Now, how did I, a NPR-produced, Garrison Keillor-style tax & spend liberal, wind up writing conservative comedy for a humorless Tea-Partisan organization? Easy, I responded to a Craigslist ad. A gentleman, whom I came to know as Eric Peterkofsky, was hunting for comedy writers who could write jokes from a more conservative perspective. I'm not a very political person, but if I'm annoyed at something I can come up with some jokes. And, I'm pretty good at reading a room and designing jokes to fit it. So, I submitted some sample jokes. Probably some anti-Hillary jokes. That was like catnip for them.
I took this as a challenge. I don't think it's bragging to say I can write good comedy. But trying to write right-wing comedy? It's like capturing a unicorn or a compassionate conservative; does it exist? And, to be honest, I really didn't have much going on at the time and a gig's a gig. My sample worked. Eric did a demo for the Newsbuster site and he was brought in to produce a weekly "Weekend Update" style video, joking on the liberal follies of the day.
Here's the thing, conservatives (Bob Hope, Milton Berle) can do great comedy, but conservative comedy is not a thing. First, it's very hard to create comedy solely by agenda because the comedy will always come in second. Bob Hope was famous for poking fun at everyone. Conservatives will not poke fun at other conservatives (unless they go rogue). And what they do go on about sounds like a sermon. I'll also note here that comedy is best when it punches up, speaking truth to power. Making fun of women, civil rights and immigrants really isn't "punching up." I quickly learned that Conservative comedy usually was simply a matter of putting the words "Hillary" or "Obama" as the punchline and turning up the laugh-track.
Look, not everybody in politics is right all the time. Not every program is a good one. So, I was able to find things to mock. Also, sometimes, it's very, very easy to pander to and mimic the audience. Once they got the green light, I began submitting material. At first I was submitting it daily, going to the Newsbusters website, seeing what their latest outrage was and trying to turn it into a joke, with an actual punchline. And I was hitting the mark. I was getting 2 to 3 jokes a week in. And not to brag, mine were the most solid ones in the videos. And also, mine actual jokes.
1) Obama has announced he will meet with dictators and enemies of the US, like Castro, Kim and Chavez. Additionally, he will be building a time machine to meet with Hitler, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Genghis Khan and the President of the Confederacy.
2) Al Gore's recent Live Earth concert/bad news/How inconvenient.
3) NYC Mayor, elected as a republican candidate, Bloomberg recently left the Republican party. Coincidentally, NY's crime rate rose 350%, welfare rolls were up 110% and walls began bleeding graffiti.
4) After only running the Congress for 8 months, the Democrats are off on their month long vacation. A month? Who do they think they are? The Iraqi Parliament?
So, the formula would be, take one of their biases and ramp it up. Pretend that certain facts were weren't and mock the person presenting them. And hyperbole, so much hyperbole. They seemed happy with it...basically.