for all that politics can make for great humor. Stupid and/or hypocritical politics, in which the right has been reveling for a long time now, makes for the best humor of all. I think that is why the left wing has had such an edge on great humor. (For example, Jon Stewart. Or for example, the time the left found the website for proposed Bush/Cheney 2004 bumper stickers, and had a field day. And for example, my brother alerted me today to the #shakespalin and #thebardofwasilla tags in Twitter today. Hidden amidst the misogyny are some howlers.)

Also, maybe this is just me, but there aren't many consistently funny or even funny comic strips these days. Even Doonesbury is usually just slight smile material.
posted by bearwife at 2:42 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Either I'm really out of touch or the marketing of The Goode Family must have been abysmal. This is the first I've heard of it.
posted by brundlefly at 2:42 PM on July 21, 2010


Mel Gibson's essentially done the same thing

Not really, because he presumably never thought all those horrible things he said would ever be made public. Whereas Miller very deliberately decided to follow the course he did. Otherwise, however, I think your analysis of Miller's suicide pact with his own career is dead on.
posted by Rangeboy at 2:42 PM on July 21, 2010


Good to see they're keeping up with family values (that was actually the first strip on Day by Day)
posted by delmoi at 2:45 PM on July 21, 2010


Comedy used by those supporting the wealthy and powerful, comedy that's used to zing the weak, well, to put it charitably you've got an uphill battle there.

Bingo, I dropped in to say something exactly along these lines. If your satire (or comedy, generally) is premised on afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable then, well, there you go.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:48 PM on July 21, 2010


Well, sort of, unless you count the last ten years or so, when [For Better Or For Worse] became a bizarre, racist, antifeminist bucket o' batshit.

Not that I'm defending it, but do you have any examples of these?
posted by waraw at 2:49 PM on July 21, 2010


Bill Willingham is, from what I've heard, a big ole righty, and he's made me double over with laughter on more than one occasion.

But yeah, "Day by Day" is pretty much the worst thing ever.
posted by jtron at 2:49 PM on July 21, 2010


it tends to focus on editorial cartoons -- I looked at the thing you linked to on S/A, and even though I disagree with the points they make, I don't think it's fair to attack editorial cartoons because they're not funny. I don't think it's their goal to be funny. Their goal is to illustrate, in sharp contrast and no subtlety, a political point. I mean, if they can make you laugh, that's a bonus.
posted by crunchland at 2:49 PM on July 21, 2010


Things spotted in the PITIABLE ASS! cartoon:

The Elephant:
- has a remarkably square and rugged jaw
- is ultra-ripped
- is shirtless, hairless and appears to be oiled down

I get that he's so much more rugged compared to his feeble opponent, but why give him the pornstar look? And why is he shirtless when his (supposedly more promiscuous) rival is sharply dressed?

(And why does the trunk look phallic?)

Also, "Hee Haw Flurp Durp Poop" is now my go-to phrase when starting all political conversations.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 2:50 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not really, because he presumably never thought all those horrible things he said would ever be made public.

Oh, sure. It wasn't a conscious public move on his point (however, before all of this, he clearly stated in interviews his opposition to homosexuality and his adherence to his father's Catholicism, which is extremist even for Catholics, and thoroughly anti-semitic). I drew the analogy only because it's somewhat similar from an audience perspective -- the guy you used to show us isn't the guy you're showing yourself to be now, and frankly we liked the other guy better.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:50 PM on July 21, 2010


I have no idea how to start, even with no drawing or writing involved.

Here's an idea: get a set image, ala Dinosaur Comic, that has a pretty set beat to it (Character A says something, B responds, A says something else, B gets a punchline, C pops up for a topper) then use the Magic Of Code to set A, B, and C's speech bubbles to contain tweets from three chosen rightwing pundits/politicians/stooges. Strip out any retweets or @s or links.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:51 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just came in to say how repetitive, lame and creepy I think Day By Day is.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:52 PM on July 21, 2010


Conservative humor can exist. On rare occasions, The Daily Show does it - brilliantly.

I'd accept your point except that TDS people are liberals. It isn't conservative humor if it's done by liberals.

By now, it is axiomatic that conservatives just can't be funny. I can tell you the exact moment conservatives lost their ability to be funny. Miller did his first HBO show after 9/11. He started with a monologue about the Constitution, and why the first two Amendments are so important. He said something to the effect of "We have the First Amendment so people can have the right of free speech. We have the Second Amendment so you better watch what you say, asshole!"

Conservative "humor" is the equivalent of slapstick where the punchline is burning the Constitution.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:56 PM on July 21, 2010


Oddly, their don't appear to be many funny guys who happen to have right-wing views, except maybe P.J. O'Rourke. Not sure why that is.

Libertarians can be funny. P.J. O'Rourke doesn't identify as a libertarian, but he's always seemed to swing that way. As to why conservatives can't be funny, perhaps it's because comedy is about friction and opposition and mocking sacred cows and conservatism wants to preserve those sacred cows.

BTW - I heart The Leftersons. If I were going to write a liberal parody of a conservative comic strip parodying liberals, that's exactly what I would come up with. Which is not exactly an endorsement, I suppose.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:57 PM on July 21, 2010


That Leftersons strip is fucking hilarious.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 2:59 PM on July 21, 2010


The only conservative I ever heard or saw be purposely funny was Bill Buckley, Jr., and that was in 1960.
posted by carping demon at 3:00 PM on July 21, 2010


Day by Day is begging its readers for money so that it can continue.

That explains the boobies four days running.

As for the Dinosaur Comics-esque tack, I think it could work! Allow me to suggest using various perspective shots of the Peace Fountain (depending on whether it's the sun or moon or one of the giraffes spouting off).
posted by carsonb at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2010


The reason Doonesbury succeeds while these are so lame is that the conservative strips lack any subtlety whatsoever and merely regurgitate tired old stereotypes of liberals and others conservatives dislike.

