On Wednesday, streaming service Hulu announced that they were cancelling their only political talk show, “I Love You America with Sarah Silverman,” after one season.
“I Love You America” was Hulu’s first and hopefully last foray into the universe of once-funny comedians hosting talk shows about lefty politics. The show lasted for one 21-episode season that Hulu described as Silverman attempting “to connect with people who may not agree with her personal opinions through honesty, humor, genuine interest in others, and not taking herself too seriously. While it’s great to connect with like-minded people, Silverman feels it’s crucial, now more than ever, to connect with the un-like-minded.”
Early in her career, Silverman made a name as a comedian by consistently flirting with disaster. She regularly pushed into territory that got her in trouble and took heat from many groups of people who found her offensive. But she soldiered on in the name of comedy. She knew then that she was making jokes, and sometimes in comedy jokes make people mad, but that didn’t mean she should censor herself.
Sadly, that Sarah is long gone, replaced by a Twitter-happy, Donald Trump-hating, third-wave feminist that is completely absorbed by politically correct group think.
Maybe she really thought this show could be for everyone. It is possible she was so blinded by her own political values that she couldn’t see how one-sided and condescending her show truly would be.
However, she seemed to lean into the condescension in an October 2017 interview with Vulture, in which she described an encounter with a conservative family as “They said some stuff I thought was bananas. They all voted for Trump — and they Googled ‘Jew’ before I got there. The one thing I’ve learned overall about this is that facts don’t change people’s minds.”
Despite Silverman’s half-hearted attempt to attract viewers from outside major cities in America, this show was in no way intended as unbiased entertainment for all. It was always about promoting Silverman’s political ideology. No matter how many light, fun words like “honesty” “humor” and “genuine interest” she used to describe her show, no one thought for a second it would be palatable for a conservative audience.
When a show willfully alienates half of the country, how do they expect to succeed? For a show to survive after rebuking every person who voted for the sitting president, it must provide enough joy to the other half to keep each of them tuning in every week. Unsurprisingly, Silverman’s show didn’t follow through on its promise not to take itself too seriously.
Her guests included deeply left-wing politicians like Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Gavin Newsom, as well as deeply left-wing comedians like Patton Oswalt and Bill Maher. The show’s sketches, stand-up, and intermittent segments didn’t deviate from the progressive political aspirations of the host or guests. No matter your political affiliation, the potential for real laughter was sporadic at best.
If fledgling ratings for cable news networks like CNN and MSNBC teach us anything, it’s that viewers with ideology like Silverman’s do not like watching politics on TV.
In the Vulture interview, Silverman seemingly predicted her own demise. She recalled, “My mom used to watch MSNBC nonstop, and she’d just go crazy about the state of the world. I’d be like, “Mom, this is good that you care, but every once in a while you gotta watch a ‘Bones’ or something.”
The concept of comedians as left-wing political pundits is an unsuccessful model that inexplicably keeps repeating itself. Netflix has refused to learn its lesson after the unsuccessful single-season runs of “Chelsea” and “The Break with Michelle Wolf.” It is currently attempting to float two lefty talk shows with “Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj” and “The Fix.”
Each day more celebrities forsake the talent that helped them achieve success, preferring the “clapter” of the few people who take them seriously as they attempt to save the world through Twitter and poorly rated talk shows. Hopefully Hulu doesn’t need another failure to learn that ranting, left-wing comedians on shows that characterize half of America as stupid, thoughtless bigots is not a recipe for success.