Humorists on the most national of levels…late-night talk show hosts, Saturday Night Live performers, and the like…have been spending months procuring audience laughs at the direct expense of (now) President-elect Donald Trump.
For the most part, it seems as though their efforts are well-received. For one thing, most of these shows are taped in New York City and Los Angeles, cities that are now well-established bastions of liberalism. Additionally, as much of the social media universe, vis-à-vis entertainment, seems to be aggressively “managed” by voices on the left, the feedback in the immediate aftermath of a particularly cutting joke or routine pointed at Trump is typically positive.
It may well be the case, however, that all of the love expressed for anti-Trump humorists on the national scene belies a much different local reality.
A piece over at the Boston Herald details some of the hassles that comedians are encountering when they try to take a decidedly anti-Trump posture with their material, saying that many local standups have found that jokes about Trump “go over like a gold-plated balloon.”
Among others, the article quotes Boston comic Jody Sloane, who points out that the “election was the most polarizing election in the history of our country,” and goes on to say that “to even lightly joke about Trump leads Trump supporters to assume you are a Hillary supporter and the hatred ensues.”
Comedian Jimmy Tingle agrees, saying that “when I was performing leading up to the election, if you mentioned Hillary’s name, you alienated half your audience, if you mentioned Trump’s name, you alienated half your audience. When you mention people’s names or political party, that’s when people fall into their camps.”
In other words, what comics are apparently finding out is that when they do their thing in front of rank-and-file Americans, they find themselves in front of the same rank-and-file voters who made Donald Trump the next President of the United States.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large