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Is the lack of right-wing comedians an example of market failure?

Dara O’Briain says no, it’s just not that funny when you attack people less powerful than you.

What it means: Most comedians who perform in Britain are left-wing, according to the BBC and our own painstaking research (okay, we just watched a couple of episodes of Live at the Apollo).

Left-wing is a bit of a difficult thing to define, ofc, but generally comedians are not fans of the Tories, Brexit, or social conservatism (which means supporting things like ‘traditional’ marriage, the pro-life movement and/or #AllLivesMatter).

This is kinda odd from an economic perspective. There are millions and millions of Brits who like both right-wing things and comedy (and presumably don’t like comedy based around telling them their views are stupid).

If Dara O’Briain is right that comedy is a free market (i.e. the government isn’t stepping in to tell comics what they can and can’t do) then all this demand for right-wing comics should encourage right-wing funny people to become comics. After all, they won’t have lots of other right-wing comics to compete with for right-wing people’s money, so they should make lots of profits.

Some people (alright Donald, we see you lookin’) may say that the market is being interfered with by liberal media outlets who are pushing their fake news agenda by refusing to book right-wing comics on Mock The Week. But the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a yearly comedy jamboree where wannabe comics perform in bars and streets far from the liberal media’s control, is as largely lefty as anywhere else.

So perhaps it’s the economic assumptions about how free markets work that are flawed. Isn’t economics funny?

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