Then there's the media. Most journalists tend to lean left also and therefore interpret the work of comics in that vein. These days, critics and hacks writing about comedy almost never seem to be happy to judge a comedian's act mainly on whether it was funny or not. In fact, that aspect of the show in question sometimes gets completely ignored. They seem to be far more obsessed with whether it's right-on and worthy enough for them.
And if they're not passing judgement on this criterion, they're at pains to place the comedian's material in a political context. Since standups tend to draw very much from their own personal experiences in developing their acts most of the show reviews and comedian profile articles you read these days are seen through the prism of social justice issues.
If you're a young comic who wants to succeed then it's pretty obvious what kind of show and approach to marketing it is going to get you the most positive publicity. Ideally, you should write material about about some trending social issue with the stated aim of "raising awareness" of it. Then seek out the support of political groups and organizations with similar goals. Works like a charm every time!
The show Bully by comedian Mick Neven seems to be a case in point. Now it sounds like quite an interesting and unusual show with a deeply personal genesis. Basically, Neven bullied a kid back in school and long felt guilty about this until he finally apologized to his victim and resolved the issue with him to a great degree. But he still feels remorse about this issue. And this has motivated his desire to convey an anti-bullying message via the show.
I don't doubt the guy's sincerity. And it may well be an excellent show. But if you read this article about it you'll see that the writer Suzanne Carbone focuses almost entirely on its social and political relevance. Neven himself appears to have courted that interpretation assiduously.
Nowhere in the article is there any mention of the show's laugh-creating ability, or its entertainment value in general. That seems kind of odd given that the show is part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Now, I know it's not meant to be a review. But that's kind of my point. It's been profiled because it fits neatly into the world view of the social justice-obsessed leftist. If you're a comic who aims to be funny over all things and puts most of his time and energy into achieving that goal, and doesn't court the kind of analysis described above, then you miss out on heaps of mostly free, almost invariably positive media coverage. And that usually means a comparatively lower profile in the industry.
No wonder so many of today's most well known comedians are more right-on than they are funny!