By the time you read this, I may well already be on the road, heading to Phoenix for the opening night of my multi-city tour of comedy clubs across America. It’s an arduous and ambitious tour that I really don’t have to be doing. But I feel I need to. Here’s why.
For the past many years – since I became a conservative and began to give both my serious talks and my political stand-up shows at high-end conservative political events – life has been pretty cushy. These days, it’s not unusual for me to be flown into some resort city, put up in five-star hotels, and wined and dined in restaurants owned by celebrity chefs. At these events I typically both share the stage with and then entertain an audience of the best and the brightest from ambassadors to generals, senators to radio talk show hosts, and presidential contenders to bestselling authors. And, perhaps best of all, all of the arrangements are made by the event coordinator. All I have to do, besides hawk some books afterwards, is fly in, drink, dine, tan and talk. Not a bad gig if you can get it. And I get it.
So why am I packing up the car beyond full and hitting the road to eat at drive-thrus and sleep in motels with shampoo that comes in packets you have to open with your teeth to play comedy clubs with names like the Laugh Factory and Comic Strip Live for the first time in over twenty years?
Well, the short answer is that somebody has to.
Comedy has long been – and is even more so today – a conduit for political and social change. In Shakespeare’s plays, it was the “jester” who was allowed to speak truth to power and, today, more people get their news – and their “understanding” of that news – via the likes of Jon Stewart than any other source. The comedy club is the breeding ground for comedians of all sorts, including the political, and it is where they build a grassroots following that eventually allows them to share their insights with larger and larger audiences. Sadly, like so many other venues, these too have been co-opted by the Left and, just as sadly, we on the Right have ceded it to them.
There is a vicious cycle that takes place in these clubs. Club owners – typically small businessmen and women whose politics might even tend to the right – employ only liberal comedians because they’ve bought into the “conventional wisdom” that only liberals go to comedy clubs. Well, this is in no small part true because, having gone to the comedy clubs and having been inundated with liberal “humor” – vulgar, often nasty, and invariably tilted (if not wholly aimed against) conservative values, conservatives have no desire to go to comedy clubs.
This is the same vicious cycle one finds in the movie industry which makes movies for fourteen year old boys because only fourteen year old boys go to movies, and so only fourteen year old boys go to movies because they’re the ones the movies are made for. Over the past couple of years, films like Heaven is For Real, God is NOT Dead, and even American Sniper snuck under their radar and proved that movies with conservative themes cannot only bring adults back to theaters but can become blockbusters. This is what I’m attempting to do with comedy clubs: bring conservatives back into these theaters to prove to comedy club owners that hiring conservative acts makes good business sense.
This is a big risk on my part. Not only am I funding this tour with no guarantees of payback, but if it turns out that conservatives don’t come out for my event, then not only will I not have accomplished my goal, but, worse, the conventional wisdom will be reinforced.
Comedy is serious business. It’s why the Left insists upon such a stranglehold on it. It’s why the liberal Les Moonves replaced the liberal David Letterman with the even more liberal Stephen Colbert. It’s why Saul Alinsky said that “ridicule” is the most powerful weapon of all. Grabbing a handful of your friends and coming out to see one of my shows – the first one being this Wednesday at the Laugh Factory Theater in Scottsdale, Arizona with shows to follow in Chicago, Boston, and New York — is the least you can do to win back the culture and have a great time doing it. My shows are “seriously funny” and it’s the most fun you’ll ever have being an activist. Get “active” and get your tickets now.
Evan Sayet started out as a stand-up comedian and soon appeared on a special episode of Late Night with David Letterman. He segued into television writing – including many years for “Politically Incorrect w/Bill Maher” (for which he apologizes.) After his political sea change in the wake of 9/11, Evan has been both a serious and important speaker and a leading conservative political comedian. Tickets for Evan’s show can be gotten HERE.