It recently dawned on me that we now live in a time where comedians care more about preserving free speech than college students or even mainstream journalists who not only accept the concept of censorship but encourage it in the name of “safe spaces” and protecting others from “misinformation.”
Society has truly been turned upside down when in a matter of two years we’ve gone from “silence is violence” to “words are violence” to violence can be justified in the name of social justice merely for saying something that offends someone else, even if it was a literal joke.
We saw this come to fruition when Will Smith took to the Oscars stage to slap Chris Rock across the face for making a joke about his wife’s hair. What’s more concerning than the mere act of this, is that Will went on to receive a standing ovation and even praise because many claimed that what he did was noble. Let me be clear: there is nothing noble about assaulting someone for doing their job, especially when that job is simply to make people laugh.
Another comic, Chris D’Elia, said it perfectly in a recent set, “It’s so weird to get mad at a comedian for what we say. It’s actually the weirdest. Do you know why? We’re JOKING. We made the whole thing up. We didn’t mean it. But this is the best part about that to me: you paid us to say it.”
As a major comedy fan who goes to a lot of stand-up shows and listens to a variety of both mainstream and not-so-mainstream comedians’ podcasts, it has been refreshing to see so many comedians using their platforms to address the ridiculous amount of censorship and cancel culture we’re witnessing due to how politically correct and overly sensitive society has become. People literally can’t take a joke anymore.
People literally can’t take a joke anymore.
Comics from across the political spectrum and many who aren’t even political at all found themselves addressing the threats of cancel culture and censorship when their colleague and friend Joe Rogan came under fire this past year. Rogan is now the most notorious podcaster to ever exist, and we saw everyone from the mainstream media to the current presidential administration come for him for merely bringing on a variety of guests, including actual experts, and asking questions. Despite the mainstream media’s effort to cancel Rogan, ironically enough, his engagement has skyrocketed with an average of 11 million listeners per episode while CNN often doesn’t even get 2 million viewers per day.
Comedians are now faced with an important decision: be compliant and self-censor in an effort to not offend anyone in today’s overly sensitive society or say screw it and speak their minds in an effort to not only practice but protect their right to free speech. Thankfully, many are putting their own political views aside and rising to the occasion to keep the art of comedy and the right to free speech alive.
3 Based Comedians To Follow
These comedians are known to be free thinkers and free speakers and are utilizing their craft to bring people together during a time when politics is more divisive than ever.
Recently dubbed the comic who has the best chance at being President of the Free World by Joe Rogan, this guy is quite frankly my favorite comic right now. You can find his hilarious clips on Instagram or listen to his podcast called Flagrant 2 where he and other comics talk and joke about the absolute craziness of today’s news and culture. I recently saw Schulz live, and I laughed so hard that I got a headache. If he’s coming to a city near you, I 10/10 would recommend going and taking your boyfriend or husband because they will love him and think you’re so cool for taking them on such a fun date.
I personally think his wit and humor are unmatched, and he reminds me of a younger, even more charismatic Bill Burr, which is a compliment of the highest degree. Call me crazy, but I think Andrew Schulz is doing more work to unify our country than any of today’s politicians because he truly makes fun of everyone on both sides of the aisle. It doesn’t matter what your age, race, gender, sexuality, or voter registration is, he’s cracking jokes about you.
It doesn’t matter what your age, race, gender, or voter registration is, he’s cracking jokes about you.
He came out with a four-part Netflix special called Schulz Saves America at the end of 2020 that’s hilarious, and one of my favorite segments was when he explains why America is not so bad. He dives into how the mainstream media is actively working to divide us for their own political gain and how both sides are guilty of doing this, so we need to unplug altogether and laugh at how terrible everyone is. He says we need to remember that this country may not be perfect, but it’s the best one out there no matter who you are or where you come from.
If you haven’t come across this guy on Twitter, then you’re on the wrong side of Twitter. Sometimes I can’t tell if his tweets are serious or if he’s joking, which honestly makes him even funnier to me. Personally, he reminds me of a mix of Chris Farley and Alex Jones, which is by no means an insult but a compliment because I love both of those men for being so outrageous.
Tim’s Twitter feed is a random stream of consciousness addressing the craziness that is today’s news or just whatever comes to the top of his mind. While most of the internet was changing their profile pictures to a filter of the Ukrainian flag, Tim was tweeting “Breaking: Real Estate Show ‘Selling Kiev’ has been postponed” and “It’s time for @jakepaul to fight Putin. This is our only hope.” He can make you laugh during a literal world crisis that makes everything seem bleak, which is when I believe we need comedy most. At the same time, he's known to drop some insightful truth bombs such as “Maybe the enemies are China and Russia and not your neighbor who thinks slightly different than you.”
You can support him by listening to “The Tim Dillon Show” or catching his live stand-up tour, but please spare yourself if you’re easily offended because, while he's hilarious, he's also crude (but in the best way possible I think).
Not only a hilarious stand-up comedian, but also a former co-host of a comedic history podcast called “History Hyenas.” Don’t let his heavy Brooklyn street talking fool you, Chris Distefano knows his stuff when it comes to history and politics.
Don’t let his heavy Brooklyn street talking fool you, he knows his stuff when it comes to history and politics.
Chris recently appeared on “Your Mom’s House” with Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky and talked about how he planned to release his new special on YouTube since that’s where he originally blew up thanks to his fans. As soon as he was about to do so, Netflix came in with an offer and said they’d be willing to leave his special untouched.
Interestingly enough, we’re seeing more and more comics releasing content on YouTube and other platforms in order to avoid the corporate editing that comes from bigger media conglomerates like Netflix, HBO, and Showtime. In Chris’ case, it makes sense to go with Netflix if they’re vouching to leave his special unedited, but he also plans to release content specifically to YouTube to thank his fans who have been there since the beginning. I haven’t had the chance to see Chris live, but I definitely plan to because whenever I see his name as a guest on some of my favorite podcasts, I find myself dropping everything to listen to him first.
At a time when the world feels very 1984, it’s reassuring and refreshing to listen to comics joke about things in the most honest and even sometimes obscene ways. Too many people have bowed down to the mob and censored themselves out of fear of being canceled, so it’s more important than ever that people speak their minds or at the very least crack jokes, even if it means they risk offending someone.
The First Amendment is arguably the most important because, without it, we don’t have most of the rest. Thankfully, at a time when a lot of people seem to forget that, comedians are actively speaking their minds and in doing so are fighting to protect it. Their careers and the right to free speech depend on it.
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