Actually, I think it has to do with the idea that you can laugh at yourself. Doonesbury does not shrink from satirizing Democrats, but conservative humor in general seems to take itself way too seriously, such as the idea every joke has to be political and detrimental to the other side or complimentary to their side. And humor that takes itself seriously isn't usually very funny.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:13 PM on July 21, 2010


The mention of Mallard Filmore has irritated me so much that I am turning off my computer for the day.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:13 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Conservative humor can exist. On rare occasions, The Daily Show does it - brilliantly.
What what? Unless by conservative you mean "to the right of me on some particular issue", Because The Daily Show is not a conservative show.

Anyway, I remember reading some study somewhere that showed conservatives tended to find more things funny then liberals. So conservatives would be more likely to laugh at "liberal" jokes as well as simple jokes like puns or whatever, whereas liberals were more discerning.

That's probably why "everyone" agrees that shows like "The daily show" and "The Colbert Report" are funny, while liberals never find conservative jokes that funny. Or maybe it's just that the only "conservative" humor you see is really hard core crazy stuff. You hardly ever see "centrist" conservative humor about politics.

I do remember seeing David Frum (who's now considered a 'moderate' who's hated by the mainstream right, despite the fact that he's an unrepentant neocon) tell some jokes on Bill Maher's show. They mainly consisted of calling Nancy Peloci ugly
posted by delmoi at 3:15 PM on July 21, 2010


Libertarians can be funny. P.J. O'Rourke doesn't identify as a libertarian, but he's always seemed to swing that way. As to why conservatives can't be funny, perhaps it's because comedy is about friction and opposition and mocking sacred cows and conservatism wants to preserve those sacred cows.

PJ O'Rourke almost doesn't fit with them anymore, because the last few waves of conservatives have tried very hard to purge intellectuals from their ranks entirely. Satire is difficult without intellectuals.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:16 PM on July 21, 2010


In thinking about things to poke at w/r/t U.S. presidents, in my lifetime here are the things I've found hilarious

Carter
--attacked by rabbit

Reagan

--no hilarity 'cause i hated him so much

Bush Sr.

--barfed in Japanese head of state's lap

--something about broccoli

---looking at his watch during crucial debate with Clinton


Clinton
--BJ under the desk in the Oval Office

W.
--about every fucking syllable that came out of his mouth

Obama

???

In conclusion, in my forty years on this earth, Republican politics have been more funny.
posted by angrycat at 3:18 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only thing better than Mallard Fillmore is letters to the editor about how insightful Mallard Fillmore is.

Anyone see the irony that it's punned after one of the widely-acknowledged worst Presidents evar?

Funniest Mallard Fillmore.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:21 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer, carsonb, robocop is bleeding, Mister_A, whoever else - I literally would not be able to get the webcomic idea off the ground. It breaks my heart to admit it, but I am no where near tech savvy enough to make it happen...and as much as I would love to learn the Magic of Code to make it happen, my life right now isn't going to allow it. I just thought it was a funny idea - and as always, ideas are a dime a dozen...actually doing something with it is the value.

If anyone (or several someones) wants to take a run at it, be my guest.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:23 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't P.J. O'Rourke (also: the South Park guys) more of a libertarian than a right-winger? Contrarian jerk, yes. Money-worshipping asshole, sure. But lover of authority and respecter of "traditional values"? Never. And those, in my opinion, are the true comedy-killers (as evidenced in the above-linked "comic" strips).

Before libertarianism became a big label, I believe he was considered something of a moderate - conservative fiscally but liberal socially. As such, he was allowed to be an intellectual and something other than an ideologue, which is what happened when libertarians took that description and ran with it.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:23 PM on July 21, 2010


even though I disagree with the points they make, I don't think it's fair to attack editorial cartoons because they're not funny. I don't think it's their goal to be funny. Their goal is to illustrate, in sharp contrast and no subtlety, a political point

most of the comics in that thread are attacked for making bad arguments or being flatly offensive
posted by p3on at 3:24 PM on July 21, 2010


In conclusion, in my forty years on this earth, Republican politics have been more funny.

I dunno. Clinton is pretty hilarious, mostly because he's such a ham. He's very good at his game, but everyone loves him anyway, cause they think of him as a big goof (and as a Rhodes scholar, this was a good image to cultivate going into politics). The right person doing a Clinton impersonation can say just a couple words to get a huge laugh out of a big crowd. Bush was funny because he was such an idiot, but he was not nearly as likable - I don't find myself laughing as much at him these days.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:27 PM on July 21, 2010


Humor is about undermining expectations. You think the world works some way, the lead-in to the joke reinforces that view, then BAM! ...the punchline throws you a reversal you never expected, and gives you the comfortable outlet of laughter to mitigate any cognitive dissonance you might be suffering.

Humor is thus, by its very nature, anti-conservative. Conservativism is about the preservation of "traditional" beliefs, the position that our current beliefs and expectations are the correct ones. That's not a slur against it as a philosophy, that's its actual basis; it's conservative because it conserves the status quo.

"Conservative humor" is basically an oxymoron. The only expectations "conservative humor" can undermine are the rules and etiquette of civilized society, hence the overwhelming prevalence of mean-spirited, mockery-based humor in that category. Hence the giddy pleasure expressed by the right wing whenever the rest of us are offended. Hence the championing of "political incorrectness".

It's not that this can't be funny (and indeed, many "liberal" comics do humor of this type as well), it's just that it's not a diverse enough ecosystem for "conservative humor" to flourish. It's the Top Ramen of humor... enjoyable in its own way but you'll somehow end up both fat and malnourished if it's all you consume.

Footnote: the irony is, of course, that the very fact that we all recognize the shittiness of "conservative humor" makes it that much funnier to conservatives. We all expect it to be terrible because it is terrible, and so finding it funny is itself an amusing reversal of expectations to them.

