Comedians Are Removing Politics From Their Acts to Save Their Careers 

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vamihaduva /

Liberals are on a mission to dismantle the country, but here’s the punchline: they can’t take a joke. 

When Trump joked about becoming a “dictator” on his first day in office, poking fun at Democratic claims of authoritarianism, the mainstream media and the White House took it as gospel. Similarly, his quip about Russia releasing Hillary Clinton’s emails was misconstrued as collusion evidence during his 2016 presidential run. 

But Democrats think jokes about conservatives are real knee-slappers. According to a recent study by the Media Research Center, 81% of all political jokes told on major late-night comedy shows in 2023 were aimed at conservatives. The analysis, which encompassed 9,518 political jokes from six major daily late-night programs between January 3 and December 22, 2023, found that 7,729 jokes targeted “someone or something on the right side of the political spectrum.” 

Further analysis revealed variations among the shows, with some displaying a more aggressive stance toward right-wing subjects. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” emerged with the highest rate of anti-conservative jokes among the six late-night shows examined. Stephen Colbert’s show followed closely, with 1,655 out of 1,918 jokes directed at conservatives, representing 86% of the total. 

While comedians who align with left-leaning viewpoints have largely avoided cancellation, those expressing conservative values or divergent opinions from mainstream media narratives have faced scrutiny. Dave Chappelle, notably, has been targeted by calls for cancellation, with demands for Netflix to address his platforming of comments deemed transphobic in his latest specials, “The Dreamer” and “The Closer.” 

Prominent comedians such as Chris Rock, Jamie Kennedy, Katt Williams, and Donald Glover have criticized the heightened sensitivity of audiences to boundary-pushing material. Other comedians, like Joe Machi and Bill Burr, take a more direct approach and have started to call overly sensitive viewers “snowflakes.” 

Some comedians are choosing to avoid the political landmines altogether. Jay Leno, the iconic host of “The Tonight Show,” recently revealed that he has removed political jokes from his stand-up routine to avoid upsetting his audience. Speaking on the Fox Nation show “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” Leno explained his decision, stating, “I just stopped doing politics in my act altogether because—you know, when I did ‘The Tonight Show,’ the idea was you make fun of both sides equally.” 

Leno highlighted that his jokes used to garner mixed reactions from both Republicans and Democrats, indicating that people believed he supported the opposing party. However, he noted a shift in audience expectations, with individuals now expecting comedians to take a clear side on political matters. Recognizing this change, Leno emphasized his desire for people to simply enjoy and laugh during his comedy shows without feeling the need to take a political stance. 

Jimmy Failla, a Fox News host and author of the upcoming book “Cancel Culture Dictionary,” expressed concerns about the blurred lines between comedy and offense in today’s society.  

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Failla remarked that many individuals struggle to understand the difference between a joke and a “hate crime.” Failla criticized the trend of finding offense in every aspect of life, noting the absurdity of nearly a decade spent “trying to ruin fun.”  

During an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital in November, comedian Jon Lovitz called out Seth Myers, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel for overemphasizing political agendas. According to Lovitz, these hosts have shifted away from traditional comedy formats towards focusing on political commentary, a trend he finds concerning. He expressed nostalgia for the days of comedians like David Letterman, where comedy took precedence over political messaging. 

Comedians aren’t the sole culprits; athletes and musicians use their platforms for political activism. In 2020, players from the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream and their challengers, the Phoenix Mercury, made a statement by wearing black T-shirts endorsing Raphael Warnock. Warnock was the Democratic opponent of their team’s co-owner, Kelly Loeffler.  

Female United States athletes garnered attention during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by leveraging their platform for political and social demonstrations.  

Bruce Springsteen was scheduled to perform with the E Street Band in Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 10, 2016. However, he canceled the show to protest a recently passed gender-specific bathroom law in North Carolina, leaving the state’s Springsteen fans brokenhearted. 

It’s time for entertainers to follow Leno’s lead and focus on entertainment, leaving politics at the door. After all, the show will still go on, even without the onstage partisan commentary.