We all agree that laughter is the best medicine. However, if you were to ask Steven Crowder, he would say it is even better because it isn’t affected by Obamacare. Last Tuesday, Hillsdale College’s chapter of Young American’s For Freedom was proud to host Canadian-born comedian, former Fox News contributor, television and film actor, CPAC 2011 Master of Ceremonies, and conservative viral video sensation Steven Crowder for an hour long stand-up comedy performance.
Steven Crowder is an incredibly talented comedian. From the moment he took the stage, he had the audience dying with laughter. These jokes, however, were not something you would find from any other comedian of Crowder’s status. Crowder had the ability to communicate logical absurdities in young liberal adults’ ways of thinking about public policies at large. In one bit during his performance, he talks about how liberals proclaim that if someone is not a fan of Obama, they must be racist. “But he’s half black and half white… why do liberals get to choose what half he is?”
Other hilarious punchlines included, “French Soldiers are the only troops armed with standard issue white flags”, and “Chick-Fil-A tastes better with all that intolerance, right?” They were great jokes, and show the absurdity of liberal ideologies without having them rammed down your throat by a talking head or a political debate. It was one of the most efficient ways to discuss liberal culture: just sit back and laugh.
I was incredibly honored after the show to get a one-on-one interview with Steven. He told me of how he first got started in acting and comedy, and offered his advice to young conservatives who want to share our political opinions.
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Tom:So tell me how you began doing stand-up comedy?
Steven: It started with me first being an actor at twelve years old. I was the voice of Alan “The Brain” Powers on Arthur and had roles in several other films throughout the early 2000’s. The Canadian film unions were getting incredibly difficult to deal with so I started doing stand-up at 18 instead, something I had been very interested in.
Tom: When did you start weaving politics and conservative ideas into your comedy?
Steven: It was never really intentional. I am a conservative and my material comes from popular culture and current events. So I talk about young liberal hipsters and make fun of them for being vegans, enviromentalists, and such because it is what I find funny. I never went into comedy saying I was going to do conservative comedy, it just turned out that way.
Tom: So was it this style of comedy that attracted the people at Fox to want to make you a contributor?
Steven: The comedy, but I think mainly the YouTube sketch videos and talking on the streets with liberal minded people made Fox interested in me for a contributer spot. They would have me on with Hannity to talk about ObamaCare, stimulus, and other political issues.
Tom: That’s such a rewarding opportunity to be able to spread your conservative views and opinions. What advice would you give to us younger and college aged conservatives who want to spread our opinions and values?
Steven: I think this is where a lot of young conservatives can get it wrong. You don’t have to go out and make a blog, videos, or articles to spread your message. Use whatever you’re good at and enjoy as a medium for your opinion. If you’re a good painter, paint an awesome picture portraying your ideals, If you’re good at writing plays, make a play that proclaims your message! Do what you’re good at and make a statement! I realized I was good at making people laugh so that is what I do to spread my message.
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I couldn’t agree more with Steven’s response to my last question. So many young, passionate conservatives (including myself) think that the only ways to make a difference are to either get into politics or get into journalism. We get stuck believing there is only one formula for political engagement involving internships, blog posts, political science degrees, and loud debates.
These ways aren’t wrong, and I have followed almost all of them myself. You certainly can spread your opinions and ideas in this manner, but as young conservatives we should spread our message through other passionate means. If you are a gifted baseball player, hold a charity game for your favorite cause. If you enjoy poetry, write poems about your favorite leaders or principles. You don’t have to be “political” in the traditional sense. You should just be yourself and share your ideas with the talents with which God has blessed you.
Steven Crowder is a beautiful example of how revolutionarily different we can be from the conventional form of sharing opinions and ideas. He does what he loves, he does what he is good at, and he makes a statement in the process. We can learn from his example and break the conventional political messaging machine. We can spread our conservative opinions, ideals, and values through everything we do.