Are Comedians Politically Awakening Americans?


Ford Watkins, Political Editor

In yet another predictably unpredictable week, some have to react quickly. Some have money to make off of the president’s stupidity, and some have problems to fix. Government officials? Sure. Writers? Of course. However, a new wave of professionals tackling politics’ daily changes are more electric than ever.


During the election, Trump made sure his supporters knew that the TV networks were extreme leftists. He was talking about a select group of individuals: few writers from the New York Times and The Washington Post, some show hosts from CNN and MSNBC, and comedians.  However, this has led to a high water mark regarding distrust in the media–especially amongst Trump supporters.

Trump told his supporters that the people who proved him wrong were wrong themselves. If Trump could, he would probably sign an executive order to destroy all sources of these “fake news” distributors, supply everyone with televisions that only air Fox News and Miss America pageants, and computers with the only unblocked domains being Breitbart and The Daily Caller.

Thankfully, Trump can’t do that… I think. Since he (hopefully) can’t, comedians like Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Hasan Minhaj, and Jimmy Kimmell have turned their jobs into something truly meaningful: they want to debunk Trump’s lies for all people to know. This isn’t an easy job, however, no matter how easy it seems. The political climate is volatile, and changes within minutes multiple times a day, which means these comedians have to constantly edit their content with their writers. Political comedy really is an art form, and it is in its most popular stages when the country needs it most.

Why is political comedy an art form? Because political comedy is always harder than regular comedy in every aspect. The jokes are harder to create because of the detail in politics, and the jokes are harder to deliver, because people will disagree. Also, politics, in a way, is like finance. It’s hard to tell a joke about bonds and IPOs, because it doesn’t really resonate with the audience unless the comedian deconstructs them into something simple and entertaining. Essentially, this is what comedians are doing with the Trump Administration–-simplifying Trump’s actions so the negative consequences are blatant and understood by the public.

Comedians aren’t as appreciated as they should be right now, because they are political commentators with a sense of humor, which is hard to find. Also, platforms like HBO and Netflix, which let comedians say what they want and air it publicly, also deserve a round of applause. Comedians are offering political analysis and opinion that are oftentimes more effective than any article or newscast. Who knows? With their position on a unique platform and utilization of comedy to advocate for change, maybe one day a comedian will become president.  We have already had an actor and a reality star.