In an interview with CNBC on Friday, comedian Bill Murray said it’s harder to be funny in a society increasingly fragmented by identity politics.
“How can Kristen Wiig make everyone laugh?” Murray says at the two-minute mark in the video below. “She’s not thinking about being political, she’s thinking about what resonates and what is common to all of us, and I think that’s harder and harder to do because people are trying to win their point of view as opposed to saying ‘What if I spoke to everyone?'”
Murray proceeded to talk about comedy writer Jim Downey, who’s been called the “Karl Rove of SNL,” and why that label is unfair.
“He’s saying: ‘No, I just think the way the Democrats handle things is poor where they try to pick out little pieces of a population,” Murray said. “‘We represent the Hispanics, we represent the LGBT or something.’ And they’re not speaking to everyone all at once. And It’s almost demeaning to say, ‘I’m choosing you because you’re a splinter group, or a certain minority group.’ There’s almost a resentment that some how you’re separated, again, by a politician.”
“‘You’re my people,” he said, imitating a Democratic politician. “‘I’m in control of you, I represent you,’ instead of thinking that each citizen has a right to be respected as a citizen first, under the laws of the country.”
The actor went on to praise the Republican tax reform plan, saying that it’s good for American businesses.
“The change in the tax law is a great thing for corporations, it’s a fantastic thing,” Murray said. “I don’t pretend to understand what that will mean to the future in terms of the economy or what the budget will have to do with what people call entitlements.”
“In the first step, it’s made things easier,” he said. “I think people feel like there was too much regulation, and yet I hope they don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater when breaking down regulations.”