When the thought police crack down on comedy, people stop laughing

by WorldTribune Staff, May 17, 2017

Vanessa Baxter: You know what, honey, Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater girl in 1964.
Mike Baxter: So. Satan used to work for God. What’s your point?

Though ABC denies politics had anything to do with it, thousands of fans of the network’s “Last Man Standing” contend it is lines like the one above that led to the show’s cancellation.

Tim Allen in ‘Last Man Standing’

Tim Allen, who played Mike Baxter on the popular sitcom, tweeted on May 16 that he is “stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years.”

“Last Man Standing” was ABC’s second highest-rated comedy, a close second to “Modern Family”.

Yet the network said it canceled the show, which aired on Friday nights, to make way for super-hero dramas.

“ ‘Last Man Standing’ was a challenging one for me, because it was a steady performer,” said Channing Dungey, ABC Entertainment President.

“Once we made the decision not to continue with comedy on Friday, it was just kind of that’s where we landed.” ABC’s Friday lineup will be stacked with two one-hour super-hero dramas, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “The Inhumans,” along with the news program “20/20.”

Dungey said she used the same criteria in considering the future of “Last Man Standing” as she did in examining what to do with other canceled series, like “The Catch,” “The Real O’Neals,” and “American Crime” – all of which were ratings bombs compared to Allen’s widely-viewed show.

Viewers were not buying it:

“What a nonsense explanation,” a viewer said on Facebook. “If they decided to go with dramas on that night, then they would move this comedy to another night since it still had strong ratings. That’s what networks have always done as they juggled their lineups. Obviously, we aren’t getting the truth behind the cancellation.”

Another posted: “Is anybody buying the ‘we decided not to do comedy Fridays’ bs? We know its politics ABC and I have already turned you off. Won’t miss anything you’ve got, except Last Man Standing.”

Meanwhile, over at “The Tonight Show” on NBC, host Jimmy Fallon has found that his viewers “haven’t seen him in quite the same light since an interview he conducted with Mr. Trump in September, which was widely criticized for its fawning, forgiving tone,” The New York Times reported. “In a gesture that has come to haunt the host, he concluded the segment by playfully running his fingers through Mr. Trump’s hair.”

“I didn’t do it to humanize him,” Fallon told the Times. “I almost did it to minimize him. I didn’t think that would be a compliment: ‘He did the thing that we all wanted to do.’ ”

Once the interview was broadcast, Fallon said, “it all started going crazy.”

“Who wouldn’t Fallon interview with such fawning, giggly acceptance?” Variety said. “Where would he draw the line? How long will it take before American audiences lose all their faith in him, as an honest person they can watch every night?”

Fallon then seemed to cave to the crowd that scoffs at anything showing the president in a positive light: “If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it,” he said.

The progressive assault on comedy continues to take its toll.

Jerry Seinfeld said “there’s a creepy, PC thing out there that really bothers me.” He and others, such as Chris Rock, won’t play college campuses.

Rock said today’s colleges are “way too conservative.” But by “conservative” he means, strangely, PC: “Not in their political views – not like they’re voting Republican – but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of ‘We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.’ ”

Mel Brooks has said that his classic comedy Blazing Saddles, released in 1974, couldn’t get made today:

“They can’t make that movie today because everybody’s so politically correct. You know, the NAACP would stop a great movie that would do such a great service to black people because of the N-word. . . . You’ve got to really examine these things and see what’s right and what’s wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought. I’m so lucky that they weren’t so strong then and that the people that let things happen on the screen weren’t so powerful then. I was very lucky.”

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