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Face It: Liberals Just Aren’t Very Funny

Frank J. Fleming, "certified funny by all the national authorities," explains why the left doesn't do humor.

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Frank J. Fleming

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April 6, 2012 - 12:00 am
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Over at the Huffington Post, Alf LaMont wrote about why people on the left are good at humor and those on  the right aren’t. We see articles like this every so often, where liberals enthusiastically agree (“I listened to someone on the right tell political jokes, and it wasn’t funny at all. All it did was hurt my feelings.”), and one gets the idea that they’re very insecure about this issue. And they have good reason to be.

I hate to be the one to break this to the left, but they just aren’t very funny. I do find their self-assurance of how funny they are a bit endearing at times (like they’re a bunch of Fozzie Bears — “Conservatives are evil! Waka Waka!”), but pretty much no one on the left is good at humor at all (except for the feminists, who are hilarious masters of deadpan).

Now, I know liberals think conservatives don’t tell jokes and only find humor in laughing at poor people. (Actually, that gives me a good show idea: “Poor People Falling Down Stairs.”  It’s funny because it’s poor people getting hurt and also because you’re thinking to yourself, “How did these poor people afford a place with stairs?”)

So it’s funny on a number of different levels. But anyone who doesn’t live in a bubble knows there are lots of funny conservatives. Liberals will point to how many more professional comedians they have, but that’s exactly it. Conservatives can be funny in their spare time, but for liberals to even attempt to be funny, they have to work the entire day at it.

Take me, for example. I’m certified funny by all the national authorities. In fact, doctors often use my material as a diagnostic tool. If someone reads something I’ve written and doesn’t laugh, that probably means he has a brain tumor. But I don’t work all day to be this funny. I have a day job as an engineer. I have duties as a husband and a father. I’m a member of numerous guilds in Skyrim. So I have maybe eight minutes a day to be funny. But, being conservative, that means I’m so good at humor, that’s enough time to be as funny as any liberal who works all week at what he thinks passes for funny.

So people often say to me, “Frank, I can tell by your official-looking hat that you’re a humor expert. Why are the left so bad at being funny?” And I’m glad they ask. Let me explain the reasons:

1. Comedy requires detachment and the ability to be self-effacing. To be funny, you have to let the humor, not the politics, be the priority. While conservatives let their religion influence their politics, to liberals, politics is their religion and is thus sacred and can’t be joked about. They don’t find anything funny about the current political atmosphere, because they intensely fear that racist Republicans are going to lynch the president and then rape everybody with ultrasounds. It’s super serious to them, which is why what they call “humor” often devolves into angry hate, like with Bill Maher and Janeane Garofalo. Remember when Garofalo used to be kind of cute? But then the hate shriveled her up like the Dark Side did with Palpatine. I think Bill Maher always looked like someone plotting to eat the Billy Goats Gruff, though.

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