Turn on the news and it’s a little hard to see the funny side. That’s where John Bobey comes in. “We’re the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down,” he says.
Bobey is the senior writer for Glenn Beck’s mock-presidential debate comedy tour “Unelectable.” Tonight is the last date for the tour and performed at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio. HD movie theaters across the country will carry it live.
Due to the improvisational nature of large portions of the show, pitched as a “plain spoken, common sense” approach to politics (ie. “unelectable”), none of the shows are exactly the same. But this last one will be almost entirely different from the rest. “In the last 36 hours, it’s gone through a significant rewrite,” Bobey, who has worked with Beck for six years, tells TheBlaze. Bobey said last-minute changes to any of Beck’s productions are not uncommon. “He’s so immersed in the present day politics and current events, Beck always wants to make [his shows] reflective of his most recent thoughts,” he says.
Of course, a lot has happened over the last several days. A U.S. ambassador was killed in Libya. A video surfaced of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seeming to dismiss nearly half of America as self-pitying victims. President Obama had a similar problem: an audio clip from the late ’90s — in which he says “I actually believe in redistribution” — made its way into the news. With all of that, Bobey, along with Beck and the cast of the TheBlaze’s B.S. of A., have to produce a two-hour show that makes people think about things in a new way. But even more difficult, Bobey has to make people laugh about it.
It was Beck’s daily show on Fox News that vastly expanded his fan base and earned him name recognition even among non-news watchers. It began in 2009 as a current affairs program modeled much like Beck’s radio show: a mix of comedy, interviews and commentary on the day’s news. By the time it ended in 2011, the show had gained a reputation for being almost entirely serious. Bobey recognizes that as a challenge.
“Being funny about things is always tough,” he says. “Fans of Glenn who came aboard in the Fox days, may not be aware at how adept Glenn is at comedy. That may be a surprise. But he’s not only a conservative commentator, he’s a genuinely funny person. You can make an incredibly serious point through humor.”
Bobey says so far, the show works. “The ever-evolving nature of the show… is Glenn believing very strongly in what an audiences wants to hear and needs to hear: Rallying and entertaining,” he says. “What makes Glenn so popular is that he feels a real kinship of the audience. He has a sense of what they will like and usually he’s very right.”
The show starts 8 p.m. ET. Find participating theaters and purchase tickets HERE.
Watch a clip from the March 23 showing in Tampa, Fla: