Steve Martin and Martin Short, two comics who are now part of the old guard in comedy, have told their Hollywood pals to shove it and are refusing to turn their new show into a Trump-bashing extravaganza.
The two recently noted that political humor back in 2016 worked fine, but lately things have gotten so polarized that attacking Trump actually hurts their audience numbers.
Of course, Short has attacked Trump numerous times in numerous venues, but it seems he is reassessing that practice for an upcoming show he is planning with friend Steve Martin.
According to Daily Caller:
“Before the election, we did a lot of Trump material, a lot of political material, and it was fine,” Martin shared with IndieWire Wednesday.
“After the election, you started to hear comments from the audience, whether it was a yay or a boo, and we said, ‘We don’t want that. We’re not here to preach,’” he added.
“So we started limiting the divisive political material from the act because you get that on late-night TV,” Martin continued. “It’s not something you want to pay [for]. We’re just trying to be funny.”
“When it comes to politics, you don’t want to make half the audience feel like they’re inappropriate,” Short explained. “So even when we’re doing Jiminy Glick, we try to go back and forth.”
“For me, it’s not my forte,” Martin interjected, sharing that political commentary just wasn’t his thing. “I’m not known as a political comedian for a reason. I actually made a choice a long, long time ago. I just feel it takes the audience out of the show a little bit.”
Imagine that, a pair of Hollywood comics who don’t want to alienate half their potential audience!
Naturally, it is possible to be funny without having to go political. Indeed, most of America’s most famous comics in the early days hardly ever did any political comedy.
Such giants as Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello… I could go on and on… rarely did political jokes. Yes they all did them very sparingly here and there. But political humor didn’t really take over American comedy until the 60s.
Certainly if that is what you want to do as a comic, go for it. It is a free country. But, don’t sit there an whine when you become an object of attack when you do it… I’m looking at you Kathy Griffin.
In the mean time, good for Martin Short and Steve Martin for just wanting to be funny without having to become rabid, left-wing attack dogs.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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