Once upon a time Red State types were just like their Blue State brethren.
They settled in for the night by watching Jay, Conan, Dave, or Jimmy. A few monologue jokes later, and they were off to dreamland with a grin on their faces.
That was then, and by “then” we mean roughly five years ago. Today, some of the late-night faces have changed. Jay became Jimmy (Fallon). Dave gave way to Stephen (Colbert). And new talent like Trevor Noah, Jim Jefferies, and Chelsea Handler entered the arena.
The entire tenor of late night changed, too. What was once a comic free-for-all where stars gathered to hawk their product became yet another cog in the Left-Wing Propaganda Machine.
Sure, some product hawking still goes on. A few monologue jokes make you smile. But seemingly every night, on nearly every show, there’s an angry comment, a rant or simply a vulgar turn of phrase aimed directly at the GOP.
Remember the oral sex joke Colbert told about President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin? Or, more recently, how Jimmy Kimmel cracked that Sen. Ted Cruz pleasures himself to the thought of poor people lacking health care.
Comedy Central’s Jefferies once called First Lady Melania Trump both “wooden” and a “dirty girl.”
Late night went from Johnny Carson mocking himself for a lousy gag to comedians trafficking in the most offensive ways to insult politicians they hate (GOP members and their “co-conspirators”).
And the hate flows freely on most late-night shows, with “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” being a notable exception. “Conan” over at TBS often sticks to the late-night script, too.
Matters will only get worse when progressive comic Sarah Silverman enters the fray.
Which begs the question: are there any right-of-center souls sticking around to watch it? If so … why?
None of this means conservatives should wall themselves off from criticism. Nor should we adopt the pose struck by some Trump Train passengers, whose skins are as thin as our commander in chief’s. It’s just that watching shows that rigorously insult one worldview while giving the other a pass isn’t entertaining for those in the crosshairs. So why watch it when the modern content revolution is in full swing? Endure the umpteenth time Colbert demands Trump resign, or watch one of Netflix’s killer shows like “Ozark”?
Not a tough call.
What’s most amazing is that no one in Hollywood is stepping up to address the sizable imbalance. Years ago, Roger Ailes looked at the TV news landscape and realized an alternative voice was in order. His Fox News didn’t just rock cable television. The channel owned it.
So, why not something similar in the late night arena? Get a right-of-center comic, give him or her a crackerjack writing staff and start telling jokes for the other half of the country.
Throw in some Trump barbs, too, for good measure. It’s not about snowflakes craving a safe space. It’s about a dash of integrity in the once engaging late-night landscape.