If You Love John Oliver, These 7 Hilarious Political Comedians Are Right In Your Wheelhouse
Since John Oliver came on the scene with his smash hit political comedy show Last Week Tonight, he's dominated a lot of the conversation and attention around political comedy. It probably helped Oliver that both Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart were gearing up to leave their acclaimed shows, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show respectively, for greener pastures just around the time that LWT was starting, but there hasn't always been a very receptive environment for other political comedians to rise in the ranks. Luckily, with some outstanding work being done by some political comedians like John Oliver, the world of political comedy is expanding, and, thankfully, diversifying.
Comedy, and especially comedy on television, has historically been a huge white boys club, but things are branching out a bit with the recent inclusion of Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore, and Samantha Bee to cable’s comedy line up. With a plurality of perspectives and experiences, the political comedy game is probably better than ever, and will surely only continue to improve. And who knows, maybe soon we’ll have a comedy host who belongs to more than one minority category!
Political comedy is a great source of information, and of course, entertainment, especially during a crazy election season like this one. That’s why everyone should be paying attention to more than one source of comedy, and why the comedy world needs to continue increasing diversity efforts. Check out these political commentators for more high-brow laughs.
Just like Oliver, Bee started as a correspondent for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Now, she's got her own show on TBS, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Not only is she making history by joining the notoriously-small pool of female late night comedians, but she's absolutely killing it. Bee isn't afraid to be politically critical of either side of the aisle, and she brings poignant perspective to all her segments in a distinctly female voice.
Wilmore has been hosting The Nightly Show on Comedy Central for just over a year now, and if you haven't checked out the show yet, you're missing out. Wilmore covers minority issues with extra emphasis and bite, and his wacky sketches will always be a great source for a laugh. Plus, where else can you see Bernie Sanders mic drop?
It's more than likely that you've already heard of Janeane Garofalo from her hilarious film and television appearances, including Wet Hot American Summer (the original and the Netflix reboot), Inside Amy Schumer, and Girlfriend's Guide To Divorce. Garofalo has transitioned more into acting recently, but she once hosted the left-wing radio show The Majority Report and often appears on Real Time With Bill Maher. You can also catch her live on tour with her new stand up show.
Black is famous for raging on stage, and a lot of that rage is directed toward the American political system. One of his most famous quotes sums up his frustration with politicians pretty well: "We have a two party system: the Democratic party, which is a party of no ideas, and the Republican party, which is a party of bad ideas." Black is also on stand up tour right now, so buy your tickets before they're all gone.
Bill Maher's name gets dragged through the mud a lot as just another talking head, but he consistently makes top 10 lists of best political comedians. He's distinctly liberal so be warned if you're a conservative, but he's also not afraid to be harsh to both parties. Real Time with Bill Maher airs Friday nights on HBO, so you can watch Maher and Oliver back to back HBO Go.
If you like Oliver overall but lean a little more conservative, Dennis Miller might be the comedian for you. Miller is a political comedy vet, going all the way back to his days on Saturday Night Live — he anchored Weekend Update from 1985 to 1991. His political views took a rightward shift after the events of Sept. 11, and the now-conservative comic frequently appears on Fox News these days. You can see him touring with Bill O'Reilly ahead of the presidential election.
Kondabolu made waves in 2014 with the now infamous quote "Saying I'm obsessed with racism in America is like saying I'm obsessed with swimming when I'm drowning" — and you can hear the comedian deliver the joke himself on his debut album Waiting for 2042.
These political comedians are just a small sampling of what's available, so do some more searching to find your favorite. You never know, you may just find the next Jon Stewart or Samantha Bee lurking in the depths of YouTube.