Meet the Bill Maher From the Right Who is Changing Entertainment
Conservative stand-up comic Evan Sayet has just launched a national tour.
Conservatives frequently complain there are not enough of us in show business, but that may be because they are overlooking some of their top talent. Evan Sayet, a former mainstream stand-up comic and writer for comedians like Bill Maher, has hosted The Right to Laugh for years, the longest running conservative commentary show in America. He is taking his show on tour around the country this year, with stops in Phoenix, Chicago, Boston and New York.
Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, Larry Elder and Dennis Prager all call him “brilliant.” Hugh Hewitt says, “There’s funny, there’s VERY funny and then there’s Evan Sayet.” Michael Barone of U.S. News and World Report claims that “Evan has crossed that line from ‘funny to important.'”
Evan’s jokes pierce through the rhetoric, forcing people to think, as they take on the left both intellectually and emotionally:
See, the idea of being a conservative is we try to better ourselves. Liberals spend their lives just being themselves. And you would think they would love the Catholics because you don’t even wait until you’re born to start being yourself. You were yourself in the womb. And you would think the liberals would love you for that, because, what is the womb? Basically, it’s a liberal paradise. Right? Basically, you’re sitting in a hot tub, feeding off of somebody else. They should love babies in the womb, instead of wanting to abort them.
I had the chance to interview Evan recently and was surprised by what he told me about conservatives in entertainment. There are plenty of conservative entertainers, he said. The problem is we’re not supporting them. Unlike the left, conservatives are more likely to have families, so they tend to be busier with family events, church, etc., rather than going to comedy clubs and shows.
Compounding the problem is that it is harder to get the word out about conservative entertainers. Late night TV and the mainstream media are dominated by the left.
As a result, conservative entertainers must rely on word of mouth and the grassroots. “I consider myself an activist,” Evan told me. “I’m different than the Tea Parties, but still an activist. I need the other activists to take action.” Fortunately, conservatives in entertainment today have it better than in the past. Evan explained,
Technology is allowing us to go around the gatekeepers. While it’s still difficult to get on David Letterman, whose show is about to end anyway, he’s no longer as powerful as he used to be, or even as powerful as Johnny Carson before him was. Do your thing, promote it the way I do, by using YouTube and then Twitter to promote it; get around the powers that be. Be true to your values, since the truth is outside of the gatekeepers; the rest of the country is overwhelmingly in agreement with us.
Another problem Evan mentioned was the “milquetoast” nature of conservative entertainment. “Where are the edgy movies?” he asked. “Name any modern art featuring Christ that is as well-known as the left’s Vagina Monologues,” he challenged me. “You can’t. There’s only the left’s version, the disgraceful photograph of a cross in urine.”
When some edgier conservative entertainment has come along, like the South Park conservatives, it has been mostly ignored until it withers away. Evan did note that his act is fairly clean, with no gratuitous vulgarities.
He grew up as a left-leaning Jew in New York, and became a conservative because of 9/11:
After 9/11 happened, the liberals took the side of the terrorists. They said we deserved the attack and provoked it. Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright even declared, “America’s chickens are coming home to roost!” The left said the way to prevent further attacks was to be nicer to the terrorists. It was insane. The first time you think is the last time you’re a Democrat.
Evan majored in Political Science during college, but he was more interested in the game of how to get elected than in policy. He learned from the experience, “Running an effective political campaign doesn’t necessarily translate into a great leader.”
Evans told me that his decision to become a stand-up comedian was easy. After college he was trying to figure out what to do with his life, and about the same time stand-up comedy started booming, due to the advent of cable television. Suddenly, there were 100 channels instead of three. There’s not much cheaper entertainment to broadcast than a stand-up comedian. There’s no need for a set, since it can be filmed at a club, and there is no script or staff. Even reality TV today is more expensive than stand-up comedy, since it requires editing. Not so for stand-up comedy: the comedians know their act and perform it straight through at a club.
After performing stand-up comedy for a few years, he had children and needed a job where he wasn’t on the road all the time, so he started writing for TV shows and comedians like David Letterman and Arsenio Hall. But after his political views changed, he realized he didn’t want to write for those kind of people anymore. “I don’t believe them now,” he told me, “and I know they do damage to our culture.” After 9/11, he decided he wanted to enter the culture war, and figured out that stand-up comedy was the skill he could bring to it.
How has Evan survived in Hollywood all these years? He told me that Hollywood is three different things: industry, location and mindset. Since becoming a conservative, he’s been able to remove himself from the industry; he doesn’t go to the networks, he doesn’t need to write for the shows anymore.
At that moment during our interview, Evan saw a squad of police cars pull up nearby, prompting him to observe, “The reason law enforcement officers are conservative is because they have to be right or they get hurt. Whereas liberalism is based on being very clever. They don’t have to be right. They just have to sound smart. Indeed, ‘The clever but wrong fireman soon gets burned’ is the title of a chapter in his book, KinderGarden of Eden: How the Modern Liberal Thinks.
The book grew out of a speech to The Heritage Foundation in 2007, which Andrew Breitbart declared one of the five most important speeches ever. It presented a unified theory of liberalism, explaining why decent people ignore facts, reject reason and end up siding with evil over good. Bill Whittle of PJTV said it was “perhaps the most important book I’ve read in the last ten years. It has forever changed and clarified the way I view the world.”
To illustrate his message, Evan points to how the left views the terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. “It was a well-orchestrated murder of our ambassador,” he said. “How could you believe it was due to some video that happened to come out six months earlier? Israel is surrounded by evil and yet they decide the problem is the Jew? My speech and book answer that.”
So why are so many Jews liberal? “In order to call yourself a Jew,” he said, “it is different than any other religion. To call yourself a Christian or Muslim, you have to believe in something, and adhere to certain scripture, rights, rituals, and practices. You don’t have to believe anything to call yourself a Jew.”
But why do so many Jews lean to the left when so many left-wing totalitarian regimes hate them? He agreed that leftism is inherently Jew hating, whether communism, socialism or similar. The problem is “the modern Jew see two parties in the U.S.; the party of Christian values, and the party of no values.” This is unfair, since American Christianity is different than European Christianity; American Christians embrace Jews. No one else calls it Judeo-Christianity. Those with no values are going to reject Jews since they have values. He agreed that it is unfair American Jews give the Christian leanings of the Republican Party much more weight than any other issue distinguishing the parties.
His thoughts on the GOP presidential candidates? “I’m incredibly excited about the depth of talent, decency and goodness in this race. When you look at the left, you see two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both who are despicable. In contrast, you see good smart articulate people on our side. I can be nothing other than proud of this lineup, which we get to choose the best of the best from.”
His videos, book, and upcoming appearances can all be found at his website, evansayet.com. If conservatives are serious about making inroads into entertainment and reaching a younger demographic, they need to get the word out about his comedy shows. He used to mainly perform for high-end events like presidential fundraisers, but by going on tour, anyone can attend his shows for only $20. It’s time to stop whining about the left dominating entertainment and put our money where our mouths are. See you at the show!