Comedy is getting difficult in today’s world since reality so often feels like a joke, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon said.
The Bee, the largest American right-wing satire website that thrives off parodying the news of the day, is struggling to come up with joke headlines as more and more news stories read like fiction. But Dillon also stressed the importance of using comedy to lighten the seriousness of contemporary issues.
“We do satire and we’re trying to exaggerate reality to make a point with our jokes,” Dillon told Fox News. “We found that the world is very difficult to satirize right now because it’s so insane.”
WATCH MORE FOX NEWS DIGITAL ORIGINALS HERE
“We’re basically living in the upside down, as I might describe it,” he added.
Dillon said his platform also has a political mission to make fun of bad policies and ideas.
“It’s important to not just refute these things, but to actually ridicule and mock them,” he said. “We’re not helped by taking them seriously.”
According to Dillon, satire resonates more when it’s about beliefs people may feel pressured to conform to even if they disagree with them.
“It’s become much more relevant because of the insane ideas that are out there with basically people being pressured to affirm that two and two make five,” he said. “It’s really presented a lot of opportunity for comedians, for satirists, to play a role in pushing back on insanity with truth and reason.”
GREG GUTFELD: THE BABYLON BEE IS TOO GOOD AT ITS JOB
Dillon said policies around gender affirmation, wokeism and others frequently generate real headlines that read like parody.
He pointed to CNN calling a riot mostly peaceful while a reporter stood in front of burning buildings and colleges promoting segregation as a means to combat racism.
“These are things you’d expect to see on a satire site, but they’re in the headlines every day,” Dillon said.
The Bee saw the potential in funny, yet real headlines, leading the company in 2020 to launch “Not the Bee” — a website that covers real news that reads like satire.
Dillon also said satire can be a useful tool to digest ridiculous but true stories that can stress Americans out.
“I guess instead of just focusing on [the stories] in a negative way and becoming anxious, you know, being able to laugh at things that really deserve laughing,” Dillon told Fox News. He added that common feedback his readers give is “that they really appreciate that we’re keeping them sane, but also keeping them laughing, that we’re bringing levity.”
Examples of recent Babylon Bee headlines include: “Putin Immediately Surrenders After U.S. Airdrops Nashville Police Officers Into Battlefield,” “Leadership: Biden Calls On Banks To Stop Collapsing” and “Doctors Report Startling Rise In Testicular Injuries Among Woman Athletes.”
Dillon told Fox News that the Bee has tens of thousands of paid subscribers, gets around 25 million page views each month and has over a million subscribers on YouTube.
BABYLON BEE CEO SETH DILLON ROASTS PRE-MUSK TWITTER: ‘COMPLETELY ANTI-TRUTH ENVIRONMENT FOR FREE SPEECH’
Dillon bought the platform in 2018 when it was a small blog that had a focus on making niche jokes for the Protestant community. But as their audience grew, Dillon said they turned to more political and cultural jokes.
In response to critics who argue that the Bee spreads misinformation since its headlines are often believable, Dillon said he’s just doing his job.
“There’s supposed to be a grain of truth to these jokes,” he said. “If it wasn’t believable at all, then it wouldn’t be a good joke. It wouldn’t be funny.”
He added that social media platforms have accused the Bee of violating misinformation policies.
“It communicates a lot of insecurity, but that’s one of the reasons I think they’re coming after us,” he said. “I don’t think that comedy necessarily is the target of their attacks.”
“I think the truth is what bothers them,” Dillon said, referring to the fact that the Bee uses humor to identify real problems with policies and other positions.
According to Dillon, nearly 100 of his outlet’s joke stories later became fulfilled prophecies.
WHEN SATIRE BECOMES REALITY: NEARLY 100 BABYLON BEE JOKE STORIES HAVE COME TRUE
“The problem isn’t that our satire is too close to reality,” Dillon previously told Fox News. “It’s that reality is too close to satire, so our jokes keep coming true.”
Dillon also thinks that trying to censor satire over offensive jokes isn’t a solution.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being offended by a joke,” Dillon said. “I think the real problem is when someone who’s offended by a joke says, you know, ‘you shouldn’t be allowed to make jokes anymore. You shouldn’t be allowed to joke at my expense.'”
“We all deserve to be the butt of a joke — and it’s a much healthier state of mind to be in,” he added. “But the answer can’t be to stop making jokes. The answer should be to think, ‘well, why am I offended? Maybe there’s something to that joke.'”
Click here to learn more about the difficulty of creating satire in today’s world.
Scroll down to leave a comment: