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140: Comedy & Free Speech in a Politically Charged World – with Brent Pella

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Laughter is the best medicine – something biohackers should take seriously. 

The healing power of laughter is why our host Wade T. Lightheart invited comedian Brent Pella to show that comedy is a great stress release. Studies show a correlation between laughter, healing, and health. That’s why comedy is essential to Wade. When he is with friends, comedy is a big part of their relationship. And in his spare time, Wade enjoys looking up his favorite comedians on YouTube. 

But Wade is troubled by what’s happening these days with Big Tech censorship. America’s 1st Amendment is under attack by both politicians and by corporations. ‘Wokeism’ dramatically influences the nation’s culture – Generation Z is learning to devalue free speech and to be easily offended. Political correctness is impacting the comedy industry in dramatic ways. 

As a comedian, Brent Pella knows firsthand what the atmosphere is like out in the field. He’s found success on YouTube – Brent’s comedy videos have received over 100 million views. 

However, in this episode, he shares how one of his episodes got banned by YouTube. The reason they gave him for the ban will disturb you. 

Where is comedy going in all this? 

Brent is the perfect guest to help us navigate the comedy scene. His resume includes features on MTV, Funny or Die, WorldStar Hip Hop, BroBible, The Chive, Unilad, 9Gag, LadBible, and more. 

Trained in both the UC-Berkeley and famous Groundlings improv/sketch comedy programs in Los Angeles – Brent makes people laugh across North America at colleges and comedy clubs.

Brent was born and raised in Davis, California, and a former athlete who played basketball in college. He won’t let go of his dream to play in the NBA. 

In this podcast, we cover:  

  • Brent’s journey becoming a comedian
  • How comedians today deal with ‘cancel culture’
  • How comedians workaround ‘Big Tech’ censorship
  • The path to comedy superstardom in this internet age
  • How Brent writes his jokes and prepares his stage act 
  • The comedians’ Brent admires and why
  • How spiritual perspective influences comedy 

What does it take to be a comedian? 

Brent says there are two traits needed to become a comedian – stubbornness and stupidity. 

In his own words: “It’s stubbornness. You have to be so stupid to want to be a comedian. You have to be so dumb to think, “I’m going to go out there, and all those people are going to pay me attention and be quiet while I talk. And they’re going to laugh at me and give me what I need. It’s very selfish. 

“So, the courage comes from stepping onto the stage – beyond that; you have to be an idiot. I say that with a lot of love.”

“The number one fear for people in America is public speaking. To want to do that for a living and make money is something you have to have the courage for at the end of the day.”

“I think the courage and stubbornness for me came from my competitive side because I played sports my whole life, basketball in college, and I still do. So, I think it clicked for me within the first couple of years in LA, where I was like, ‘Oh, I’m back on the court.’ Know what I mean? Like everybody around me are my friends, but they’re also ‘the other team.’ 

“For me, it was that competitive sports side of myself that flipped a switch.”

“Removing the President from Twitter is nuts!”

Brent and Wade talk about comedy’s relationship with social media, and YouTube specifically, where Brent found an audience. While discussing the state of comedy, free speech, and censorship, of course, former President Donald Trump came up. 

Here’s a portion of what Brent had to say: “Regardless of whether or not you love Trump, I’ll make fun of the guy until the day I die. All politics aside, removing the President from Twitter is nuts. So, when that happened, I was like, ‘Oh, this will never get better.’ This is either going to stay how it is, or it’s going to get worse very slowly. 

“How I see it is that many people are going to start alternative social media sites, and I pray it will balance the power out. But Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are so deeply rooted in power grabs and monopoly mindsets that I predict they will do everything in their power to ensure that there is never a level playing field. Playing dirty, buying people out and then dropping the company completely, which they’ve done before.”

 

“I will assume that happens, but I am rooting for the good guys here. I see little sites popping up here and there that are like new types of social sites, new types of interaction places…I have high hopes that the playing field will balance out, and more people will put content on different platforms. As the whole blockchain world starts to be more incorporated, I think this will create new avenues for creators to get their content to people.”

Free speech is not only crucial to comedy – the health and wellness community needs to be able to communicate freely as well. This refreshing and amusing conversation between two people passionate about health and freedom of artistic expression will make you think and laugh. When comedy and health combine, the synergy between the two is fascinating. Laughter is medicine – enjoy some chuckles at no charge!  

Episode Resources: 
Brent’s Main Website: www.brentpella.com

Brent Pella on YouTube
Brent Pella Comedy on Facebook
Brent Pella on Twitter 
Brent Pella on Instagram
Brent Pella on LinkedIn

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