Norm Macdonald, the legendary stand-up comedian who recently passed away, made an astute observation about comedy in a 2009 interview: “There’s a difference between a clap and a laugh. A laugh is involuntary, but the crowd is in complete control when they’re clapping. They’re saying, ‘We agree with what you’re saying; proceed!’” Others have referred to this as “clapter,” referring to the same disingenuous response to an unfunny woke joke.
A number of outspoken pro-abortion comedians would do well to learn the difference between laughter and clapter. Instead, the nation’s staunchest advocates, promoters, and sellers of abortion are doubling down on their attempt to make abortion funny.
Several pro-abortion groups, most notably NARAL Pro-Choice America and Abortion Access Front, have recently embarked on campaigns to make “abortion comedy.” In a recent article for McClatchy DC, the abortion group admitted that pro-abortion digital efforts are losing to pro-life ones in educating and winning people over. They even confessed that people were using “pro-life language” in their own focus groups.
To combat the effectiveness of pro-life media, NARAL decided to enlist comedians as the voices of pro-abortion advertising in places like podcasts and YouTube videos. The pro-life crowd wasn’t the only one to deem this silly; NARAL shared with McClatchy that 11 of their state affiliates are considering breaking with the national organization over this plan.
Abortion Access Front, a ragtag activism group formed by a co-creator of “The Daily Show,” plans to host in-person comedy shows and other types of entertainment events about abortion, but it seems they need to do more research on their audience. According to Gallup, 49 percent of Americans identify as pro-life, 47 percent identify as pro-choice, and the rest don’t know how they feel about the issue.
Vox found in 2015 that 39 percent of respondents in interviews on the issue refused to pick a side. In fact, many abortion-leaning people choose the middle, believing that abortion should always be a hard decision.
But NARAL and Abortion Access Front don’t need to check the work of pollsters to determine that abortion comedy is a bad idea; it’s clear by their ratings that all their woke jokes, not just the abortion ones, flop a lot more often than they fly.
Take Samantha Bee, one of late night’s unfunniest leading ladies. In response to South Dakota’s recent chemical abortion restriction, Bee monologued her distaste and included such sentiments as, “It’s weird that he’s pro-life because with a face like that, I would want to be dead,” and, “You can’t be pro-birth if you look like you broke out of a cloning pod before you finished” (both referring to Mark Miller, general counsel for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem).
But the ratings clap back just as hard. On a standard cable night this summer, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” brought in half the number of viewers as a show called “Dr. Pimple Popper.”
Bee’s Hollywood abortion pal and “Hunger Games” star Elizabeth Banks was christened by the Center for Reproductive Rights in 2019 to head their new Creative Council – a $2 million enterprise to cram abortion into entertainment wherever it will fit. Her 2020 film “Mrs. America” drug the late pro-life activist Phyllis Schlafly through the mud (and earned Banks a 68 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Busy Philipps, who frequents pro-abortion rallies and legislative activities, also had her talk show “Busy Tonight” canceled by E! after less than a year.
The pro-life crowd is doing something different altogether: talking to people, face to face, and asking them honest questions, something Vice News recently reported as “deeply sophisticated.”
Last October, the pro-life group Students for Life of America had 17,180 online conversations and a conversion (mind changed) rate of 19 percent through Digital Conversion Quizzes geared towards changing public perception of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The following month, there were 99,440 minds changed and an average conversion rate of 19.6 percent during the entire digital campaign leading up to the November election.
Note the key difference between methods; where NARAL and Hollywood elites try to bully through the wealthy and famous, it’s the little pro-lifers who have no such notoriety who are winning with grassroots activism and a message of genuine love and service.
Abortion is a tragedy, not a comedy, and almost everyone outside of Hollywood knows that fact. Abortion simply is not, and never will be, funny.