Jimmy Fallon took a great deal of heat for his soft interview with Donald Trump last week, a reflection of the consternation that even some comedians are having over the influence of humor in this year’s presidential race.
But it’s undeniable that much of comedy has been dominated by personalities with a leftward bent.
On the latest “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM, Evan Sayet talks about his career as a conservative comedian. The former writer on “Politically Incorrect” just taped an upcoming stand-up special at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, and is the author of “The Kindergarten of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks.”
“Showbiz in general is overwhlemingly liberal because showbiz is a child-like profession,” Sayet says. “Actors pretend to be. It is very telling to me that the actor who pretends to be a solider votes Democrat. The soldier votes Republican.”
Sayet says that he was viewed differently before he switched his political stripes around the time of 9/11, joining other figures such as Jon Voight, David Zucker, and Dennis Miller.
“There is an assumption that you are not going to be funny,” Sayet says. “At a party with liberals, including comedians, if they don’t know who I am and we are having a conversation … and it turns to politics and they say, ‘You’re a conservative? But you’re so nice. You’re a conservative? But you’re so funny.’ This caricaturing of conservatives is not what is real. It is what liberals tell each other what conservatives are.”
He adds, “It’s funny how I was brilliant when I was a liberal… The day that my politics turned conservative, and therefore so did material, suddenly I was no longer funny.”
He says he disagrees with Hillary Clinton “on every single issue to the nth degree,” but he also wasn’t a backer of Donald Trump from the start of his campaign.
“My Donald Trump joke is this — I agree with Donald Trump about half the time. Unfortunately it is on every issue. It is a political statement that may be true. It is not just, ‘Oh, he’s a clown.'”
He adds, “Donald Trump was my 17th choice out of 17. But he’s my first choice out of two now that we have this race.”
The Politics of Late-Night: Mary Murphy of USC Annenberg and Tim Naftali of New York University talk about what responsibility late-night hosts have when they feature political candidates as polarizing as Trump and Clinton.
CGI Finale: Craig Minassian of the Clinton Foundation talks about the final Clinton Global Initiative, taking place this week in New York. The event has been an annual meeting place for celebrity philanthropists. Minassian says that it has helped reshape the approach that entertainers take to causes.
And: In case you missed it, here is Samantha Bee’s biting criticism of Fallon on her TBS show “Full Frontal” on Monday.