Conservative Comic Evan Sayet

Evan (EvanSayet.com) calls me Dec. 26.

Audio Audio

Evan, 47: "You got questions written out or off the top of your head?"

Luke: "I’ve got them in my head."

Evan: "Good."

Luke: "How has your life changed since September 13?"

Evan: "I made a full scale change. I had some contractual obligations that made the career change not immediate. When I wrote "fade to black" on my last Hollywood project, I’ve been wholely removed from Hollywood. My roladex of 20 years is meaningless to me now. I could get a meeting at ‘Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’ but that’s not what I’m looking for.

"Suddenly I needed to be respected, appreciated and paid by a whole new set of people, mostly out of Washington. I’m now in the conservative thought industry as opposed to the entertainment industry."

"I’ve had to start over as far as building up a fan base… Instead of writing jokes for late night television or a half-hour sitcom, I’m writing articles. I have a book coming out in July from Regnery."

"I am definitely a happier and more motivated person. I look forward to every day now because there is a purpose to it. There’s something deeper in being involved in global politics rather than Hollywood politics.

"It’s easier to be a narcissist when you are in the Hollywood community than when you are in the political community."

Evan is divorced (1996) with two kids (one biological).

Evan: "My son (17yo) was a Republican before I was."

"I was the quintessential modern liberal. The pathology that I now write about, I not only suffered from but was the quintessential example of."

Luke: "Did you stop being a narcissist in a few weeks?"

Evan: "No. It wasn’t an epiphany. Being aware that the Islamists were murdering the Jews of Israel for no other reason than they were the closest infidels, there was no doubt in my mind that when they could, they would come kill the biggest infidels. When they murdered us on 9/11, that didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was my liberal friends’ response to 9/11: that we deserved it, it was a result of our policies, and that the way to ensure it didn’t happen again was to give the terrorists what they wanted."

"As I’d see liberals side with the murderers, I needed to search for other allies, for people who would defend America. So I sought out Republicans. I heard them speak. They got it. That America was good and the terrorists were bad. This one issue was all that mattered.

"As I introduced myself to Republicans, I found out they were not religious fanatics. Slowly, over time, I opened my eyes to a whole bunch of things."

Luke: "What is a narcissist?"

Evan: "People who have rejected anything bigger than themselves…. They have nowhere to look outside of themselves for the truth."

Luke: "How have your friendships changed? Did you lose friends?"

Evan: "No. I lost interest in some of the more shallow friends who I still love and we can still be together but we don’t talk about anything. We can’t talk about politics. If you don’t agree with a liberal, they hate you because you’re a bad person… We have to tiptoe around every issue of substance."

"How are you responding to my views? They’re pretty strong."

Luke: "My views are right-wing but most of my work is not ideologically driven. I basically agree with your views but when I interview or write, I’m rarely pushing anything but to get the best interview possible."

Evan: "That makes you a pro for what you’re doing."

Three times Evan has been on my favorite tv show — Red Eye on Fox News.

"The format is difficult for me," he says. "It’s so quick and so many people, you don’t have much of a chance to delve deeply into any point you make. By then they’ve cut to the 22yo chick with the tits… I’d rather be on Charlie Rose."

Luke: "What’s the breakdown of stand-up comics? Is it five to one liberal to conservative?"

Evan: "If you mean television, they’re all liberal. Club comics, about ten to one."

"In the comedy clubs, nobody is talking politics unless you’re drawing a big audience to see you. Otherwise, there’s no guarantee your audience has any knowledge of politics or cares about politics or shares your politics."

"Bob Costas was asked by Bernard Goldberg why athletes do such stupid things such as getting into gun fights in bars. Costas said, ‘Because they came to prominence before they came to maturity.’ That’s true of show business people in general.

"The reason that show business is so leftist is that you become the boss, Bruce Springsteen, at 22. In what other profession is that true? In other professions, you become the CEO at 58.

"You have people who’ve never had a job… Rich Rogers has a great line: ‘I’ve got the only job in the world where I tell my friends, ‘I’ve got to go to work. I’ll be right back.’

"You are above everyone else. You’re standing on a stage. You’re louder than anybody else. You’ve got the mic. You’re the one in the light. This breeds narcissism. You never enter the real world. You never have a job. You never have a bad boss. You never have a bad day. If I have a bad day at work, twenty minutes later, it’s over. It’s a breeding ground for liberalism.

"If you make it as a stand-up, you’re going to stick with the same persona and material… What you were at 22, you are at 40."

Luke: "Is there something inherent in comedy that leans left?"

Evan: "No. There’s something inherent in being young that leans left."

