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Political satirist Will Durst to perform at The Chief

Political satirist Will Durst, who will perform his show "Elect to Laugh" at the Chief Theatre on Sept. 30, channels Uncle Sam.
Courtesy Photo

If you go:

What: “Elect to Laugh with Will Durst”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 30 (Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: Chief Theater

Tickets: $20 at chieftheater.com or 601 Lincoln Ave.

More information: chieftheater.com

At 46 days and counting until the presidential election, the sentiment of being sick and tired of politics seems to have reached the majority of the country’s audience.

If you go:

What: “Elect to Laugh with Will Durst”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 30 (Doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m.)



Where: Chief Theater

Tickets: $20 at chieftheater.com or 601 Lincoln Ave.



More information: chieftheater.com

Open the stage curtains for Will Durst — author, newspaper columnist and political satirist.

Durst takes the stage of the Chief Theater in Steamboat Spring on Sept. 30 for his show “Elect to Laugh.” He’s been performing the show since Super Tuesday.

“It’s political comedy for people who don’t like politics,” Durst said. “And for people who read, or know someone who does.”

Scott Parker, executive director of the Chief, calls Durst “more of a George Carlin, a thinking man’s comic.”

Durst aims to appeal to both sides of the aisle, performing everywhere from liberal Northern California to what’s been called the most conservative county in the country, his hometown of Waukesha County, Wisconsin.

Growing up in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, Durst always wanted to be a comic but not necessarily a political comic. He describes the times of his childhood and early adulthood as fraught in politics — “Vietnam, Watergate, a lot of assassinations.”

“Everything you did back then was political,” Durst said. “Your haircut was political; the music you listened to was political.”

He found his humor was developing as political, too.

Durst has made more than 800 television appearances, including on The Today Show, Letterman, Comedy Central and more. He’s a common guest on NPR, MSNBC and Fox News and does a weekly podcast, “Burst of Durst.” He has written three books, one titled “The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing.” Besides all that, he finds time to perform hundreds of shows each year.

Durst sums up his current routine — evolving daily to address the most up-to-date absurdities in the five newspapers he reads each morning — as not only “where we are,” but also “how we got here.” He talks through Barack Obama and past candidates, and at the end, focuses on the two major candidates of the current presidential election.

Of this election, Durst agrees with the sick-and-tired population — “Yeah, they’re both terrible,” he said — but poses the analogy, “They’re terrible in degrees. One will give you intestinal cramps, and one will give you ebola.”

Still, “I don’t try to proselytize, or piss people off,” Durst said. “My job is to make them laugh, out loud, on purpose and against their will.”

Make people laugh out loud, Durst does, but he doesn’t claim all the glory. He humbly offers credit to those he calls the best joke writers in the business — Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and more.

“Not to mention the ever-fecund Sarah Palin and ably assisted by the 535 hard-working satirists in Congress,” Durst added.

It could be tough to know for sure if the audience’s laughter comes from a place of hilarity, apprehension or despair, but Durst seems to have a spark of hope that U.S. politics might soon be forced to clean up its act.

“You can’t change the way people think,” Durst said, “but what you can do is plant seeds of ideas.”


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