Liberty Tour Finds Comedy in the Pain

20 Oct

“Lots of people think Donald Trump is the next Hitler.  And by people I mean Donald Trump supporters.”

This is Travis Irvine’s favorite joke from his fellow comic Jeremy McLellan, both of whom are on a shrink wrapped libertarian tour bus that pulled into D.C. today for the Liberty Tour, with an 8:30 pm performance at the Bier Baron on the Georgetown edge of Dupont Circle.

It’s the 19th stop for Irvine, a comic who works for Viceland TV, who has M.C.ed the tour, from Denver and Salt Lake City to Richmond and D.C., with a few remaining stops in Philadelphia (at the Good Good Comedy Club tomorrow) and New York before the election.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Irvine, who was an intern for Congressman Chuck Schumer and then worked for Matthew Lesko.  Tonight’s event is all beer and standup, though depending on what city it pulls into the other people on stage can be Democrats like former DNC press person Terry Michaels, Republicans like Liz Mair, marijuana activists, Libertarian state legislators like Nebraska’s Laura Ebke, or FOX News RedEye regulars like Ben Kissell and Katherine Timpf.

The Liberty Tour has played about half campuses and half non-campus venues like beer gardens and comedy clubs, with the largest event so far being 800 people at Richmond’s Hippodrome Theater, where Gary Johnson also spoke.  It’s a free event, paid for by the non-profit foundation, the Our America Initiative, Governor Johnson set up several years ago, before he was running for president, to work on local initiatives chosen by local affiliates.  The foundation rents the spaces and pays for the bus and the comic, which many people may think a better use of donated dollars than a life size portrait of Trump or a Lear jet lease for Hillary.  You have to buy your own beer.

It’s actually a 19th century institution – the chautauqua – where people before radio, TV, or the internet, were entertained and informed by a traveling caravan of speakers, singers, or comics.  But these libertarians are using it to pull millennials away from their hand held devices.

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