I have a story to tell.
About a year ago, I was connecting through Heathrow Airport in London, and while waiting for my (unsurprisingly) delayed BA flight, I was sat in the lounge doing some work. I happened to look up at one point, and this was the guy standing in front of me.
What followed, was the single funniest thing I have ever seen in my life.
This being a Sunday afternoon, the lounge was packed and there were no seats, something that at the time could not have been put any better than by Conan O’Brien. Not long after, the people sat around me left for their flights, and Conan and the people he was with took those seats. During a short conversation, he said that he doesn’t think there’s been a time when comedy has ever been more important.
I bring it up now because I think it’s an incredibly worthwhile thing for people to remember. Some of the subjects of comedy in recent months and years have been the result of truly horrific events – the jokes about the NRA’s stupidity following shootings is an example. But comedy has never been more vital and more important – It helps make sense of events and it helps people who are not otherwise politically engaged, to understand what’s going on.
Alongside that, the work of comedians and comedy writers has never been more vital. These are people who work ridiculously hard to put stuff together, read deeply into topics and subjects, and do enormous amounts of research – As such they know their stuff.
People often say that comedians should stay out of politics and just be funny, but nothing could be further from the truth. Particularly in the current climate when everyday news and events are comedy in themselves.
So I salute Conan O’Brien who could not have been a more decent guy to run into, and I salute also, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Ricky Gervais, Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, Jimmy Fallon and all of the others, because without them, the world would be even more fucked.
You can buy a copy of “Trumped,” Ben’s anti-Trump musical from Amazon and on BarnesandNoble.com.