Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed conservative comedian, political writer, and author of the new book Woke Supremacy Evan Sayet to the newsmaker line.
During the third hour, Sayet discussed his history and knowing Andrew Breitbart in the early days during the conservative intellectual hub in California. He later went on to talk about how it is difficult to be a known conservative comedian and that relying on Hollywood is not an option.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line comedian, Evan Sayet. Evan welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.
Sayet: Thank you, Michael. Good morning to you.
Leahy: It’s been a while. We first met back in 2009 at the start of the Tea Party movement. I had a little show with PJTV out there with Roger Simon the founder of PJTV. I know you appeared on PJTV quite a bit back in 2012 and Bill Whittle interviewed you there about your first book. Roger Simon now lives in Nashville and moved here a couple of years ago. He’s a regular guest on this radio program.
Sayet: Absolutely. Lots of people are moving to Nashville. In fact, Ben Shapiro’s organization moved there.
Leahy: They did. When are you moving here Evan? I will welcome you we’ll have a little party for you. When are you moving to Nashville?
Sayet: I keep finding myself moving east after 35 years in Hollywood. I spent a little time in Nevada and was not too thrilled with certain things there so kept moving on. I’m now in Texas, so I’m getting to you, Michael.
Leahy: You are now in Texas. Are you cold there today Evan?
Sayet: Actually today I am physically literally in a back in Los Angeles. I’m giving a talk in Camarillo later today. But yeah, it was actually not only cold yesterday, but the airport was atrocious. Electrical shutdowns and canceled flights. So just to get up for you this morning, I don’t know anybody else I would have done it for.
Leahy: There you go. And by the way, you know, you were pals with a lot of the early Tea Party organizers and pals with the late great Andrew Breitbart. Some of our friends are Tony Katz who is now a talk show host in Indianapolis. Dana Loesch now has her syndicated radio program has for some time. And Gina Loudon is now you see her at Real America’s Voice News. Katrina Pierson has been a Trump campaign spokesperson. So you were there right at the beginning.
Sayet: Yeah. I’m a big deal Michael.
Leahy: I know you are. (Sayet laughs) You are a big deal. Tell us about your friendship with Andrew Breitbart.
Sayet: When you think of Andrew you think of a conservative in an intellectual wasteland. But actually Los Angeles is at least until recently from the people we just spoke about who began the diaspora. It’s an intellectual hub of conservatism. I mean until just recently we had Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire. We had Dennis Prager and Prager U.
We had David Horowitz and the Freedom Center. We had Bill Whittle and of course, and at the very beginning of all of it was Andrew Breitbart. There was Andrew there was me there was you there was a Bill Whittle. But there actually was an activist and intellectual hub that started right here in Southern California. Part of that is because do you know where and I don’t mean to put you on the spot, it’s a rhetorical question if you like. But you know, we’re the largest group of college Republicans exists, and on what campus?
Leahy: I’m going to guess UCLA.
Sayet: That’s a great guess but it’s Berkeley for the same reason.
Sayet: Yeah for the same reason because partly when you have so many people you’re going to have a large group of anything but also because they know they have to be active. And so just as California, unfortunately led the way to the left we also led the way back to the right.
Leahy: Yeah, that makes sense. Alex Marlow editor-in-chief of Breitbart News was one of the first people working with Andrew Breitbart. He went to Berkeley. That makes sense now actually. Tell us about your memories of Andrew Breitbart.
Sayet: Well look, one of the many things that made Andrew great was first, he pulled no punches. And our side needs to stop believing that the other side can be cajoled and reasoned with. I wrote an article for Townhall which is by far and away the single most-read article in their entire history. And it was a defense of Donald Trump and despite his less than statesmanlike actions sometimes in his tweets and whatnot, why is it we so back him?
And the answer is he fights. That was what the title was. And Andrew Breitbart fought. He laid it on the line. He put it up there clearly. He wasn’t a diplomat. He was a warrior. And that was exactly what we needed certainly during and after the years of George W. Bush who simply suffered the outrageous slings and arrows shot in his direction.
No different than Reagan and how they insulted and attacked him and lied about him. No different than what they did about Nixon. No different than what they did about Donald Trump. The difference was that Andrew didn’t seek to be collegial. He put it in their face. And that was a new paradigm and it was a new blueprint for weak conservatives because we are the true liberals. Lowercase l.
Okay, you have freedom of speech. You have the right to your opinion. And so we would be collegial when we should have been warriors. And Andrew was the first to put himself on the line and actually do it. And the rest of us do it with a different voice and different skills, but that’s the leadership that Andrew first brought.
Leahy: Well, you are a conservative comedian. You’re a thought leader. You’re a great writer your new book The Woke Supremacy: An Anti-Socialist Manifesto is great. The reviews came out in August. How do you make a living as a conservative comedian?
Sayet: Well, first of all, you’re making a giant assumption there. (Laughter)
Leahy: Now that’s funny. That is funny. You haven’t lost a step, my friend.
Sayet: One thing that I did right away was removed myself from anything in the Hollywood community where I needed their support. So I no longer play the comedy clubs. Instead, I form all my own venues and clubs that can hold several hundred wherever I go to. And I publicize to my fans and my fans come to see me. Now if you still rely on Hollywood you’re in a lot of trouble.
Not only not to make a living as a conservative comedian but a comedian who is conservative. My act is hugely political. But back when I was still a brain-dead need jerk liberal New York City liberal Jew or simply as Andrew said, you are the default factory setting for somebody born into my demographics. And I wrote shows like Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher for about six years.
It really wasn’t an epiphany, but let’s call it that. When I had my epiphany and moved to the right I said what tool, what weapon do I possess that our side seems to be missing? And the answer was we didn’t have a Bill Maher for the right. And so I went back and I’ve actually been out of stand up for a good many years of that point because when my kids were born I didn’t want to be on the road for a year or so.
So I started writing television shows and I started writing movies and I started writing other things. But when I had my epiphany after 9/11, and I said this really is a culture war. This really is an existential battle for what it means to be American and the freedoms that we and our children and our grandchildren will have, I put together a stand-up act for the first time in 15 years.
But this time it was decidedly political. But there are lots of comedians out there who aren’t political. I do not mean this in any negative way, but they’re generic. Their material isn’t focused on politics or culture. But even if they are personally conservative, it is nearly impossible for them to find work if that leaks out. Just look at the half step from the actress at Disney.
Leahy: Evan, can we do this? Can we get you to do a show in Nashville? Can we do that?
Sayet: I would absolutely love it. I would absolutely love it.
Leahy: Okay. So here’s what we’re going to do. You and I will talk offline and we will arrange a comedy event. An Evan Sayet special in Nashville and all of our listeners will come. And I think it’ll be a big success because we need something funny. We need something political and I think you’d do a great job here. So we’ll talk offline about getting you here in Nashville soon.
Sayet: Let’s actually make it happen. Let me take that as a segue to a plug. If people want to see my stand-up comedy, I have an hour-long comedy special on Amazon Prime. So if you have Amazon Prime it’s free and it’s called Evan Sayet, A Deplorable Mind.
Leahy: (Laughs) Okay, I am gonna go tonight and I’m going to go to Amazon Prime and I’m going to watch Evan Sayet: A Deplorable Mind. Evan, thanks so much for joining us. I look forward to your show here in Nashville sometime in 2021. How does that work for you?
Sayet: Perfect. I love it and I look forward to it.
Leahy: Evan Sayet, good friend, conservative comedian, and author of The Woke Supremacy. Thanks for joining us Evan. And we’ll see you in Nashville sometime this year.
Listen to the third hour here:
– – –