It's like this superbly crafted meta-commentary on the nature of humor, except the people enabling it aren't aware of what they're doing. It's a million monkeys on a million typewriters writing the screenplay for An American Carol and flinging feces... but I repeat myself.
posted by Riki tiki at 3:30 PM on July 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


The Lefterson's is so bad that it's good. Mallard Fillmore just plain sucks ass.
posted by jefbla at 3:31 PM on July 21, 2010


um, those are cartoons? Banal or heavy-handed. Sheesh what grouches!
posted by Cranberry at 3:33 PM on July 21, 2010


> it's worth noting that while Mike Judge's previous series King of the Hill ran for twelve years, The Goode Family ran for a single summer.

Come to think of it, wasn't King Of The Hill (which I loved, although it started to slip towards the end) actually-funny conservative-themed humour? Lots of digs at hippies/political correctness/the modern world, plus an affectionate portrayal of small town life and a "traditional" families?

Of course, Judge got his digs in against conservatives (eg. Hank's Greedy Republican boss), but ultimately the show's political bent was somewhat to the right.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:33 PM on July 21, 2010


most of the comics in that thread are attacked for making bad arguments or being flatly offensive -- Yeah. I thought the first bunch seemed ok, but the more I read, the more troubling they were.
posted by crunchland at 3:38 PM on July 21, 2010


Mister_A : I'm game for starting a right-wing cartoon, and then subtly shifting the narrative in the sensible direction and see what happens.

See, I came at this idea from the exact opposite side; I wanted to do a right wing comic that is so fucking vile that even people on the extreme right would go "Whoa, too far man..."

But your idea is vastly better because of two reasons: first, it's far more subtle. Second, because I always be afraid that no matter how absurdly, stupidly, racist, homophobic, misogynistic I might go, there'd always be a small core of people out there going "Yeah, this guy gets it..."

And that makes me a bit twitchy.
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on July 21, 2010


Of course, Judge got his digs in against conservatives (eg. Hank's Greedy Republican boss), but ultimately the show's political bent was somewhat to the right.

Yeah, I think so, too. The conservative characters are all sympathetic. For a long time none of the liberal characters were, but that started changing a while back, although it has some big blind spots - Hank joined up with a co-op, as they had better food, although he found their anti-capitalist tendencies frustrating and "fixed" the co-op to be more competitive (never mind that a cooperative is a particular type of business organization that has its own advantages). But at the least it also made fun of its main characters, so no sacred cows, and that's why it's funny (in a much different way than B&B).
posted by krinklyfig at 3:42 PM on July 21, 2010


Doonesbury appears every day with other standard comic strips in my Canadian daily and in the Saturday funnies insert. I always read it but mostly don't "get" it and have never found it "funny", as it's a little too earnestly and self-consciously American, hence not universal enough in theme and content to let me appreciate it the way an American might. I do, however, recognize and like its leftward tilt. Plus the artwork is great.

I'd need more time to form an opinion on the future of the right-wing cartoons posted by josher71 because I've just learned about them now. Still, it occurs to me that The Family Circus, Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois and Wizard of Id strips that accompany Doonesbury in my paper are already enough to give me an idea of what might be in store.
posted by drogien at 3:43 PM on July 21, 2010


from the Something Awful thread linked above. So awesome.
posted by waraw at 3:44 PM on July 21, 2010


I have actually met very few conservatives with a real sense of humour.

I believe that if you really had a sense of humour you couldn't swallow all the contradictory crap you need to be a conservative in 2010.

Even libertarians (who are somewhat a different beast than conservatives and with whom I have a little more sympathy) don't really seem to have much of a deep belly-laugh sense of humour. I really do believe that in order to deeply laugh when someone falls into a pile of shit, you have to have fallen into shit before and know that there's a good chance that you'll do it again - and I believe that if libertarians really understood that they could be laid low by fortune and circumstance and no fault of their own they might be a little less dogmatic about being independent Randian superheroes.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:44 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


See if you can crack the binary coded message in this one.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:49 PM on July 21, 2010


lol wut
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:57 PM on July 21, 2010


> But at the least it also made fun of its main characters, so no sacred cows, and that's why it's funny (in a much different way than B&B).

Yeah, I think that's the key; there were always a lot of good jokes at the expense of Hank's conservatism (political, social, even sexual), and Arlen's problems weren't always portrayed as the fault of silly liberals. Although a lot of the villains were hippy strawmen, many episodes revolved around Hank's willingness (or not) to change his views (if only a little) in the face of change, and I'm pretty sure I saw an episode where Hank claimed it was every American's patriotic duty to pay their taxes.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:13 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


from the Something Awful thread linked above. So awesome.

that was made by zina saunders who is awesome and totally owns
posted by p3on at 4:14 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goddammit, this post makes me miss Bloom County so fucking much.
posted by elizardbits at 4:15 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I love humor. Intelligence and wit are attributes I highly prize in people, and I've been lucky to know a lot of truly funny people.

I think the general problem with "conservative" humor is that "conservative" and "humor" just don't mix very well. Good comedy, I think, embraces anarchy; it accepts and enjoys dissonance and human foibles.

Conservatives can't accept anarchy. They need reason. They need a system. That's why Doonesbury can paint a funny picture with a point, while the Leftersons bludgeons with a point but forgets the humor. Coloring outside the lines flies in the face of conservative ideals.

Just my personal theory.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:22 PM on July 21, 2010


Christopher Buckley is a pretty funny conservative. I thought The White House Mess was pretty funny.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:22 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or, what Riki tiki already said. (somehow I missed your comment)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:29 PM on July 21, 2010


To echo middleclasstool: comedy is about power differential and false congruence, not to ruin every joke ever for you. I think Stephen Colbert is mostly right when he talks about how you can find in every bit of comedy a status shift of some kind. But the modern conservative principle is not to shift or exchange statuses, but to calcify the current status strata and immortalize it.

There's nothing funny about powerful people also being smart and clever and better; there's nothing funny about the notion that people are poor because they're lazy or stupid. But there is something funny about banks charging poor people money for not having enough money; there is something funny about your high-school tormentor taunting you while ringing you up at Target; there's humor in children being wiser than naked emperors. Goldwater conservatives could potentially be amusing. Neo-cons have no chance. But they don't have to be funny. They have all the other shit.
posted by Errant at 4:31 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really do believe that in order to deeply laugh when someone falls into a pile of shit, you have to have fallen into shit before and know that there's a good chance that you'll do it again - and I believe that if libertarians really understood that they could be laid low by fortune and circumstance and no fault of their own they might be a little less dogmatic about being independent Randian superheroes.

