By B.W. Styles – Culture Editor
If you have had a hard time laughing — let alone cracking a smile since the 2016 election — a new study confirms that you are not alone.
A Yale College statistician, in conjunction with colleagues at Western New Mexico University, found that after the 2016 election formerly great comedians can no longer make audiences laugh.
Barbara Lochridge of Yale College, the lead researcher of “When Laughter Stopped: How Donald Trump Bankrupted Comedy,” said: “Nothing is funny any more. Comedians don’t know how to make people laugh because people simply don’t have the capacity to laugh.”
The paper, soon to be published in the prestigious International Feminist Journal of Politics, quantifies the number of once funny comedians who are now insufferable, even to progressives.
“It’s settled science that women aren’t funny — except fat or ugly women like Roseanne Barr,” Ms. Lochridge said, who is in her sophomore year at Yale College. “But, we didn’t anticipate that mildly attractive, mildly humorous women — who became fat and ugly as a result of Trump’s Presidency — would become incapable of telling a joke.”
Researchers highlighted Amy Schumer as an example. “Before Trump, Amy was a perky, yet portly, comedy-gold, laugh bomb,” Ms. Lochridge said. “Several months ago, Amy was booed off stage at a Special Olympics awards banquet. When those with down syndrome stop smiling, you have lost the room and probably your career.”
Ms. Lochridge expected a loss in laughs with the ladies, but what surprised her the most was how male comedians turned humorless. “Most people who endure the mindless political diatribe of late-night TV understand that someone like Jimmy Kimmel was never funny,” Ms. Lochridge said. “People tune in to Jimmy’s show to ask ‘why is he on TV,’ but no one — even our research assistants — expected Will Ferrell to become the new Chevy Chase of comedy.”
The researchers found that Will Ferrall’s career mirrors the later stages of Dick Clark’s life. “When Dick had several hours to live, three nurses wheeled him onto Ryan Seacrest’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show. Because Dick was still alive and owned the rights to the show, no one could say ‘sit this one out; you can’t move half your face.’ So, there Dick was — slobbering into the microphone. A national buzzkill between Beyoncé and the Beebs on New Year’s Eve. That is what Ferrell’s comedy has become: an unsympathetic, unrepentant embarrassment.”
Recently however, the researchers found new comedic shoots of life. Ms. Lochridge pointed out how the #MeToo movement appears to have made Louis C.K. funny.
“We heard rumors of Mr. CK making fun of dead school children, fat kids, and transsexuals. CK no longer even mentions Trump. The material could have potential to entertain. We still need to see the data,” Ms. Lochridge said.
The paper and supporting facts indicate that totalitarianism makes people wince as opposed to laugh. “Fascism in particular makes people afraid to laugh,” Ms. Lochridge said.
The paper concluded with this: “There were no breakout comedians in Stalin’s Soviet Russia, years 1929 to 1953. Hitler’s Germany created fantastic advancement in rocket propulsion, but no known comedic stars. When the totalitarian in the White House is evicted, it might be possible for transsexuals, lesbians, deaf and Asian immigrants — even Chinamen — to laugh for the first time.”
B.W. Styles is an award-winning author and journalist. His forthcoming book: “Never Open a Door for a Stranger: Why Being Nice is a Micro-aggression,” will be published in the fall. He always welcomes your feedback: bwstyles@NPCDaily.com.
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