Here’s The Thing with Tim Young: ‘Daily Show’ for conservatives - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Here’s The Thing with Tim Young: ‘Daily Show’ for conservatives

Here’s The Thing host Tim Young at the National Press Club with the late Helen Thomas. (Craig Hudson)

For more than a decade, Baltimore audiences have laughed at the humor of Tim Young. Young’s musings have also brought chuckles to readers of numerous publications, including those of the Baltimore Post-Examiner. Tim Young can be pretty funny, both live and in print, but making readers of the National Review or the Weekly Standard smile is an entirely different matter. Young is ready for the sizeable challenge of showing the lighter side of the GOP – not in a comedy club, but on the set of what may be the first conservative-oriented late-night-styled talk show. Here’s The Thing with Tim Young premieres this Thursday, June 30 on Facebook Live. We caught up with Young, appropriately enough, to talk about his new venture and to get a feel for what his new virtual audience may expect.

BPE: Thanks for taking a few minutes to speak with us today. Tell us about the new show.

Young: It’s the first reasonable crack at a right-wing Daily Show. It will be airing live on the Liberty Alliance Network which reaches more than 3 million people on Facebook Live. It will also be one of the very first shows ever produced for Facebook Live.

BPE: A bit about you: You’re a writer, social commentator and comedian. What else can we say about Tim Young?

Young: I also advise members of congress. Oddly enough, I council them on how to be cooler and how to break down some of the more complex issues for the public.

Tim Young with Republican Congressman Andy Harris. (Nicolee Ambrose)

Tim Young with Republican Congressman Andy Harris. { MD – 1st District} (Nicolee Ambrose)

BPE: When you say the public, are you speaking about Millennials and younger?

Young: Yes, but also older adults. When you get into policy issues surrounding labor bills and corporations and such, people don’t understand it. It’s even tough for me, and I have to do a lot of research to be able to break things down and make it digestible.

BPE: I often describe you to people as the lone voice of humor in the Republican party. Is that a fair assessment?

Young: Yes. (Laughing) You would not be alone in making that assessment. It’s going to be interesting. I think I’m the guy who has a solid crack at this, and I’m not saying that from an ego standpoint. I’m saying it from an actual experience standpoint. There are not many people out there who do what I do.

BPE: You also have the advantage going in of being a recognizable face inside the beltway. A lot of conservatives in Congress, political commentators and the media know you. You’re not just another a guy in a plaid sport coat knocking on the door.

Young: (Laughing) Right now I AM about to put on a plaid sport jacket. No, this is something that has been in the works for a very long time. Now, it’s about time. That’s been the statement I’ve heard from a lot of people. “Finally,” and a lot of people are really looking forward to this. That’s why we were able to get so many great partners to get it off the ground.

BPE: Tell us about the partners.

Young: We’re working with Americans for Tax Reform. We’ll be filming the show in their studio.

Here's the Thing with Tim Young

Art for Here’s The Thing with Tim Young.

The conference area has stadium seating and other high tech amenities which will make it perfect for staging a show. And Liberty Alliance in particular, who I used to do marketing for. I’ve been hoping to do something with them for a while. It’s kind of the perfect melding of ideas. I’m taking the show to them on Facebook, so this will be pushed to everyone in the Liberty Alliance Network. It’s roughly between 3-4 million people.

BPE: There seems to be a clear difference between what those on the Left and those on the Right find funny.

Young: Yeah, that’s actually scary to me. My humor tends to transcend both audiences. I came up doing comedy at urban clubs in Baltimore, then traveled the country and got to work before many different audiences. It’s like I am taking the Republican Party message to the next generation of voters. I never thought I would be a position to do that. I mean, here I am and people are laughing while learning about policy and getting a different perspective. I’m glad it’s me who gets to do it. It’s a shocking honor to be in this kind of a position.

BPE: You say ‘taking the Republican Party message’. Is there a clear Republican message right now? It seems, in the aftermath of the hotly contested primaries we’ve just gone through, there appears to be a huge difference between what the Republican Party is saying and what the party base – who is overwhelmingly supporting Donald Trump – wants.

Tim Young DC

Young: That’s a very interesting point, and it’s one of the questions I’ll grapple with on the show. I think in the end, it will all work itself out. Republicans across the board want smaller government; they want less government oversight and more power to the States. Protection of the Bill of Rights along with a literal interpretation – not some evolved form. Those types of over-arching principles are the backbone of the party, and it’s what they’ll stand on as they seek to effect a change. There are differences on social issues, but I don’t need to get into that right now.

BPE: OK, so our lead will be, ‘Tim Young Talks Social Issues on New TV Show’.

Young: (laughing) Thanks a lot.

