Pretty Much Pop #17: Comedy as Philosophy w/ Daniel Lobell

Are stand-up comedians the Modern Day Philosophers? This claim forms the premise of Daniel’s podcast where interviews some of our best known and loved comedians, but really, only some comedians are trying to express original views on the world instead of just telling a good joke. Even so, do the words of comics telling their truth or pronouncing sentence on the world count as philosophy?  Does telling the whole truth (instead of a funny one-side or exaggerated take on truth) rule out being funny?

We consider questions of authenticity and offensive humor.  We look at how philosophers and comics can use some of the same communicative tools like inventing new words, irony, and auto-biography. We touch on Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Hannah Gadsby, George Carlin, Emo Phillips, Rodney Dangerfield, Louis CK, Between Two Ferns, Berkeley, Socrates, Kierkegaard, Pirsig, and more.

A few sources:

Danny’s podcast is called Modern Day Philosophers; he’s interviewed Bill Burr, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Bob Goldthwait, Maria Bamford, Lewis Black, Fred Armisen, Carl Reiner, Aisha Tyler, Jackie Mason, Reggie Watts, Mayim Bialik, and many others. Find it at Learn about his auto-biographical comic book, Fair Enough, at You can watch his stand-up and other stuff at

This episode includes bonus discussion (including some out-takes from the interview where we got too off-topic) that you can only hear by supporting the podcast at This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by

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