YouTuber J.P. Sears’ Skewering of Covid-19 Shamanism

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Warning: This article describes crude adult humor.

 

YouTuber J.P. Sears’ skewering of Covid-19 shamanism seemed a bit dated to those at my table at one of his middle America standup shows this summer. We had moved on from those pagan rituals more than two years earlier.

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Still, the sold-out flyover audience roared and cheered as Sears repeatedly sucker-punched the global ruling class’s irrational and authoritarian Covid response. It was that response, the long-haired redhead told the audience, that moved the oddball YouTuber’s mission “from making people laugh to waking them up.”

Before 2020, Sears was a YouTuber who pilloried other social tics, like psychosomatic gluten sensitivities and the narcissism of the “spiritual, but not religious” crowd. The ruling class’s Covid policies inflamed a hippie-projecting guy into a biting satirist of the woke left.

Pioneering a form of comedy that could be called “clapter for the right” also appears to have amped Sears’ career. His summer tour not only sold out repeatedly, but superfans also coughed up double to do a group Q&A with him after each show.

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Sears’ AwakenWithJP YouTube channel is now at 2.7 million subscribers. His videos regularly rake in hundreds of thousands of views, sometimes millions. A video featuring his jacked male body in a female racing swimsuit is at nearly 5 million views. “How to Be a Woke White Person” has hit more than 3 million. YouTube has taken down a few of his videos, another indication of his success. It’s also likely one consideration — besides money and career leveling up — behind Sears developing his own email list and going on tour.

Laughing So Hard It Hurts

Onstage as online, Sears wasn’t nuanced about going for the political jugular. Although his press team politely declined an interview with The Federalist for this article (maybe they wanted me to cough up the extra $75 for the Q&A?), last year Sears told a lefty Spokane, Washington, newspaper interviewer that the ruling class’s Covid oppression transformed his political apathy into white-hot flames.

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When COVID hit, I started realizing our freedoms are being taken away. … Pro-freedom became a conservative movement. Giving up freedom became a movement on the left.

I was never political before, but I’m insanely behind freedom. I have conservative values. During the spring of 2020, me being pro-freedom caused some backlash. I realized if I spoke of my personal truth, I would possibly lose some of my audience, but I had to follow my heart and be true to myself. What happened is that my audience has grown exponentially, since the majority of comics lean left. So few comics are conservative, and I play to a niche audience.

In his standup, Sears played directly to that niche, and his audience was there for it. Many came wearing Sears’ or other politically right shirts and American flag designs and after the show swarmed his merch table to buy more.

From the enthusiastic audience feedback to Sears’ overtly political show, it was clear attendees wanted backup for their repressed and belittled non-PC beliefs. They wanted some relief from America’s ever-present woke culture inside a little comedic dungeon where they could laugh at penis jokes for five minutes and the tightening leftist strangleholds on their everyday lives for much longer.

They laughed when Sears mimed shooting a hypothetical guy who introduced himself with his pronouns, and when he kept slipping in jokes about Joe Biden’s senility. They laughed at Sears rhetorically filleting Anthony Fauci, joking about transgender foods, and even implying that while performing at a private reception for 45 in Florida, he had encouraged the previous president to grab his wife’s genitals.

The fishnet-stockinged, well-endowed Gen-X waitresses and the trigger warning on the club’s background screen reinforced the generally left leanings of even this non-coastal comedy venue. But right-winger Sears filled the place to the fire marshal’s limit multiple nights in a row with patrons who bought plenty of beer and hard sodas to pay its overhead. Sears brought them in from watching his videos alone on their phones to eyeballing each other and a new scene.

The roughly even mix of Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials laughed instead of cringed, as I did, at Sears’ R-rated sex jokes, and were indistinguishable in appearance from the crowd at a Donald Trump rally. The evening’s vibes suggest Sears may be a gateway drug for the kind of people who get tattoos identifying with the political right, in the same way as Trump, lockdowns, and America’s general immiseration under unchecked Democrat rule.

It’s clear from his standup, videos, history, and few interviews that, like many Americans under one-party rule, Sears is still working out what it means to identify with the political right. With the Supreme Court returning abortion policy back to the states, for example, Sears released a non-satire video explaining that he used to support abortion but has moderated into now supporting limits after 15 weeks of gestation. It’s a stance pretty well in line with middle America’s current views, but not tolerated among the ruling class.

Home Birth Was Way Funnier than Fauci

Becoming a husband and father only in the last few years also certainly influenced the 40-year-old’s change of heart on abortion. In fact, to our table, Sears’ nonpolitical jokes were the funniest. Later in the show, he seemed to be trying out fresh material about his child’s birth — which occurred at home with his wife and their midwife.

I’m also granola enough to have birthed six kids outside of hospitals, but it’s not me who made those wild experiences wildly funny. Until Sears’ show, despite more experience with it than just about everyone who’s not a labor and delivery nurse, I never had laughed about childbirth until tears came out of my eyes.

I’d encourage J.P. to keep exploring nonpolitical themes and take his audience with him as he continues to grow. Doing so would require an exhibit more comedic skill. It would also help strengthen his mission of “expanding freedom” by catching more apolitical people like his former self in the way the ancients called the most effective: With honey, not vinegar.

Vinegar is how to catch nasty flies that accelerate decay, like politicians. Honey, however, is for the people who could come to their senses by experiencing new tastes. They do well together, and Sears’ acidic comedy has a lot of growth potential in the honey direction.

Leftists Are Following Their Hearts Too

According to his interview with the Spokane paper, Sears may have it inside him to develop in this direction, and just needs more time: “My message is to follow your heart. It sounds cliche, but when an individual follows their heart, the heart will never be misled.”

This statement has some truth to it, but it’s also missing something big: The people complying with Covid authoritarianism also followed their hearts. You see, mobs are emotion. They are what happens when wicked rulers manipulate people’s emotions to bring about the rulers’ perverted desires. Such mobs are what kill the liberty that Sears prizes with a love that has transformed his life and career.

So what’s lacking in our society is not feelings, but the existence of an objective standard that our society agrees to submit to and that guides those feelings towards a truth that we force ourselves to acknowledge no matter how we feel about it. Many of Sears’ videos demonstrate he knows this, even if he still has to work out the details in his head, like we all do. Here’s one recent example.

America’s tradition of ordered liberty is predicated on acknowledging external and unchanging realities, including each individual’s natural rights that our government is legally and morally bound to respect. It’s the erasure of these external and unchanging restraints on people’s feelings that are also erasing American freedoms. What will restore freedom, then, as Sears desires, is not merely awakening feelings, but aligning people’s feelings with reality?

Laughter can do that. That’s why authoritarianism crushes laughter, like YouTube cracking down on Sears and fellow conservative comedians such as Steven Crowder. Laughter represents the freedom to think outside the box. It causes a glitch in the matrix that can allow some to see what they wouldn’t or couldn’t see before. What will take J.P. out of being a niche comic to a great one would be letting humor do its own work on the people who hear him, without getting his developing politics too much in its way.

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This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

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