Comedians are the New Pastors

During the election, I saw something that struck me as a really odd argument against Trump. Some pseudo-celebrity made the claim that you know Trump is bad because all the comedians were opposed to him.

I watch a lot of Steven Crowder. He’s often defended his offensive comedy by referencing medieval court jesters, who often would make fun of the king. Meanwhile he also complains that late night comedy is excessively political, or at least that it’s no longer funny.

My whole generation learned politics from Jon Stewart. I never found him funny. All his jokes were just playing a clip and staring blankly at the screen. But his impact on millennials cannot be understated. Most comedy shows today seem to be a bad imitation of him.

When did comedians become the moral conscious of America? It’s like we got rid of religion, but we still need someone to speak truth to power, so now we have a coalition of entertainers with broken childhoods.

Anyone with a great comedic talent had a horrible childhood. This is partly why so many comedians are Jews. And I’m not saying that having parents who didn’t love you doesn’t mean you are unable to discern truth. But it’s weird that a profession that is hallmarked by a terrible homelife and, most likely, an inability to move past it has become a central institution of sorts. I mean, it’s not like building a career out of getting adoration from strangers is a healthy way to deal with childhood trauma.

Sarah Silverman was so upset by Trump that she thought generic construction signs on the sidewalk were swastikas. But why should I care what Sarah Silverman thinks about racism? Why should I listen to Louis CK tell me that it doesn’t matter that he abandoned his wife and children?

At the same time, your common American pastor has become more of a comedian. It’s seen as a major plus. It’s not like the eternal Word of God sharper than a sword can stand on its own. We need to spiff it up for the bored, unenlightened masses.

Comedians are the new pastors. In old testament times, the prophet held the king accountable. In Medieval Byzantium and Tsarist Russia, that role was performed by the bishop. In Babylonian America, it is the comedian who is the God-inspired prophet, and of course man is his own god.


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