The Media

Conservatives Aren't Funny

Herman Cain really, really, really tries hard to be funny.

He's not.

Speaking of unfunny conservatives, I've been listening to a lot of talk radio these days because I'm insane, and, sadly as a former fan, I caught a little bit of the Dennis Miller Show the other day. So unfunny. In fact, he's not even a good broadcaster. He mumbles and digresses and his formerly hilarious metaphors are self-satirical reminders of much funnier days. At least the other talkers -- even the generic nondescript ones like Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager are decent broadcasters. Of course, they don't even try to be funny. They just try to be stupid and deceptive.

  • Obama_FTW

    Something just occurred to me. Liberals “get” conservatives. We understand their world view and their thought process which leads that leads them to their conclusions (which are the no different than their premise). They don’t “get” liberals. They try and wedge our worldview into their 2-dimensional worldview divided between good, honest hardworking conservatives and lazy, God/America-hating liberals. Hence, they are not funny when they try and joke about it.

    • They’re also very good at ‘projection.’

  • muselet

    A rich woman slipping on a banana peel is comedy, Charlie Chaplin is supposed to have said, while a poor man slipping on a banana peel is tragedy. Conservatives prefer to laugh at the poor man slipping on the banana peel.


    • It’s not enough for the modern conservative to laugh at the poor man slipping on the banana peel; they bring a truckload of peels along with them to make sure it happens.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Conservatives aren’t funny because they have no sense of humor about themselves. Typically, when it comes to conservatives, conservatism, the GOP and its historical icons, they simply cannot take a joke.

    Conservative “humor” is often based on either stereotypes or meanness; on finding other people’s idiosyncrasies (both real and stereotypical), and other people’s pain and hardship, ridiculous. But when it comes to their own idiosyncratic excesses, and their own hardship, they absolutely cannot laugh at those things and cannot tolerate anyone else laughing at them.

    In a way, conservatives resemble both elementary-school bullies and their victims; they can’t take a joke, they can’t laugh about their own ridiculousness and are actively hostile to that of others, and they can’t tell the difference between people laughing at them and laughing with them; between someone making fun of them and someone hating them.

    • Obama_FTW

      Very observant and true from what I’ve seen. I remember attending a debate between Ann Coulter and Al Franken. Ann made a series of “liberal” jokes that just weren’t funny. Things like “Liberals never met a dictator they didn’t like.” There was just nothing funny about them. When Al Franken makes self-deprecating jokes about himself and liberals in general they are hilarious.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        I remember attending a debate between Coulter and Bill Maher in the early fall of 2008. In her opening monologue, Coulter kept insisting that she couldn’t understand why liberals were so upset that, in her words, “conservatives find it hilarious that Obama’s middle name is Hussein.” (emphasis hers). She said that several times, each time emphasizing the word “hilarious.”

        Judging by what most “conservatives” had to say in 2008 about Obama’s middle name being Hussein, I certainly didn’t get the sense that their first, or primary, reaction was to find it funny. I don’t think a lot of them were laughing.

        Unless by “hilarious” Coulter meant “profoundly alarming and deeply threatening,” I don’t know what she was talking about.

      • That’s because there must be an element of truth and reality for an observation to be funny and conservatives live in another dimension devoid of either. For some cheap amusement, read Ann Coulter sometime, but substitute ‘conservative’ for ‘liberal’; ‘fascist’ for ‘progressive’ and ‘Republican’ for ‘Democrat.’ Suddenly, Ann makes sense and even her history is correct!

    • villemar

      The essence of conservative humor can be summed up in one word: shadenfreude (A German word meaning taking delight in the pain of others). Gotta love zee Germans, so concise and only something they could have come up with.

      • True, they love the ‘schaedenfreude’ but we need a new word for some of them, esp. the Teabaggers, who laugh at the pain of others while the same pain is being visited upon themselves. ‘Dummkopf’ isn’t strong enough, just as ‘hypocrisy’ doesn’t entirely encompass what the GOP does on a daily basis.

    • That sums up most of Conservative “humor” but these “jokes” we’ve seen lately are something else. Occasionally their increasingly mean-spirited, pander-to-the-rabid-base comments go too far and , when they are called on them, explain that said comment is a “joke.” In their minds this explanation takes the heat off of them and puts it on their critics who have no sense of humor. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to realize that, in order to qualify as a joke, a comment must be at least minimally funny.

  • Obama_FTW

    What exactly is it that makes them so unfunny? I have noticed more of them trying to take on a sort of “Conservative Jon Stewart” and their attempts are amazingly horrible. How about Evan Sayett and his crusade against his straw man version of liberalism? These people look more frustrated than anything.

    • One of the few Dennis Miller Live bits I can remember off the top of my head is a somewhat conservative stance on immigration, but he did make valid, debatable points and was humorous in making them.

      Jump ahead a few years and he’s on Bill O’Reilly literally making “Jose, can you see” jokes.

      I don’t know how 9/11 caused that, but apparently it did.

    • Few find cruelly laughing at the poverty and joblessness of the majority funny, except the One Percenters, and lame jokes about the Clintons are as stale as Dennis Miller’s stage act. I stopped paying any attention to Miller when he opened an HBO special years ago with a riff on nuking anybody we didn’t like in the Middle East. How far gone do you have to be to gleefully laugh at the deaths of hundreds of thousands from a nuclear strike? OTOH, I almost feel sorry for Dennis miller; when he went to the ‘dark side’ Bush was popular and he thought he was latching on to the wave of the future; then he had to travel around the country doing his act for brain-dead Republicans scratching their heads at his humor. He lost his old fans and didn’t gain many from the Bush side. And, now, he’s cast his lot and can’t go back. Uber-careerist Miller must be kicking himself for his stupidity.

  • lb158

    I feel sorry for Dennis Leary, who keeps getting confused with Miller.

    The one shuffling buckets money to the NYFD and other first responders is LEARY!

    He’s also the funny one.

  • Spectricide

    I’ve often said: “remember when Dennis Miller was funny and relevant”

  • mrbrink

    That seems to be a thing for conservatives. They blow their intellectual wads concocting prickish one liners as a basis for advancing the policy initiatives beloved by The League of American Pricks. Rand Paul is exceptionally good at this. Ann Coulter is the apprentice to Rush Limbaugh’s sorcerer.

    There’s something particularly sick about someone seeking a position of authority based on a smiley faced platform of denigrating the poor and meek.

  • I was such a Dennis Miller fan back in the day. He was no liberal by any means even then, but at least he had perspective.

  • agrazingmoose

    There is a good reason why Miller doesn’t do Monday night football anymore.