There's an old comedy rule:

Comedy: When you slip on a banana peel and fall.

Tragedy: When I slip on a banana peel and fall.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:02 PM on July 21, 2010


charlie don't surf: "Comedy: When you slip on a banana peel and fall.

Tragedy: When I slip on a banana peel and fall.
"

As someone who has actually slipped on a banana peel and fell, let me assure you that it's just as hilarious, if not more so.
posted by brundlefly at 5:05 PM on July 21, 2010 [6 favorites]



Comedy: When you slip on a banana peel and fall.

Tragedy: When I slip on a banana peel and fall.


No.

Tragedy: Getting a paper cut
Comedy: Falling into an open manhole and dying

via Mel Brooks
posted by Mblue at 5:10 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


More specifically;

"If I got a paper cut, that’s a tragedy. If you fell down an open manhole and died, that's comedy."
posted by quin at 5:19 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've thought about the issues in conservative humor a lot. Probably too much.

One thing that occurred to me is that Arrested Development, which is one of my favorite comedies, is fairly conservative; Michael Bluth is a business owner, his father is a caricature of the archetypical amoral CEO, his son is basically a young Republican, his free-living brother is portrayed as an irresponsible fool, his mother says awful things to her Hispanic maid, and his sister is practically a walking stereotype of shallow, materialistic, feminism-neutral trophy-wifehood. It uncritically puts forth many extant stereotypes in gender, familial relations, the proper priorities of society in general, it doesn't challenge traditional culture with respect to women's roles or the plight of marginalized people, it really has nothing liberal or progressive to say about anything. But it's brilliant. Its psychological acuity, narrative structure, and verbal games are the source of the comedy, and that's the best and most challenging way to be funny, to my mind. It's essentially a farce, that overlooked and tragically misused form, not a sitcom or a satire, which frees the writers to focus on character and dialogue in a way that doesn't rely on the audience identifying with the ideologically correct characters and despising the unenlightened ones, or even necessarily sympathizing with any them, and every character is both sympathetic and unsympathetic at various times. Satire is the ascendant comic form of our time. It makes the audience feel smarter than their ideological Enemies, makes them feel clever and informed whether they are or not. It can be wonderfully funny and devastating but maybe enough is enough already with all that.
posted by clockzero at 5:20 PM on July 21, 2010


One person unmentioned thus far is Larry Miller, who I always found pretty funny, and who is conservative enough for the Freep seal of approval. Granted, I've never heard him say anything funny ABOUT politics, but I don't think that's his act in any case.
posted by el_lupino at 5:29 PM on July 21, 2010


Political comedy is about pointing out blind spots, and each thinks the other isn't funny.

How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
Feminist: That isn't funny.

While Benny Andajetz makes a good point, liberal comics are well known for the mallet.
posted by Mblue at 5:41 PM on July 21, 2010


Of course, the copula of satire with specific ideological positions is not inevitable, but that seems to be the dominant modern form.
posted by clockzero at 5:47 PM on July 21, 2010


clockzero: I thought about Arrested Development, except that it constantly took shots at the Bush administration ("Mission Accomplished" banners, GOB essentially being a stand-in for either W. or Jeb as the situation called for it, laughing about the absurdity of pot being illegal, and all sorts of other things) as well as taking shots at self-congratulatory, not-thought-through liberalism in the characters of Lindsay and Tobias.

Arrested Development made fun of everything, but I'm pretty certain that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are on the far more liberal side of the spectrum.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:52 PM on July 21, 2010


Doonesbury is sort of a one off, though. Does the Left have anything else out there on the comics pages? Sally Forth, I suppose, but my point is that most comics are dead boring. No real surprise there - comedy is hard. Daily comedy harder still. Trying to bend comedy to your political prejudices hardest of all.

Not that this is necessarily a problem, professional speaking - as clockzero rightly suggests, once you take a political POV, right or left, you've automatically got a built in audience who will laugh at your jokes about the Others Being Stupid and forgive you pretty much anything just because you're all in the same clique.

But it's no guarantee that the work will be funny. Indeed, it doesn't really have to be.

(Now I must check out Arrested Development, for I have never seen it, and I like me a good comedy of whatever stripe.)
posted by IndigoJones at 6:02 PM on July 21, 2010


POTUS
Who's he making fun of? Your comedy group think, friend.
posted by Mblue at 6:15 PM on July 21, 2010


Is it possible to make a right leaning cartoon that doesn't seem like an angry response? Apparantly not.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:29 PM on July 21, 2010


I am utterly fascinated as to why "conservative" comedy isn't successful, yet "liberal" comedy is. In theory, as long as you're expressing the viewpoint of a character (whether it be right or left wing) and heighten that viewpoint to the point of absurdity, the comedy should succeed, no?

Thinking about it more (and taking into account the above comments) I think it does boil down to the fact that "liberal" comedy is willing to call bullshit on other liberals, and "conservative" comedy almost deifies well respected conservatives. At least, this is what I'm getting from the small portion of right-wing comedy I've read.

Personally, I hate the idea of "liberal" and "conservative" comedy. Funny is funny, and people need to stop pandering to audiences and just create hilarity. The (comedy) world would be a much better place if we did.
posted by leo. at 6:46 PM on July 21, 2010


PJ O'Rourke? Is that really who you want to hold up as funny? I've read Republican Party Reptile and Parliament of Whores. They were funny when I was fifteen, but now it's like oh, college students are dumb? What a fine observation, PJ.

The man is the ultimate instantiation of the Libertarian who talks a good game about being socially liberal and then votes according to who'll give him the biggest tax cut. That Rolling Stone employed him as long as they did is a real shame.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:08 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thinking about it more (and taking into account the above comments) I think it does boil down to the fact that "liberal" comedy is willing to call bullshit on other liberals, and "conservative" comedy almost deifies well respected conservatives. At least, this is what I'm getting from the small portion of right-wing comedy I've read.

