The Babylon Bee, an online satire publication that launched in 2016, has become a popular destination for Christians disaffected with megachurch culture and right-wingers who crave clever commentary about the hypocritical left.
Kyle Mann, the website’s editor in chief, sometimes gives talks on college campuses. For conservative students, he told me, “It’s like they found their underground cabal of secret comedians who agree with them.” …
Emma Green: Do you remember the first Babylon Bee story you ever read?
Kyle Mann: … There was an op-ed from a Christian who says, “There’s a fifteen, maybe twenty percent chance I’ll remember to pray for you, brother.” It probably didn’t even do well on social media. But there’s something about a good joke where, even if only a few people get it, it just connects with their soul.
Green: What spoke to you about it?
Mann: A lot of good comedy has a kernel of truth in it. It’s an unspoken truth in Christian circles that everybody has this veneer of spirituality at church. That always bugged me — people who were like, “Yes, brother, I’ll pray for you. The Lord bless you.” You wonder if they’re being real or fake. “I’ll pray for you” just becomes this nicety. He’s saying what we all are thinking, and yet nobody’s really put it into words. …
There are a lot of college students who are maybe the only conservative in their class. In a lot of areas, being the conservative is punk rock, you know? For them, it’s like, “You guys are writing comedy that doesn’t hate me.” It’s like they found their underground cabal of secret comedians who agree with them. …
Green: … What if people did believe it was real? Do you worry about that, regardless of how many times you make it clear that you’re a satire publication?
Mann: Not really. Comedy has been mistaken for reality for years. We write for Facebook and Twitter. What makes the comedy work is that when someone’s scrolling through their newsfeed and they read a Babylon Bee headline, they’re not prepared to laugh. They’re prepared to consume a news article or an editorial or an op-ed. Then they do a double take and go, “Wait a minute …” …
What satire does is it takes this extreme position and exaggerates and stretches it to the point of absurdity. …
Green: Do you see your role as a comedian as standing up and fighting the left?
Mann: Not particularly. I don’t see us as culture warriors. There are a hundred Onion knockoffs out there. We could’ve come out with another one that makes jokes that Trump is bad and the right is racist. Nobody would know who the heck we were because there’s already a hundred sites doing that. For us to be the one site that punches the other way is where we really found our audience.
You have to make fun of yourselves. We do that fairly often. It’s just that there’s this huge need and desire for people to mock the left. Every single late-night show is run by a liberal. They’re all saying the same jokes every night. Why not joke in the other direction?
A Bablyon Bee classic: Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record
In an inspiring story from the world of professional cycling, a motorcyclist who identifies as a bicyclist has crushed all the regular bicyclists, setting an unbelievable world record.
In a local qualifying race for the World Road Cycling League, the motorcyclist crushed the previous 100-mile record of 3 hours, 13 minutes with his amazing new score of well under an hour.
Professional motorcycle racer Judd E. Banner, the brave trans-vehicle rider, was allowed to race after he told league organizers he’s always felt like a bicyclist in a motorcyclist’s body.