First of all, let me state that I am a conservative stand up comic with a libertarian bent. Not a typical combination in the liberal environment of Hollywood or New York City. Anyone who has been to a comedy club knows to expect more “Jon Stewarts” than “Dennis Millers” taking the stage. Take it from someone who knows, comedy stages are rough regardless of any political affiliation, but throw in some conservative quips and you’re guaranteed they’ll give you the “red light” because your time is up. My first night on stage I followed Cedric The Entertainer with some jokes about Hillary Clinton. I know what it’s like. Imagine attending a mountain lion’s stag party, and you’re the main course…The Stag!
The mainstream media delights with glee at the antics of the amusing Jon Stewart. Yet, conservative comics, no matter how funny, are banished to the Hee-Haw cornfield. The invisible wall keeping the Right out of the Left’s amphitheater is greater than you might imagine.
I was fortunate to be the opening act for Evan Sayet’s “Night of Conservative Comedy”, but there are too few venues for Center and Right-of-Center entertainers.
Evan Sayet is a political satirist and author of the book, The Kindergarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks. Evan, a former writer for Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect, told me “liberals will actively work to prevent conservatives from gaining employment in the entertainment industry.” No matter how good the conservative, the job will go to someone far less qualified. Perhaps the saddest thing Evan told me was that he had pitched “Evan Sayet’s Right to Laugh/A Night of Conservative Comedy” to a Showtime executive who told him it would “probably be the highest rated show on the network” but that there was “no way” he could do it. The executive told Evan it would “undermine our brand” and that “the other actors on the network would be angry with us.”
I also talked to a very funny young comedian out of New York City, Johnny Russo. Russo began his stand up career at age 17 then gradually moved into politics. A former campaign speechwriter for John McCain, Russo says, “Let’s face it, the GOP has given them no shortage of material over the last 13 years.” Johnny Russo, now a partner in a entertainment production company, told me, “There is no question that if you’re a conservative comedian, and you market yourself out to the public as one, you’re always professionally walking on a knife.” Russo told me that Nick DiPaolo, one of the funniest, politically incorrect comedians, just got fired from his own radio show for being too conservative.
“This stuff does happen. It’s not a myth. I’ve been partners in a production company for many years, and I can say I’ve never hired or fired anyone because of his or her political beliefs. I ran into an interesting situation, not too long ago. I was at the CBS offices casting a new show, when I asked ‘Is there anything you wouldn’t do on camera?’ Usually people say I wouldn’t do a nude scene. [She] defiantly says, ‘I won’t make fun of the president!’”
After a ‘Jerry Lewis’-like spitting coffee out of his mouth and profuse laughter, Johnny Russo left the remainder of the interview to his business partner.
“I love how liberals found their inner patriot ever since Obama’s election”, said Russo. “For the previous 8 years, liberals have done nothing but sh** on the commander-in-chief, our troops and their mission, proclaiming that dissension is patriotic.”
Unlike Johnny Russo’s liberal counterparts, the actress got the job.
Living in NYC, I asked Johnny his thoughts on Nanny Mayor Bloomberg, and Anthony Weiner’s possible run for mayor. (On a personal note, I would like to say that this is one Weiner I wish Bloomberg would ban…)
Russo thinks Weiner is a disgrace and he believes Bloomberg is “ridiculous on social issues” but has done a good job of lowering the crime rate for the city.
What is probably the most hilarious thing I have heard is Bloomberg’s Spanish Twitter handle. Thanks to Russo, we can all follow the tweets of @ElBloombito. Apparently, the mayor simultaneously gives emergency updates in English and Spanish during news conferences and on Twitter.
This is a direct quote from Johnny Russo, too funny not to share in it’s entirety:
@ElBloombito Baseball opening day statement:
Mucho bueno weathero para el baseballo! Pero los peanutos y crackerjuanitos estan muy unhealthyo. Por favor to buyo los applero insteado!
May it be a terrorist attack or natural disaster, there is nothing this city can’t handle as long as @ElBloombito is there to comfort us in Spanish.
As for the direction of the American media, Russo makes a correlation between the media and Lindsay Lohan. Both lousy actors “travelling on a never-ending downward spiral into darkness, oblivion, irrelevance and death (and very few people will miss either).”
Will we ever find acceptance in the liberally manipulated entertainment industry? Does it matter? Funny is funny, regardless of where your political loyalties are. Don’t all politicians deserve a berating by comics? I always thought comedy was all-inclusive, a place where everybody gets bashed! Hopefully, one day both sides will see the freedom that comes with comedy. That’s really what comedy is all about. Well, that’s my time, you’ve been great, and you’ve been real. Don’t forget to tip your waitress on the way out.