My podcast with Dave Rubin

That is Dave Rubin the comedian.  It is thirty minutes long, no transcript or video, audio only right here.  We covered comedy and political correctness, which jokes should not be told, the economics of comedy, comedy in Israel and Saudi Arabia, comedy on campus, George Carlin, and the most underrated Star Wars installment, among other topics.  Here is one excerpt:

Cowen: How much do you think comedy is what’s sometimes called ‘a winner take all’ market? So another way to phrase the question is 20 years from now do you think there will be more or fewer professional comedians? You might say, for instance, “Well, you’re on YouTube, you’re real ly funny, I don’t need to go to a comedy club.” There’s this fellow in South Korea, Robert Kelly, he did an interview, he was trying not to be funny doing the interview, his two kids ran into the room, his wife pulled the kids back, it created a viral video, one of the funnier things I saw all year.

Rubin: Yeah.

Cowen: Maybe not a funny guy, he was trying to keep it serious, so it was hilarious, and I can find those through my filters, through Twitter, through search. What’s the role of a professional comedian when an amateur’s best moment from a guy who isn’t even funny goes so viral?

Rubin: Well, the role is always there because the commentary on society is always gonna be there, so the moments like… Of course, I saw that video and it’s hilarious and it’s in the moment and it’s a beautiful thing. By the way, there was an outrage to that, because a lot of people were saying that the woman who came in was his nanny because I think she was Asian but it was actually his wife so then that created… So even that, just a pure moment of something hilarious happening became part of the outrage machine too. But the role for the critic of society, it’ll always be there, but it’s just not gonna to come from the clubs anymore, I think. I think that unfortunately… Comedy in its rawest form of standing in front of a group of people with a microphone and connecting to them that way, it’s as beautiful as it gets, there’s nothing in between you and the audience. It’s like painting, if you were a great painter and every stroke you had to go, “Was that okay? Was that okay?” Well, that would make you kinda crazy as a painter, but in stand up up you have to do it that way, every line you have to make sure is funny. I have not been funny here today at all, maybe we have to do something else.

Cowen: There’s less live music in New York City today than in the 1970s, is there less live comedy?

I enjoyed doing the interview very much.


But live comedy is a performance for the audience as well as for the performer! When I take my wife to the comedy club, we are acting out a scripted work called "a date". We dress up in costume and everything and the full, unabridged work takes hours.

For some reason, my wife views this as different (and more desirable) than simply watching comedians on YouTube or comedy specials on HBO Home.

She's right! Life is about living it, going to things, dressing up, being around others, sharing your humanity. Comedians are much funnier when you are physically present in a room full of others laughing, vs watching them alone on TV. Even just having one other person to laugh with helps.

Sure one can now stay home all day and get food and entertainment delivered to you. You really don't ever have to leave the house. That's not living.

Yet the overlords of Silicon Valley, riding their unicorns, beg to differ.

I think you have me confused with someone who gives a shit about all that.

The duck quacked because he was called by tree feet.

And ignoring all our host's Amazon's ads to the left of the screen, along with all the Amazon affiliate inline links, is probably something you are very good at. Admittedly, Bezos does seem to be a DC resident these days.

Besides, you don't strike me as the type that ever worked at a bookstore anyways.

You're inching closer to realizing how Tyler trolled you a few weeks ago.

Also, yes I am very good at ignoring internet ads. I honestly don't think I've ever clicked on one. Most people are good at that, even the ones who don't use ad blockers. That's why most of us aren't obsessed with noticing something everyone already knows, that there are ads here.

If you say so - I haven't thought about for a while, and won't be wasting any time thinking about that epic trolling in the future either.

So cute, how you think we believe you.

'Also, yes I am very good at ignoring internet ads.'

Who cares? The point about Amazon was how having books delivered in the mail has, for many people, become how they acquire books, without ever interacting with another person. Amazon being one of the earliest, and largest, successes of replacing interacting with real people in a public setting with sitting in front of a screen, never needing to leave the house.

'We believe'? You really think anyone cares about believing me or not?

There there, don't be sad prior. We're all very impressed with you here.

Let's see if you're a last word freak.


Yes, it is living. I only leave home to work, walk, buy food and visit the local library. I would never leave home to get anything I could get by staying at it.

Well sure, not much to do in Dayton Ohio.

And why do you leave to buy food? No one delivers where you live? Why go to the library, you obviously have an internet connection.

Public libraries are where lots of misfits congregate.

