Politics & Humour


They just don’t seem to mix anymore.

It seems to me that the most successful Canadian humour talent that has been able to cross-over into more opportunities are people who branch out beyond political humour.

Politicians certainly deserve to be the butt of many jokes. It is the nature of the business. Regardless of what belief background they are from. Poking fun at politicians, especially in this country has been a mainstay of comedy for many a decade.

It has become tiresome and boring humour. Even for those who are somewhat politically inclined and knowledgeable. Because I left the political game some time ago, I especially find it lame. Although I was starting to tire of it in the late 1990’s.

One need only look to the CBC for some supposedly great humour. This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the Rick Mercer Report still offer up a nauseating dose of Senatorial Satire. The Royal Canadian Air Farce based entire shows on political pun-pokings for the entire length of its’ run. Towards the end though, people were starting to yawn and turn the televisions over and off.

We can all agree that being able to take shots at politicians is our right. Even politicians themselves who have gotten in on the acts have taught us valuable lessons with respect to laughing at ourselves every so often. We can disagree with things they are doing and saying so we satirize them and make them our verbal punching bags. Of course we ultimately speak on voting day when we go to the polls and mark that X.

When I want to find entertainment part of that search involves looking at shows, movies and books to laugh along with. I no longer want to read and listen to jokes about politics or politicians because it has been overplayed.

Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are the first names that come to mind for me when I think of shows and comedians in the U.S. who have spun the political record in order to make a living at what they do. Like much of the Canadian talent, they are quite good at it. The reason they keep rolling along and manage to hold audiences is that they have thrown in just enough variety to bait listeners in. In Stewart and Colbert’s case, they will offer bowlfuls of comedic Capitol Hill Chowder to their audiences, then look at throwing in material about other stories. If you ever really listen to late-night television monologues you will notice the same thing. Rarely if ever will you see Letterman, Fallon, Kimmel and Leno constantly harp on politics throughout their opening message delivery.

After much research, I still cannot come up with any names of Canadian talent who crossed-over into global success with a platform of material drawn from political observation. I would welcome any names in the comments section below if there is anyone you can think of.

Otherwise, I will continue to believe that any comics who restrict themselves to Political Humour are destined to never branch beyond a self-imposed limitation.


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