The “Fourteenth Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize” will be delivered tonight on PBS, and — in case you didn’t know already — Will Ferrell comes away with the prize. Because of his George Bush impression, apparently. Just as Tina Fey won the award because of her Sarah Palin impression. And nothing else. Ferrell is the latest in a list of liberals to win the prize because apparently, those who hand it out and/or those who are arbiters of what is good comedy, hate conservatives. Or so writes The Washington Times, which takes issue with the liberal bent of the Mark Twain prize.
Practically every other recipient [besides Bill Cosby] of the Twain Prize — a list including Whoopi Goldberg, Carl Reiner, Tina Fey, and Lilly Tomlin — has been an outspoken lefty of one stripe or another. In 2004, Lorne Michaels even won the thing, for goodness sake, meaning it’s easier for a Canadian to be named America’s top humorist than it is for a conservative born in the U.S.A.
Why don’t conservatives ever win the prize?
Defenders of the Kennedy Center will claim the pickings are slim on the other side of the ideoloical divide. All the funny people are liberal because, at least one argument goes, humor is an inherently subversive medium. Progressives therefore thrive in comedy, while conservatives — defenders of the status quo — are stodgy and dull by nature. As evidence, they will point out that very funny liberals like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert seem to have no counterparts on the right. That’s nonsense, of course.
I agree with the above statement, except for the last sentence. It’s not nonsense. There are no counterpoints to Colbert and Stewart on the right just as there are no serious counterpoints to Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck on the left. Conservative talk radio owns fear mongering xenophobia, and liberals own political comedy. Who does the Washington Times put forward as an example of a funny conservative? Greg Gutfeld (never heard of him), Dennis MIller (agreed! In the 1980s) and P.J. O’Rourke (maybe, but how relevant is he today?).
The Times author, Hampton Stevens, also puts forth Matt Parker and Trey Stone, because they have a history of skewering liberals like Michael Moore and Rob Reiner, smug environmentalists, and political correctness. I agree, and encourage the “South Park” duo to perform “Hasa Diga Eebowai” (“Fuck you, God!”) from Book of Mormon at the event. Conservatives would love that. The other suggestion? Harvard Grad (elitist!) and “SNL” alumni Greg Daniels, developer of “Parks and Recreation,” because he created the libertarian Ron Swanson and espoused conservative common sense values, along with Mike Judge, on “King of the Hill.”
Screw it, I say. Cut out the middle man: Just give it to Ron Swanson. Liberals, conservatives, and bacon eaters alike would celebrate that choice.
(Source: The Washington Times)