I love being a stand-up comic. I have gotten to travel all over the world. I have met and worked with a number of my idols in the business. I have been my own boss and set my own schedule since I quit my last “real” job way back in 1980. I get to use my God given creative talents to make a living. What’s not to like?
The thing I like most about comedy is that is the last bastion of laissez-faire capitalism in America. There is no minimum wage and no salary cap. On the down side there is no pension plan and no health care. I get no sick days, no paid holidays, no personal days, and there is no family leave. I have to provide for myself and I do it gladly because there are no rules, no government regulations, and no unions.
My fear is that at the rate President Obama is going through the economy it won’t be long before he realizes that there are still a few Americans having some fun and outside his control. He is well on his way to ending the American automobile industry, private banking and nationalizing energy. Over at the Supreme Court we will soon have yet another activist judge who believes that equality of opportunity should yield equality of result and that if it doesn’t then there must be bias in the system.
It’s only a matter of time until the Obama Administration will discover that there is an unregulated business in America and move to bring the comedy industry under control. His first move will be to appoint a Comedy Czar who will be responsible for all regulation joke telling, writing and the hiring and firing of comedians. He will address the inequity in pay issue. Why should Jerry Seinfeld and Kevin James receive more and that I get for doing the same job?
The Comedy Czar will need to address the problem that women are underrepresented in the stand-up profession. Soon, thanks to the enlightened policies of the Obama administration, 51% of all stand-up comics will be women no matter how funny they are. At the same time the Czar may notice that other groups, like Jews and African-American are over represented. The government, backed by the courts will institute programs to assure that many humor challenged groups like Germans and the Sweedish have access to the comedy profession. Why should lack of talent and hard work stop people from their dreams?
The Comedy Czar will also have to regulate who gets to use what jokes. Is it fair that some comedians are better writers and performers than others? Is it fair that the opening act has no great lines while the headliner has forty? Soon all comedians will pool their jokes for common use.
Thanks to card check there will soon be a National Union of Comedic Performers and all comedians will be doing the same amount of time on a show. They will also be forced to take their breaks at the appointed time. If that falls in the middle of a joke don’t worry, he’ll be back after a quick fifteen minute rest.
The Comedy Czar will control all aspects of stand-up except being funny. That unimportant aspect of the comedy business will be eliminated through careful government planning and regulation.