Luke: "Is humor suppressed hostility?"

Evan: "I don’t think so."

"Most people think there are two parts to a joke — the set-up and the punchline. They’re wrong. There are three parts. The set-up, the audience anticipation and the punchline which is true to the set-up but 180 degrees from what the audience expected. That’s the perfect joke.

"I’ll give you an example. Steve Martin says, ‘I like to put a woman on a pedestal.’

"The audience’s assumption is that he admires women. His punchline is: ‘I like to put a woman on a pedestal…just high enough to see up her dress.’

"Joan Rivers says, ‘My rape whistle…plays Sinatra.’"

Luke: "I think of comedy as tearing things down and I think of conservatism as conserving."

"There wasn’t Jewish comedy until Jews became secular. If you look at the sacred texts of the Jewish tradition…"

Evan: "They only had two pieces of paper back then. They could save up what Maimonidies said or they could save what Shecky said. I doubt jokes weren’t being made as they escaped from the Egyptians…"

Luke: "Where are you and God?"

Evan: "I started with the same disdain that the Left has for those who believe in God. I believed that all religions are basically the same, though the Jews were slightly better. My entire Jewish experience was at eight days old, they cut me. At thirteen, I said some words in a language I didn’t understand and they threw me a party. About ten years later, I stepped on a glass and was married.

"I didn’t consider taking religion seriously until I met my religious friends, my Jewish by choice friends… I believe in God. I wish I was more of a practicing Jew. Not yet.

"I can’t say God and I are friends, but we talk."

Luke: "How has your transition since 9/11 affected your dating life?"

Evan: "I don’t have a dating life. I’m not good dating material at this point. I’m too focused on getting up to speed in this new career. I was making a decent living as a journeyman gun-for-hire. Suddenly I was talking before ten people at the San Fernando Valley townhall conservatives for, if I was lucky, a free dinner.

"I’m focused on writing my book, getting my blog pieces out, giving my lectures and doing my radio interviews… I wouldn’t be a good boyfriend."

Luke: "What’s your sense of your attractiveness to the opposite sex as you’ve made this journey? Women tend to be on the left."

Evan: "Not only that, but the ones who put out tend to be on the left.

"My closing line the night you were there was that the only downside to being a conservative comedian is that you piss off all the liberal chicks.

"I’ve got beautiful women coming up to me after the show saying, ‘You’re so smart and you’re so wonderful… I’m going home to sleep with my husband.’

"I suspect that when I’m ready to be in a long-term committed relationship, it will be very good.

"After my wife, I was in a five-year relationship with a quintessential modern liberal. A narcissist. She made no effort to become one with me. Anything she did that wouldn’t have been about her would’ve been deicide. I’m a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. I know not only his lyrics, but what they mean. I don’t think we sat down once and listened to a Bruce Springsteen album. If she was doing something that I wanted to do, great, but as far as becoming a couple, that doesn’t tend to happen with liberals. They’re people who have a good time together until they don’t and then they divorce."

Luke: "How many attractive women have wanted to sleep with you for your comedy?"

Evan: "None."

"My audience tends to be older. They tend to be in committed relationships. They tend not to get very drunk."

Luke: "Women are turned on by fame and you’ve become more famous the past [three] years."

Evan: "I do get people telling me how sexy I am…"

Luke: "Are these hot, attractive young women?"

Evan: "They’re more handsome women. It’s not Britney Spears stumbling out of her car… It’s the vice-president of a bank but they’re not interested in getting laid."

Luke: "Is stand-up comedy the only place in society where we can talk honestly about race?"

Evan: "I don’t know that we can. Blacks can talk hyperbolically about whitey but I don’t know if whites can talk about blacks."

"If I have a good joke, and I know it doesn’t come from hate, and I know I could get into trouble for it, I still say it.’"

Luke: "Let me think for a few seconds…"

Evan: "That’s what makes you a conservative. You think for a few seconds."

Luke: "Do you feel any tension between a great joke and your commitment to a value system?"

Evan: "I feel a certain responsibility to my audience to provide them a safe haven, a place where their values won’t be offended. For example, using the word ‘f—.’ Some people are offended by it and I feel like I’ve made my audience a promise that if they come to my show, they’re not going to hear vulgarity. On the other hand, there are times when it is appropriate."

Luke: "How have you found the process of writing your book?"

Evan: "It’s daunting for a number of reasons. The skill that is most required in this format is discipline and organization. Those are the skills I most lack."

"You have to make a thoughtful, consistent argument for 280 pages that makes an impact on the reader."

"Regnery has assigned me one of their top editors. I’m waiting for their notes on my first draft."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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