The big issue, really, is that right-wing comedy consists entirely of beating up people who are weaker than you are. Right-wing comedy is the "comedy" of schoolyard bullying.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:11 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


PJ O'Rourke? Is that really who you want to hold up as funny?

The man has always driven me nuts. Thank you for validating my intense dislike for this deeply unfunny putz.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 7:45 PM on July 21, 2010


Come to think of it, wasn't King Of The Hill (which I loved, although it started to slip towards the end) actually-funny conservative-themed humour? Lots of digs at hippies/political correctness/the modern world, plus an affectionate portrayal of small town life and a "traditional" families?

There's probably a thesis or two in addressing this question, but you've already basically answered it: KOTH was successful for pretty much the same reason that All In The Family was. You had a family (and, more specifically, its patriarch) trying to maintain its general virtues in the face of challenges to its specific beliefs.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:56 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


O'Rourke was always the guy who was only at the Lampoon because he sucked up to the boss. Still at it, too.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:56 PM on July 21, 2010


King of the Hill struck me as not necessarily conservative but more sorta down-home. Like the episode about "going green", where Hank is impressed with what he considers common sense lifestyle changes and horrified at the idea of carbon neutrality. That's not really a dig on environmentalism at all. I think Hank is more a character skeptical of things he's not familiar with, and his confrontation with the new is what drives the comedy. It's not a political position per se, I think, but more a social one.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:07 PM on July 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Mister_A : I'm game for starting a right-wing cartoon, and then subtly shifting the narrative in the sensible direction and see what happens.

You mean like what happened with Battlestar Galactica? Hey, when the good guys were the ones with suicide bombers, right-wing blogs exploded like Cronenberg scanner heads.
posted by CCBC at 8:17 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Side note: The Leftersons actually ran in the print version of the Onion for a while.
posted by swift at 8:18 PM on July 21, 2010


Navelgazer: I'm sure you're right about Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and the instances you mention are notable. What I was trying to say, which I guess I didn't say clearly or convincingly, was that the show presents a perspective which is essentially socially conservative, not Republican.
posted by clockzero at 8:19 PM on July 21, 2010


Perhaps you'd be interested in seeing some comics with American right wing politics?

Judging by the examples? No, not really, not even a little bit.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:43 PM on July 21, 2010


I loved the first couple of years of the comic strip Boondocks, when it was more character-based and story-driven. It was inherently political, while rarely touching on the news-of-the day/week/month, and their website regularly featured the "hate mail of the week."

I was sad when Aaron McGruder decided he wasn't cut out for a daily strip and outsourced a lot more of the writing and art, because it became just another talking head political strip. I wanted more of Riley and Huey and Cindy and Jazmine and Caesar (and a lot more of Aaron McGruder).

Then the cartoon version debuted on Adult Swim. It's beautifully animated with a great voice cast; it's almost entirely written by McGruder and it's far more character-driven and story-based than the strip ever was, but...

It's different. Even though it's occasionally brilliant (and I'm not using any hyperbole when I say that) and a scathing critique of both the "left" and the "right", I never knew that, given more freedom, so much of McGruder's comic sensibilities would rely on scatalogical and shock humor.

It might be one of the best cartoons on TV when it's firing on all cylinders, but it's often just... decent. I'm a little disappointed.
posted by elr at 8:55 PM on July 21, 2010


Someone earlier asked about conservatives liking The Colbert Report. The explanation I have heard is that they don't know (or don't care) that it's an act.

However, my dad and stepmom (both local tea party organizers, alas) are not fans. I was visiting for the holidays and had Colbert on. My stepmom walked in and declared "that is not funny in this house."
posted by dhens at 9:16 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmm. The Left attacks the right by pointing out the very real and immediate damage rightwing policies have done to everyday Americans, while the Right attacks the left by pointing out minute logical inconsistencies and hypocrisy, or simply lying really, really big (Socialism == Communism + NAZIS!).

For some, the humor of a Big Lie about an enemy being believed is much funnier than truth being told. This is pretty much the entire audience for AM talk radio and Fox news.

This is why Jon Stewart is the funniest fucker on television, and why there will never be a "right wing" Daily Show while the current crop of righties rules the roost - he thinks the truth is always more entertaining than a lie, and proves it. Night. After. Night.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:17 PM on July 21, 2010


Doonsbury isn't a liberal comic strip. It's a comic strip by a first-rate satirist and ironist who happens, in life, to be liberal. But comedy is anarchic at its core, and democratic, in that it punctures pretension and brings down people for their own sins. To be successful at it, you must be fearless, and that means sometimes going after your own, and it also means that you're not out to make a point, but to skewer one.

Conservative comics are not funny because they are messages passing themselves off as jokes. There may be examples of liberal comics that do the same. I would think they would. It's hard to be funny when you are shouting down somebody.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:45 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Interesting that you have to go through three or four Day By Day strips before you get to one that doesn't feature a naked woman with gigantic breasts...

I can't find it anywhere, but I once saw a review of a comic book or comic artist that went something like this:

"Most adult men would be embarrassed for people to learn that they simply did not know what a woman's body looks like. But ---X--- proudly trumpets this fact from every page."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:48 PM on July 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Doonesbury is sort of a one off, though. Does the Left have anything else out there on the comics pages? Sally Forth, I suppose, but my point is that most comics are dead boring.

*Mindgrapes explodinated* . . . and with one comment, my entire world view has been changed forever.

Sally Forth is an example of liberal humor? I read it every day, and I have never seen any political humor in it. Is there some sort of secret code that I'm missing? Where do I get my decoder ring? What happened to my reading comprehension-- when did it go to shite? Oh my god, it's all over for me, isn't it? Cursed to a lifetime of of only being capabale of understanding the low-level political sophicitication as expressed by Steve Doocey and the rest of the hosts on Fox & Friends!

