The “people doing things in cars” video meme has been on a roll lately, most notably with the recent Michelle Obama singing karaoke in a car with James Cordon and Jerry Seinfeld’s Emmy-nominated Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee web series. But it’s not all cream and sugar when you star in a politically charged satire of the series produced by NARAL, as Bay Area standup comedian Nato Green recently discovered. Green appears alongside Alice Wetterlund (Silicon Valley) in the NARAL-produced sendup Comedians in Cars Getting Abortions, a rather amusing and unapologetically pro-choice video released earlier this month that can be seen below.
The collective right-wing media were not amused. The National Review called the video “A) not funny and B) based on a lie.” The Washington Times called it “profoundly unfunny”. Fox News claimed the video “outrages both sides of the debate”. Intrigued by the backlash, SFist talked to Nato Green about his newfound infamy among the conservative boutique media.
“It was an exciting week for my Google Alerts and Twitter mentions,” Green told SFist. “They called me a ghoulish, depraved, immoral, disgusting, appalling baby-killer. And unfunny to boot. On the positive side, one of them said I was a C-list comedian, which feels like a promotion.”
“It's refreshing though,” he said. “I am such a pure San Franciscan than having people hate me on Twitter is the only place I get to encounter the rest of America.”
The video has been a modest web hit, with about 200,000 views between YouTube and Facebook. Ironically, much of the traffic may have been driven by the conservative media outlets calling the video out to decry its offensiveness.
“What I find quite often is that people who vehemently disagree with my politics also don't think I'm funny.” Green said. “A lot of the criticism boils down to either, ‘I don't think you should ever joke about abortion.’ Okay then, we're not living in the same world. I think you can joke about anything, as long as you're clear about your point of view.”
“Or it's, ‘This joke is not literally true’,” he continued. “It's not a documentary. It is explicitly an exaggeration for comedic effect.”
“Overwhelmingly, people who don't believe that women should suffer consequences for having sex or don't feel entitled to make decisions about other people's bodies have enjoyed the video very much,” Green said. “Lots of comedians are asking how we can make more advocacy/comedy videos like
Mr. Green can be seen in the Bay Area at upcoming events like Modern Comedy with Natasha Muse and Allison Mick (August 3, Modern Times Bookstore), and Comedy Benefit for Hillary Ronen for District 9 Supervisor (August 6, Make Out Room).