Host of New Conservative Comedy Show Vows to ‘Put Funny First’
(CNSNews.com) – The Flipside With Michael Loftus - a new political comedy show with a decidedly right-wing slant that its host promises will “put funny first” - will debut next month on 200 network and cable television stations across the country.
The show will feature interviews with guests such as radio talk host Larry Elder, Northern Exposure star Janine Turner, and Simpsons’ co-creator Sam Simon as well as stand-up monologues by Loftus, a longtime Hollywood comedian who is currently a writer/producer on Fox’s Anger Management starring Charlie Sheen.
“It is going to be a half-hour comedy show about politics and pop culture, weighing heavy on the political side,” Loftus said in an interview with CNSNews.com. “And we’re making fun of everybody.”
Asked f he would be skewing both Republicans and Democrats on the show, Loftus replied: “Well, honestly, yeah. It’s going to include both. But right now, I’m taking on the powers that be, and the Democrats are in charge, so they better watch out. ”
But the new show will not just be a conservative version of Jon Stewart’s popular Daily Show, Loftus pointed out.
“The Daily Show started out as a parody of the nightly news. This is a bit more free-wheeling. I’m not wearing a suit and I’m not sitting behind a desk. I’m pretty much talking to a live studio audience and talking to the viewer at home. So it’s a little bit looser than The Daily Show, but in terms of the subject matter, it’s very close.”
CNSNews.com asked Loftus why there are so few conservative comedy shows on the air.
“Honestly, the short answer is the conservative attempts just haven’t been funny,” he replied. “That’s just it. It’s people, I think, taking themselves way too seriously. I don’t even know really how many attempts there’ve been for conservative comedy shows, but they all just seem so serious, you know?
“I mean, I love the news, I like watching the news, I like being informed, but ultimately, when I’ve worked hard all day, at some point I just want to laugh. And so I think if you can mix that laughter and you’ve got a little bit of a political slant to it, it’s a home run. I think The Daily Show’s’ done a great job of that, you know. It’s funny and they get their point across and they’re successful.
“But I think funny has to come first. I think maybe the other more conservative-leaning shows have not put funny first. That should be my bumper sticker: ‘Putting Funny First’.”
CNSNews.com asked Loftus, who has been doing stand-up comedy for more than 20 years, how his right-wing brand of humor has been received in Hollywood.
“Well, you know what, I’ve been a stand-up comic as well as a writer in television for a lot of years, and I’ve been onstage before, telling jokes and supporting old President Bush 2. And I found that as long as it’s funny, nobody really says anything. I haven’t seen a big problem. I haven’t been boycotted yet from any of the comedy clubs.”
The response from fellow right-wingers? “You get this sense of relief…finally, finally. [That’s because] I’m not screaming and shaking my fist at the sky. I’m just trying to do a show about politics that’s really funny.”
The first episodes of his new show, which is being taped in Dallas, went better than expected, Loftus added.
“I was amazed. I was honestly, honesty amazed. I was on a talk radio show for about 10 minutes telling my jokes, talking about politics, just being funny, trying to invite people out to see the show. And our little theater, which holds about 150, 160 people, it sold out in under 10 minutes. It was really amazing.
“And then the day of the taping, we had torrential rainstorms – thunder and lightning like I’ve never seen or heard before. And I pull up to the studio and there’s literally a line around the block. I mean, it’s not hyperbole. It was an amazing turnout. And the people were great. I couldn’t have asked for a better audience. They loved it.
“I’m a writer for TV, and when you write a script, you pretty much have to figure out how long this episode will be. There’s a thing called the ‘laugh spread,’ where the show is longer because you have to wait to talk because the people are laughing. That’s going to be a problem for our editors.”
The comedian, who started his career in Ohio, moved to California 14 years ago. He was a writer for The George Lopez Show and starred in American Wiseass, a show that featured his humorous take on historical figures that aired on the History Channel.
“The Flipside is the show I’ve always wanted to do,” Loftus told CNSNews.com. “I always wanted to talk about politics and be funny in front of a live studio audience, so the timing couldn’t be better for me personally and professionally.”