The Morning Briefing: I’m Glad Richard Pryor Isn’t Here to See What Woke Is Doing to Stand-Up

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Happy Wednesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Enqueth was hailed by those in the know as the King of Avant-Garde Cheez Whiz expressionism. 

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Back when I first started doing stand-up comedy in the early 1980’s, it was a big free-for-all. The comedy boom had already been booming for a couple of years and comics had the freedom to do whatever we wanted to on stage. OK, nudity was off limits, and any rumors you may have heard about me, and a club named Tequila Mockingbird in Tucson back then are most likely lacking context. 

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The ’80s were a very “good time” decade and that had a lot to do with our creative freedom. We were also still reaping the benefits of Lenny Bruce repeatedly being hauled off to jail for dropping f-bombs, and Richard Pryor and George Carlin destroying the boundaries of stand-up comedy. 

It was glorious. 

One of the hallmarks of the era was that people were eager to enjoy themselves when they went to comedy clubs. Yes, comedy is subjective, but it’s easier to laugh when you’re looking for a good time.

Flash forward to 2024, when a very large portion of the population is most definitely not ever in it for the fun. Woke leftism is so twisted that it manages to turn young people into bitter, pinched, “Get off my lawn!” types. They actually seek to be offended. 

Stand-up comedy is one of the last lines of defense of free speech in this country, which greatly offends the woke crowd. They’ve been coming after comics for several years now. Kevin wrote a story yesterday about one of the latest incidents:

Four comedians walk into a comedy club and get booted for not being pink-haired Marxists. That sounds like a joke, but it isn’t.

Four well-known comics recently had their gigs canceled in Seattle because woke, or something. The club never really gave a reason.

“I guess I need to clean up my act,” Florentine joked on Twitter. “My comedy shows in Seattle are canceled along with @luisjgomez @ComicDaveSmith and @kurtmetzger.”

Jim Florentine, best known as a co-host of “That Metal Show” with Don Jamieson and Crank Yankers, an adult puppet show that used prank calls to skewer unsuspecting robocall dolts, was informed that his act doesn’t reflect “community values” in Seattle, a town that allowed anarchists to take over a neighborhood called Capitol Hill, where the squishy, free speech-hating commie club is located.

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One of the first road gigs I ever did was at a club in downtown Seattle. It was a lot of fun. This is more proof that commies ruin everything. 

Comedy has nothing to do with “community values” because, as I mentioned earlier, it’s subjective. Often, at its best, stand-up is uncomfortable as hell but still makes people laugh because it’s cathartic. These people don’t want catharsis, because there’s a level of introspection involved in that. They wind hivemind reassurance, which Kevin explains here:

As a 35-year veteran of performing stand-up comedy, I can assure you most of the comedians and many of the nation’s club owners lean left, especially on the coasts. Austin, Texas, and Ann Arbor, Mich., are also bastions of woke, progressive “comedians” who get applause breaks for saying clever thoughts such as, “So I’m trans…”

That’s precisely what is going on with the major late-night shows these days. It’s really just a bunch of high fiving over shared political views, and no actual jokes are required. 

Stand-up used to be rewarded for its boldness. The woke mob wants it neutered, censored, and easy to control. The feds who used to lurk in Lenny Bruce’s audiences have been replaced by woke idiots with too much Twitter/X time on their hands. They’re all trying to force state-approved entertainment on the public. 

Kevin and I met while touring the South Pacific for Armed Forces Entertainment, doing shows for the troops. It kind of reminded me of the ’80s, and not just because Kevin dresses like he just got kicked out of The Cure (he’s the first to say things like that about his attire, by the way). Those crowds really wanted to be entertained. That was before wokeness started polluting the military. I wonder if they’re that eager to laugh now. 

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The most insidious thing about all of this is that a comic doesn’t have to do any political material onstage to incur the woke wrath. Neither Kevin nor I really do politics in our acts, but we’re not shy offstage about where we lean. Both of us have lost gigs because emotionally spineless lefties have found out that we’re conservatives. 

Fortunately, there are still a lot of comics who aren’t interested in yielding to the mob. Face it, if we go, any semblance of freedom of expression in this country is gone. 

I have no plans to dishonor Lenny Bruce’s f-bomb jail time by capitulating to a bunch of emotional midget speech Nazis. In fact, they’re inspiring me to be even more offensive onstage going forward.

And that’s a win for America. 

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