Seattle comedians to 2016 election: 'That's not funny' | KUOW News and Information

Seattle comedians to 2016 election: 'That's not funny'

Jun 28, 2016

The top two presidential candidates are pretty unpopular this year, with some of the highest unfavorable numbers in decades.  

But comedians and impressionists like Kate McKinnon as a maniacal Hillary Clinton or DanaCarvey as a supervillain Donald Trump seem to be enjoying themselves.

"I mean I'm not saying I want Donald Trump to be president,” Carvey said. “But I never want to live in a world where Donald Trump isn't running for president."


So, that’s presidential election year comedy on the national stage.  What's happening with election humor here in Seattle?

I headed to a place called Jai Thai on Capitol Hill one night. Comedians were hanging around, waiting to go on.

Billy Anderson is not a fan of the Trump joke.  He says they don’t always land the way you might expect.

“You'd think Seattle would be a city of people that'd be like, 'Yeah, let's get rid of Trump, boo Trump.' But I think people get a little uncomfortable when you force them to pick a political side in a room where they're not sure of it. They don't want a direct confrontation,” Anderson said. 

Christan Leonard grew up watching The Daily Show and has always been a fan.  But she said she avoids election humor herself.  She prefers “political humor that addresses issues like racism, sexism and homophobia – I feel like those are more worthy of addressing."  

There's no politics in Anica Cihla's act, and definitely no Trump.  "Donald Trump is hard person to make jokes about because he is a joke,” she said. “How do you make a joke about something that does a perfectly good job of being a walking, talking parody?"

Anderson thinks if a comedian wants to do election humor, there's a right way and a wrong way.

"If you're just trying to get an easy win by being like, ‘Boo trump, isn't he an idiot, blah…tiny hands' or whatever, then you might get some giggles," he said.

"But if you talk about your own reasons for not liking Trump, then you make it personal, and people will laugh with you or they'll laugh at you – however you want to do it."

In fact, none of the comedians I spoke with in Seattle really wanted to talk about Clinton or Trump. 

"This is what kills me.  We're talking about Trump and it's driving me insane.  Even though I can't stop spewing it, I want to," said Abraham Tadesse. "I quit - I'm done talking about Trump."

Well, that's the pros' take, which means if you need an election humor fix here in the Seattle area, you may need to hit up your friends and family.

Or, do what I did and ask random strangers around town to give their best political impressions: