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Four years ago, progressives were riding high. Obama was president, healthcare was fixed forever, and the reset-button Ruskies were our best pals. But even in that golden age, there was a growing sense that comedy was … well … problematic.
The 2014 Netroots Nation conference lectured attendees on the systematic oppression of the Humor Industrial Complex while insisting they were far funnier than those evil conservatives. “When the right says we have no sense of humor,” panelist Katie Halper said, “it’s a great way for racist/sexist/homophobic men to make themselves seem funny.”
Now that Trump sits in the Oval Office and Republicans dominate Congress and most statehouses, progressives have thrown in the mic, stool, and the brick-wall backdrop. The most striking example is Hannah Gadsby’s recent stand-up comedy special. Titled “Nanette,” and released last month on Netflix, it’s being heralded across the media for … not being funny.