Please kill me.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:49 PM on July 21, 2010


X == Rob Liefield, Jim Lee, Jim Balent, Pretty Much Any Male Artist Evarrr
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:12 PM on July 21, 2010


There are funny conservative standups, by some definitions of the word conservative. I've always thought the regulars on the opie and anthony radio show were pretty right-wing leaning, and still funny.

It's just hard to do funny political humor that isn't either shrill or milk toast.
posted by empath at 10:21 PM on July 21, 2010


"Most adult men would be embarrassed for people to learn that they simply did not know what a woman's body looks like. But ---X--- proudly trumpets this fact from every page."

At first I was absolutely sure I knew which artist this refers to, but then realised that the worst example is definitely not the only example.
posted by winna at 10:23 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


"that is not funny in this house."

delicious.

"Hey, you know what is funny ...?"
posted by mrgrimm at 10:57 PM on July 21, 2010


At first I was absolutely sure I knew which artist this refers to, but then realised that the worst example is definitely not the only example.

oh, wonderful. thanks.

"You know what? I’m not drawing that other hand. Too tricky. Pfft what are you talking about? No one’s going to notice."
posted by mrgrimm at 11:05 PM on July 21, 2010


Doonsbury isn't a liberal comic strip. It's a comic strip by a first-rate satirist and ironist who happens, in life, to be liberal

Exactly. I'm remembering one story arc from the past few years where a character outsourced his own job to India, because it let him take home 2/3 pof the salary while doing no work.

Who is that satirizing, I ask? Where is the "gun" of satire pointed? Nowhere in particular, the situation itself just presented the opportunity for absurdity.

Conservative comedy, as I've seen it, can't do that, because it must have a target, must have a talking point, must make sure that it colors within the lines.

And that's why it fails.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:07 PM on July 21, 2010


True story:
In the summer of 1994, the Chicago Sun-Times started running Mallard Fillmore. I read it and hated it with a passion and wondered what sort of a jerk would write something like that. Fall semester 1994, I took a magazine editing class in college that was a combined undergraduate/graduate course. The first day of class, we did the typical go-around-the-room-and-introduce-ourselves exercise. One of the grad students in the back of the classroom, a slightly older guy, mentions in his introduction that he's a cartoonist and his comic strip has just been syndicated. The guy was Bruce Tinsley, who draws Mallard Fillmore. He was actually nice enough in my interactions with him (in class and in my job as the journalism computer lab monitor). Of course, I never told him what I thought of his work. ; )
posted by SisterHavana at 11:40 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


And remember: Mallard Fillmore is the product of 80-90 hours of work (mostly research) every week.
posted by ymgve at 12:45 AM on July 22, 2010


I'm with KingEdRa in wondering how Sally Worth is political in any way at all. Have I missed something?
posted by brundlefly at 12:57 AM on July 22, 2010


I read somewhere that Stephen Colbert is liked by both the left and the right

For completely different reasons. People on the left like him because they get the joke behind his persona. Those on the right like him because they don't.
posted by scalefree at 1:16 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


To echo what many have said above, I think humor that supports power and the status quo and takes pride in it is just never going to be funny, and any attempt at it will always fail spectacularly. Since the right holds the power in the USA, pro-Republican humor is never going to be anything but dismal, as the strips in the FPP illustrate. Genuinely funny people are just not going to be attracted to "movement conservatism" in this country, and if they are, they're not going to be funny after their conversion- the example of Dennis Miller is illustrative here. The ideology of power, no matter what it is, is anathema to real humor. Trying to marry the two inevitably produces dreadful hackwork, in both the "hack comic" and "party hack" senses.

However, I don't think funny right-wing political humor is inherently impossible- I think it may be so in the USA now, but the American system of power isn't universal. Take the former Soviet bloc, for example- there, power in government and society was held by leftists, and it was a nasty, brutal, authoritarian sort of leftism. Thus, in that time and place it was perfectly possible to satirize the left from the right, and have it be funny, because in that case it really was the powerless and oppressed mocking the powerful. Conversely, left-wing humor was probably nearly impossible (in much the same way as right-wing humor seems to be here) unless it was obviously a very anti-Soviet sort of leftism. Some kinds of humor that might be funny here- mocking religion from a leftist perspective, say- would have been comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted there. I don't think there were too many good Soviet-era jokes making fun of the Orthodox Church, for example, because in that social and political context it would have been the equivalent of Rush Limbaugh making fun of hippies and "welfare mothers"- it would have represented a slavish, bullying support for the status quo. As such, humor (that's actually funny, anyway) virtually always came from a place to the right of the status quo there, while here it virtually always comes from the left of it.

So what I think this means is that if there are any genuinely, intentionally funny American right-wing political humorists out there, they would have to be very unorthodox in their rightism, and they would have to go after the Republicans and "movement conservatism" as much or more than the left- their distance from the ideology of power would have to be obvious. If there is anyone like that out there, I haven't heard of them...
posted by a louis wain cat at 1:48 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


PJ O'Rourke? Is that really who you want to hold up as funny?

PJ O'Rourke is deeply frustrating to me. I saw him speak a few years ago and although he had some funny moments, his shtick has mostly devolved to "Kids these days look awful silly with their tattoos, LOL amirite?" Boring.

If I may butt in about For Better or For Worse, I think a lot of people were put off by a) the stereotypical treatment of the characters in the village where Liz teaches (and whatever the Native American/First Nations* equivalent of magical negro is, that's what went down in these strips) and the fact that Anthony's wife Therese (?) was eeeeevil for wanting to work instead of have children, and Liz's willingness to sacrifice her dreams to be a wife/mommy made her a Good Person. On the other hand, Lynn Johnston deserves some credit for storylines like Lawrence coming out as gay.
posted by naoko at 6:10 AM on July 22, 2010


The * was supposed to be appended with a question about First Nations being appropriate Canadian terminology but then I checked Wikipedia, so I think its ok.
posted by naoko at 6:12 AM on July 22, 2010


In essence, Miller boxed himself into this. He tanked his own career by allowing the comedy part of political comedy (and, really, the ethics of honest political comedy) to take a backseat to the politics.

