My favorite folk singer is the late great Phil Ochs, who departed this earth in 1976. He was the quintessential folk singer, always ranting more than raving. While others fawned over Bob Dylan, I was moved by the words, music and voice of Phil Ochs. If you’re unfamiliar with him you can check out live concerts recorded in the 1960s through the miracle of YouTube.
Ochs offered snappy patter between his songs. When confronted with a particularly onerous political issue that confronted his sense of justice, he would ponder out loud to his audience, “But, what can I do about this? Aha! And then I remembered! I am a folk singer!”
And he would sing his well-crafted song to provoke, evoke and inspire his audience to ‘think’ and ‘do’.
So, I take inspiration from Ochs: There are many candidates, many issues confronting New Jersey. Prey tell, what can I do, just a humble citizen? Aha! But then, I remembered, I am a comedian. I can write comedy material attacking those amongst us who are conservative Republicans; those who support this war and wish to expand it; those who oppose national healthcare, clean air, clean water, etc, etc. etc.
And finally, I can offer my stand-up comedy and keynote speaker services to any and all Democratic candidates free of charge for political fundraisers through the fall. Yup, call me up and we’ll raise some money for your local Democratic Party or progressive candidate with a gosh darn funny comedy show. And, sometimes, I can even bring with me some good funny comedian friends who are also progressive Democrats. Many of these folks have appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, the Tonight Show and the Late Show.
In the past, we have done this kind of comedy show to support the campaigns of Jon Corzine, Senator Bob Smith, Senator Bob Menendez, and even the fine folks at the ACLU of New Jersey. And it would be my pleasure to see if we can help your group of Democratic candidates raise some bucks, too.
Call it my way of spreading punch lines for progressive politics in NJ.