Because the local library is among the best in the world and it is located in Brazil's best university. The best Brazilian supermarkets do not make deliveries.

Another interesting interview. 45 minutes would have been better, but I'm not the type to complain and point that out so someone else please do it..

Why go to a stand up show when you can read comments like this?

Got to love how Cowen picks out a section where he gets in more words than the interviewee.

Keep making things up - it isn't as if everyone cannot see how blatantly wrong that statement is.

LibreOffice word count -

Cowen - 177 words

Rubin - 234 words

Another swing and a miss by Sam Fulsome.

How does Sam warm up during the winter? He stands in the corner with his dunce cap on, since he's heard a corner is "90 degrees". Dah dah DUM (like Sam).

A comedian's life on the road going from one comedy club to another for years is pretty terrible, until he finally gets that sitcom and can afford a house in Burbank with a five day per week job with a short commute.

I'm sure comedians would prefer to not travel so much, but they like to play it up as the essence of their craft. There is a certain amount of guild behavior in comedy to prevent anyone comedian from becoming too winner take all, like Bob Hope in the past or Jay Leno in recent years.

True and there's also a guild rule that comedians don't steal each other's jokes, a sort of international patent on jokes.

Bonus trivia: in the DC area, there was a short lived radio station that aired, illegally (i.e. without copyright) comedian jokes. For those in DC who are natives rather than rent-seeking new arrivals (i.e., for those <33% of the population) they might have even heard of this station. WJOK?

For what rake?? Arturo screamed and struck, this time cracking the looking glass and dropped the ball. The grip around Augustine’s colon hardened. Both fell back on the couch. So, at midnight, when Arturo French kissed the waitress, Augustine stalked outside to throw up his fish guts

I didn't know who David Rubin is, so I had to look him up. Seems like a minor figure; maybe he's a cult favorite.

Many innovators seem that way I'd say. I think, economically speaking, his patreon numbers are what make him so interesting: $27,131 per month is in the top 10 or so creators based on Almost $30K is an interesting sum to earn in an area of old media cutbacks and layoffs.

As for being a minor figure, I think it is more a two speed thing. Someone like Rubin is likely to have an outweighted influence not because of mass, cross demographic appeal, but because there is a niche for whom YouTube is their primary means of entertainment and news. Given a college audience all knew who he was, and an MR commenter doesn't, and I'd wager MR skews older, this comment is a great example of the changing media landscape for different age demographics. This makes Rubin not minor or major figure, but both: unknown in many demographics, significant in one demographic.

I made $5383 per month in my spare time viewing videos.

While Dave started his career as a comedian, this label underrates the high-quality political interviews that he is presenting on his YouTube channel.

Had never heard of him, but affirming libertarian views is a good recipe for modest audience and generous patronage.
His whole regressive left thing, however, seems more based on reflexive feeling than philosophy - especially when Regressive so perfectly describes a political platform calling for fees+flat tax govt along with rolled back civil rights.

Is there any evidence behind the "less live music" argument? Or do 55 year olds go see less live music than 18 year olds do?

Rubin is not a good YouTube host; he is capitalizing on young males and their illiteracy. The same way the New Atheists did about 10 years ago. Rubin is often illprepared, lazy in his questions, and is all around a dumb person. This is going to sound contradictory after what I just said: I'm not calling him dumb to be mean. It's just true. He's not an intellectual and he is not prone to reading. I've watched nearly all of his Reports because he is important right now. However, he almost never has on really credible, intelligent, or nuanced thinkers. He almost never has on anyone who is a liberal either. He strictly has on libertarian guests, and all-right figures. Rubin is thriving because true heavyweights have audio-only podcasts and/or are strictly writing books or avoiding the public sphere.

Rubin's answer to Tyler's question about whether there ought to be private norms—not laws—against insulting and hurtful speech directed towards victims of horrible crimes, betrays how Rubin has not really thought through his position on free speech. He does not take care to distinguish between morality and legality.

When Tyler pushes Rubin further, clarifying that he's asking about morality and not legality, Rubin responds by saying that that's "on you". Which, in his answer, seems to mean both that it's on the speaker and that it's on the listener.

Very confused, and inexcusable for a very visible and vocal defender of free speech.

Rubin hasn't thought through anything. Everything he says in public is half-hearted, lazy, and illiterate. He always says that liberalism means "live and let live," which is as moronic as when conservatives say things like "common sense."

Everything this man says is inexcusable. When he is right, he is right by accident.

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