At least he rocked on Monday Night Football.

Please, if it's not too late, make it a cheeseburger.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:40 AM on July 22, 2010


The actual joke goes: Tragedy is when I get a hangnail; comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die. :-D
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:17 AM on July 22, 2010


This was a terrible, terrible post with a decent discussion.

"Does the Left have anything else out there on the comics pages? Sally Forth, I suppose, but my point is that most comics are dead boring."

Non Sequitor and Bizarro are both pretty obviously liberal. But in general the dailies are conservative comics for conservative readers (woe betide thems that meddle with the comics page—you get less grief for updating the Bible), and that's part of why I don't find them funny. Telling people what they already believe and want to hear again removes the surprise and novelty that drives much of humor.
posted by klangklangston at 8:18 AM on July 22, 2010


Klang, sorry you didn't like it. I just wanted to point out some right wing comic strips that I'd not heard of (other than Mallard Fillmore which seems pretty widespread) and see what MeFi's take on them was.
posted by josher71 at 8:28 AM on July 22, 2010


I'm sort of disturbed that one of the conclusions of this conversation is that conservative people have no sense of humor. I can't believe that is the case, and is just a manifestation of partisan prejudice. It implies that conservative people are somehow metaphysically different from liberals. That mindset makes it seem like half the population (at least in the US) are really monstrous dopplegangers, pretending to be normal people.
posted by crunchland at 8:37 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's definitely not my belief; I just think that the given set of comics are from people who're conservatives first and cartoonists second, and their work sucks. Stuff from people who're liberals first and cartoonists second would suck just as badly.
posted by COBRA! at 8:53 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm sort of disturbed that one of the conclusions of this conversation is that conservative people have no sense of humor. I can't believe that is the case, and is just a manifestation of partisan prejudice. It implies that conservative people are somehow metaphysically different from liberals. That mindset makes it seem like half the population (at least in the US) are really monstrous dopplegangers, pretending to be normal people.

Exactly.

(now that's humor)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:11 AM on July 22, 2010


I'm sort of disturbed that one of the conclusions of this conversation is that conservative people have no sense of humor. I can't believe that is the case, and is just a manifestation of partisan prejudice. It implies that conservative people are somehow metaphysically different from liberals. That mindset makes it seem like half the population (at least in the US) are really monstrous dopplegangers, pretending to be normal people.

I ... don't think anyone is saying conservatives are a separate species or something. Just that by and large, "conservative comedy" tends to be MESSAGEMESSAGEMESSAGE with characters and story tossed together as an afterthought. This is not to be confused with "comedians who also happen to be conservative".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:17 AM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Now I must check out Arrested Development, for I have never seen it, and I like me a good comedy of whatever stripe.)

PLEASE be sure you start with the first episode and go forward, because by the end that show had developed so many in-jokes and convoluted backstories that later episodes are entirely indecipherable unless you've seen everything that's come before.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:21 AM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Conservative comedians, a list I found on the internet*:
Jackie Mason, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Dennis Miller, Yakov Smirnov, Jay Leno, Dale Davidson, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Jeff Hobson, Larry Miller, Dave Thomas, Rich Little, Norm MacDonald, Larry the Cable Guy.
I'd add Julia Gorin (who I've never heard but is the first Google result for 'republican comedian') and, why not, John Cleese, even though his Toryism, if expressed in policy terms, would probably put him near the middle of the pack of the Democratic Party.

* lovely sig the author of the linked post has, no?
posted by jtron at 12:44 PM on July 22, 2010


Larry the Cable Guy.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:47 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess it's true. Conservatives just aren't funny.
posted by crunchland at 12:52 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was more struck by this:
REPUBLICAN SINGERS & MUSICIANS:Gloria Estefan, Ted Nugent, Amy Grant, Frank Sinatra Jr., Pat Boone, Ricky Martin, Michael W. Smith, Jessica Simpson, Jose Feliciano, Jaci Velasquez, Emilio Navaira (Tejano), Donnie McClurkin, Chubby Checker, Johnny Mathis, Pat DiMizio, Jon Secada, Harry Wayne Casey (KC & the Sunshine Band), Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, Gracie Rosenburger, Andre 3000 ...
Seriously? Is there a source on this? Neither his wiki nor even the Talk page thereof mentions any political ideology.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:57 PM on July 22, 2010


I'm sort of disturbed that one of the conclusions of this conversation is that conservative people have no sense of humor.

I for one don't think they have a sense of humor, it's just that what they consider funny is offensive to a lot of people. For example, Rush Limbaugh's calling a 13 year old girl a "dog". Or (this must be popular in AR) "How is a Mexican like a cue ball? The harder you hit 'em with a cue stick, the more English you get out of them!" Anyone who has a conservative relative with an email account can probably find plenty of further examples.
posted by TedW at 3:11 PM on July 22, 2010


I for one don't think they don't have a sense...

Oh for that 2-1/2 hour edit window...
posted by TedW at 5:23 PM on July 22, 2010


Here's the deal with the "Blue Collar" comedians - except for the asshole with the skeleton and black man I mean monkey puppets - they are intensely funny because they don't bother with politics. They talk about friends and family. Southern audiences just aren't interested in edgy conservative humor, they are interested in how Bill's wife gets the better of him, how Jeff knows he might be one of them, how Larry handles small crises by making larger ones.

The asshole with the puppets? Yeah. Carrot top before he got beefcake.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:37 PM on July 22, 2010


That mindset makes it seem like half the population (at least in the US) are really monstrous dopplegangers, pretending to be normal people.

A friend of mine used to work in a brain trauma unit at a hospital. She said one of the major symptoms of brain trauma was the loss of the sense of humor. A second symptom was a sense of anger and suspicion. Sufferers had a hard time understanding jokes, and would believe that they were the butt of any joke.

