Trump: Bad for Comedy? Watch P.J. O’Rourke and Sara Schaefer debate Kurt Andersen and Billy Kimball

Now that the 2018 election results are beginning to sink in, we can all get back to our regularly scheduled ridiculousness.

Which means, in the comedy world, wondering if Donald Trump is bad for comedy.

A recent debate, sponsored by Intelligence Squared, posed the question.

For the Motion: P. J. O’Rourke, Political Satirist & Best-Selling Author, and Sara Schaefer, Critically Acclaimed Stand-Up Comedian, Writer & Producer

Against the Motion: Kurt Andersen Host, “Studio 360” & Best-Selling Author, “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire” and Billy Kimball Writer & Emmy Award-Winning Supervising Producer, “Veep”

At one point, Schaefer — the only working club comedian among the four — noted how it is in 2018 to bring up the big orange guy onstage: “Everything is now divided, and it’’s very tense, and it’’s actually pretty painful. So, when they come to a club, and I tell a joke about Trump, the people that laugh are on one side, and the people that don’’t laugh are on the other, and now people are scared that a civil war is literally going to break out in the club. That’’s not a good condition for comedy. So, either my audience is divided, or they don’’t want to hear about politics anymore, because they’’re just sick of it. Or they’’re on the other side, which is they want me to go off about politics; they want me to go off about Trump, but they don’’t even want me to be funny. They just want me to scream. Also, not a good condition for comedy.”

Watch the whole thing now!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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