Publius / February 15, 2018

Video: Bill Murray on Why Comedy Is Harder Now

“Thinking about what resonates and what is common to all of us … [is] harder and harder to do.”

Actor Bill Murray recently shared his thoughts on American political discourse, calling it “a clash of clans first thing in the morning every day.” In fact, he said that makes it harder to be funny. “How can Kristen Wiig make everyone laugh?” Murray asks. “She’s not thinking about being political, she’s thinking about what resonates and what is common to all of us. I think that’s harder and harder to do because people are trying to win their point of view as opposed to saying, ‘What if I spoke to everyone?’”

He also offered the example of his friend, comedy writer Jim Downey: “He says, ‘No, no I just think the way the Democrats handle things is poor, where they try to pick out little pieces of a population. 'Oh, well, we represent the Hispanics, we represent the LGBT’ or something. There’s almost a resentment that somehow you’re separated, again, by a politician — ‘You’re my people. I’m in control of you, I represent you.’ Instead of thinking that each citizen has a right to be respected as a citizen first, under the laws of the country.”

Murray comes from a different time in Hollywood — not a time that was necessarily less “liberal,” but certainly one that was less angry and intolerant.

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