Note that conservatives are almost universally proponents of corporal punishment for children, thus are quite likely to have been raised with corporal punishment and suffered from some degree of brain trauma themselves. I believe this explains a whole cluster of conservative emotional traits: anger, suspicion, and an impoverished sense of humor. That anger and suspicion is easily manipulated by conservative politicians to get conservatives to vote against their own economic self-interest.

If we look at degree of education and experience with corporal punishment as a child, they have a perfect inverse relationship. I suspect this is actually why academia is a hotbed of liberalism. Academics rarely suffer from the brain injury that produces the conservative emotional traits.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:24 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


The asshole with the puppets? Yeah. Carrot top before he got beefcake.

Please. Carrot Top is orange head and orange shoulders above that asshole with the puppets.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:40 PM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Now, Gallagher...)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:40 PM on July 22, 2010


REPUBLICAN SINGERS & MUSICIANS

I almost had a spit-coffee-through-nose moment just seeing those words, and I'll show you why.

The horror of conservative "wit" transcends genre. To wit, I submit to you, the music video Bush Was Right.

Na na na, na na nah..
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:51 AM on July 23, 2010


That song should be treasured for its ability to take Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" and making the original sound infinitely better.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:55 AM on July 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


*Mindgrapes explodinated* . . . and with one comment, my entire world view has been changed forever.

Sally Forth is an example of liberal humor? I read it every day, and I have never seen any political humor in it. Is there some sort of secret code that I'm missing? Where do I get my decoder ring? What happened to my reading comprehension-- when did it go to shite? Oh my god, it's all over for me, isn't it? Cursed to a lifetime of of only being capabale of understanding the low-level political sophicitication as expressed by Steve Doocey and the rest of the hosts on Fox & Friends!

Please kill me.


See, there you go, you're trying to be funny and you're just being sarcastic. My reference to Sally Forth which seems to have blown a gasket was clearly top of my head and less clearly based on vague recollection from decades ago. Perhaps the strip has changed, perhaps it never was as I remembered it, no doubt I should have made my distant familiarity clearer, but that hardly warrants this kind of response. It just looks - unbalanced.

No one appears to have mentioned Tom Wolfe as a conservative funny man. Or does no one think him funny?
posted by IndigoJones at 7:06 PM on July 23, 2010


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: I was more struck by this:

REPUBLICAN SINGERS & MUSICIANS:...Andre 3000 ...

Seriously? Is there a source on this? Neither his wiki nor even the Talk page thereof mentions any political ideology.


It seems like a rumor that started but didn't get corrected.
Andre 3000 Not Republican
Andre 3000 has distanced himself from the Republican Party and announced that he isn't a George W. Bush supporter.

Rumors began spreading after Dre was spotted interviewing Bush's daughters, Jenna and Barbara for his political documentary at the Republican National Convention in New York. Jenna also mentioned "Hey Ya" during a speech at the rally. Rumors even spread that Dre was set to perform at the Republican National Convention and consequently some fans vowed never to purchase his music again.
[Okay, that seems ridiculous even to me.] However, Andre asserted that he wasn't in anyway affiliated to the Republican Party.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:35 PM on July 23, 2010


Tom Wolfe as a conservative funny man

Not funny. Too much of a delicate ego to be funny, for one thing.

There's a story in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test about the Hell's Angels crashing a Merry Prankster party. It's also in two other books, Hunter S. Thompson's The Hell's Angels, and Ken Kesey's Garage Sale. Wolfe's version is both the least sympathetic and the worst written of the three. Of course, Kesey and Thompson had the advantage of being there, instead of just writing as if they were there.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:48 PM on July 23, 2010


Too much of a delicate ego to be funny,

Delicate ego? He seems pretty cheerful in face of a lot of left wing abuse. (As a writer, he's a good read, but a bad re-read. As a raconteur, he's pretty entertaining. Plenty of youtubery for the interested)

At base, humor that presupposes a kindred spirit is bound to be limiting, and probably lame. The Simpsons are at their least funny when the writers decide to go all PC and Make A Point. It's pandering, and comedy dies with a pander. (Conversely, humor that strives only to shock is likely to die just as hard. Blue humor tends to be a snooze.)

And the liberal arena is just as ripe for skewering as the conservative. It's just that those inside a given arena tend to be blind to their own folly, and the partisans outside, blinded by rage, tend to have their funny (if it exists) destroyed.

Thus, Tom Lehrer, Harvard liberal democrat and genuine comic genius, finds it impossible to write funny about George Bush. Yet back in the day, he had no problem shooting at the more fatuous enthusiasms of the left (think Folk Song Army, arguably New Math) and at his most inspired, can skewer both left and right in the same song (think National Brotherhood Week).
posted by IndigoJones at 7:41 AM on July 24, 2010


(Actually, my Tom Wolfe reference had more to do with Bonfire of the Vanities, which seems to be pretty equal opportunity in its satire.)
posted by IndigoJones at 8:04 AM on July 24, 2010


I think Tom Wolfe is funny. I didn't know he was considered conservative.

(Now I must check out Arrested Development, for I have never seen it, and I like me a good comedy of whatever stripe.)

Good lord. Get thee to a torrent and a TV.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:38 PM on July 25, 2010


mrgrimm:I think Tom Wolfe is funny. I didn't know he was considered conservative.

The difficulty here is that many comedians might be funny but not be who the American Right considers allies. The problem with the strips named in the FPP and that horrible anti-Stewart TV comedy thing (can't remember the name) is that they are doctrinaire attacks from people who aren't funny. There's lots of conservative comedians out there. The funny ones aren't looking for a payout from the RNC or some other master. Anyway, I never read Tom Wolfe and laughed, though I liked a lot of his stuff. Is he really supposed to be in the same league as Mallard Fillmore? This division into Right and Left is, well, stupid. Think of the late Dennis Hopper. Okay, he came out for Bush, but he also was a counter-culture hero and, early on, tried to portray earnest young men with Liberal causes. Right? Left? No, just a guy trying to work his way through all this stuff. Whether he was confused or wrong or not is a whole separate issue.
posted by CCBC at 1:29 AM on July 26, 2010


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