Dennis Miller on The Daily Show (3/27)

I agree with Loach’s source that Miller has always been a conservative. One way to spot a libertarian from a conservative is to hold up patriotic signs, make a stirring speech about duty to country, wave a flag, and sing God Bless America. The libertarian will say, “Get all that crap off my property.”

I’ll accept that most interviews are somewhat coached and I know that producers will ask the interview-ee for a couple topics of interest to launch from.

I suppose what disappointed me most from Stewart’s angle was his feigned suprise at how rapid-fire “witty” Miller was. Pretending to look up Miller’s sleeve for cards and stuff as if Miller was actually pulling the act out of a hat. They’re friends, I understand it and I won’t be wearing sackcloth over it but… meh. Didn’t care for it.

For standup comedians their first loyalty is to each other in the profession. It was scripted and made Miller look pretty good. Except attacking Byrd because he is old is not right. Byrd likes to repeat thinking it will hammer the point home. This is not new and many pols do it during their speeches.

The bit with Byrd was the one part where Stewart seemed uncomfortable with the tone and tried to diffuse the venom with his “dollar” comment.

I agree with you. I actually had to turn it off because I’m not a big fan of stand-up and I hated the canned manic delivery. I had hoped they could shoot the shit as pals; hosts do that with enough actors who are hawking their latest project but don’t have to Act during the whole segment.

Why is pointing out Byrd’s baffoonery not right? If he was retired and ranting at stop sign in West Virginia I would say it was not right. He was speaking on the floor of the Senate. He is a baffoon and he is getting worse as he gets older. And yet he keeps getting reelected. I wonder why? oink oink oink

I think he might have felt the need to give “equal time”, after all his ribbing of Strom Thurmond.

ETA for those who don’t know: Thurmond was old enough to be Byrd’s father.

I couldn’t care less if it was rehearsed or prescripted if it actually had been funny or insightful, but Miller was neither. Is that the best that “conservative” humor can come up with? Byrd’s old! Pelosi looks funny! With all the shit that comes down the pike from this administration, with all the fallout that has pervaded the news from the GOP’s policies, how in the world can he believe anyone but the kool-aid drinkers are taking him seriously when that’s the best he can harp on? I used to like Miller and his riffs but this was just sad.

Miller’s bits always feel a bit more scripted than most, probably because he puts a lot into choosing types of words for their impact. The last time that he was on Stewart’s show, Jon did the usual setup kind of stuff, but then poked a little fun at him for his phrasing. I don’t recall exactly, but Miller said something like “mandibular hinge” instead of “jaw,” and Stewart asked him why.

That time, he also asked him about whether or not he was going to stick with being a right wing suck up (my words, not his) and Miller gave a really weak reply to the effect that he was for fighting the terrorists. Even though this implies that other people are not, Stewart sadly let it go at that.

It might be the case that a person wedded to a leftist agenda will seldom if ever find humor in right-oriented jokes. And vice versa.

“Pelosi looks funny”? I haven’t seen the show from last night yet, but is that really what he was attacking her for? I find that really amusingly inconsistent of him, since (as we discussed around here somewhere before) Miller did a pre-recorded bit for some conservative show where he was trying to make jokes on the premise that Pelosi is stupid. I commented at the time that that was really lame because he seemed to be trying to both create a caricature and joke about it at the same time.

It was also really, really lame because they did these little video and sound cut-outs that seemed to do nothing but cue the audience as to who Miller was referring to. That seemed to me to both undermine whatever humor there was, and to indicate that they thought his audience would be especially stupid.

Based purely on apparent commercial success, it seems that few people find right-oriented jokes funny.

In fact, if one wanted to do the research, Miller might be a good example. One might look at sales figures or some other measure for “The Off White Album” or other things he was doing back then for example, compared to something of his recent vintage.

Maybe Jeff Foxworthy would be a better example. He tells redneck jokes to rednecks. His comedy records have sold more than anyone else’s (more than 13 million comedy albums). I think you may be forgetting the whole Christian Right market.

Are redneck jokes right-oriented or left-oriented? What political views does Foxworthy express in his jokes that would make him suitable to assess the question?

Possibly. Although I did laugh a good laugh at Stewart and his bucket of peanuts :smiley:

I dunno.

While PJ O’Rourke is more libertarian than conservative, he has made a very good living poking fun at liberals and leftists. And i have bought many of his books, and know plenty of liberals and leftists who find him very funny, even when he’s skewering us. I’m happy to laugh at my political leanings, as long as the jokes are actually funny.

As for The Daily Show and other talk/comedy shows, the fact is that the interviews are really little more than extended advertising sections. The person being interviewed nearly always has something to sell (book, movie, radio show), and they are usually only appearing for that reason. I find the interviews the least interesting parts of all of those shows, and often go back to reading a book or playing on the computer when they begin.

The thing that’s struck me about Foxworthy and the two other guys on his show (Larry TCG & some other dude) is that they may take some little stabs at “PC-ness” and “coast/city culture”, but nothing I’ve ever seen strikes me as mean-spirited, and the sharpest barbs are always at their own kind (playing up stereotypes and “country culture”/tradition/tastes, etc.).

I don’t think it’s wrong to say that they’re conservative comics, but I think that’s different from labelling it conservative humor. Their humor may have “mass” (or lowbrow) appeal and may largely be consumed by red staters, but it’s usually not all that political.

Exactly. It would be like suggesting that Seinfeld was humor from the political perspective of New York Jewish people.

I’d have to say they’re right-oriented. It’s kinda like blacks making jokes about blacks is one thing, but whites making jokes about blacks is another. Rednecks are gun totin’, deer huntin’, Bud drinkin’ alpha males who put flag decals on their pickup trucks. They’d likely take the same words from Foxworthy as a joke, but from Stewart as an insult. (He identifies himself as a redneck.)

That’s a good point, and I agree. O’Rourke has a gift for being inoffensive.