BPE: You’re coming into this as a Republican/conservative voice in a field largely dominated by liberal voices. Talk show hosts of the past, like Johnny Carson for example, did a pretty good job of keeping their personal political views to themselves while hosting their shows. Why do you think that changed and has that change been a good or a bad thing?

Young: I think it’s a good thing. People want authenticity, and they want to see real people on television who share their opinions. Late night hosts do tend to be pretty biased, but it’s not the days of old when shows were more like parlor conversations where you didn’t talk about politics or religion. We’ve found that people want to connect with the host. For the left, there are plenty of people to connect with on TV. For the right, there are people my grandparents would connect with, but not anyone in my age group or younger. So hopefully, I will be that alternative voice, although I certainly don’t see myself as that cool.

BPE: What’s your view on seeing a sitting president make the entertainment / talk show rounds?

Ronald Reagan with Johnny Carson in 1975.

Ronald Reagan with Johnny Carson in 1975.

Young: Why not? People watch TV; people are engaged with late night talk shows. Why not let the President go and carry his message there?

BPE: What would you ask President Hillary Clinton?

Young: Well that’s never going to happen, but I would ask her about every scandal I could pull out. Are you kidding me? That’s an easy one. I would go after her on all of the scandals and see if we could get anything out of her, because she gets softball questions from everyone else. Everything she says is very contained, and I think that’s a good campaign strategy for her. But I would put in some more probing questions and ask her what exactly happened with her emails; what exactly has happened with every one of these scandals she has been involved with.

BPE: Would you go back as far as asking her about getting fired for lying while working on the Watergate Committee?

Young: Absolutely. She must hold the record for being involved with the most scandals of anyone who has ever lived or worked in DC.

BPE: What would you ask President Donald Trump?

Young: (Laughing) I think Trump has asked his own questions. I would ask about his snafus and how he intends on unifying the party. I’m anxious to see how he will do that, given the very loud outcries from many in the Republican Party.

Tim Young (pictured with feisty firebrand Ann Coulter) hopes to shake up the political talk show scene. (Facebook)

Tim Young (pictured with feisty firebrand Ann Coulter) hopes to shake up the political talk show scene. (Facebook)

BPE: The show will be taped next Thursday, June 30?

Young: It will go live next Thursday night at 7:30pm eastern time. We’ll have a couple of rehearsals, but after that we’ll be live before a good chunk of America. It’s very exciting. It will be live in DC, so if anyone would like to be in the studio audience, they can go to newsyoulllike.com for more information and to reserve their tickets. I think it will be a very good time for everyone who is involved.

BPE: How often will the show air?

Young: This will be the pilot episode. Once we’ve worked out all of the kinks, we’ll be back at the end of July. At that point we will be bi-weekly and then eventually weekly.

BPE: With your funding, you’ll be able to acquire a few more plaid coats?

Young: Costuming is such a wonderful thing. We have some generous sponsors, but here’s the thing about Facebook Live. Facebook Live is a great medium to work in, because it doesn’t cost much to do. You have some cameras and technical stuff, but the more talented people you have to work with, the less you have to do.

BPE: Speaking of talent, please tell us about the guests you have lined up for your first show. And if all goes well, who may we expect to see on future shows?

Young: Our confirmed guests on the first show are:

> Grover Norquist: President of Americans for Tax Reform
> Ja’Ron Smith, Director of External Affairs at Generation Opportunity
> Peter Roff, Contributing Editor at US News & World Report
> Ashe Schow, brilliant commentator from The Washington Examiner

They’re all top experts in their fields and bring a diverse background to share and have fun with. Also Grover has been named D.C.’s funniest celebrity. In the future you’ll see Senators, candidates, former big government officials and people who move and shake in the country

BPE: I don’t want to print any spoilers or get you into trouble with your sponsors, but will you be talking about social issues?

No Electioneering sign credit Anthony C. Hayes

Young: That is not the main thrust of the show, but if we have a guest whose principal thing is a social issue, then that’s what we’ll talk about.

BPE: It seems that avoiding social issues may be tough. A good example is the predictable heat surrounding the Orlando massacre. The Right is talking about radical Islam while the Left is pushing gun control.

Young: Yeah, and I think the Left is about to lose that argument. So I don’t believe that bodes too well for “No Bill – No Break”. It will be interesting to see how they spin that, because right now we’re getting, “Oh, well – he only had pistols so he couldn’t kill as many people as he wanted”. The excuses will be very interesting, and I think we are heading down a bad road with this culture of excuse making. People were actually saying on Twitter that he didn’t kill enough people to qualify for a mass shooting. C’mon people. Lives were lost, and that’s not good. Regardless of what side you’re on, don’t say awful things to try to make your point.

BPE: Will you use the term ‘Radical Islam’ on your show?

Young: Yes. That’s not a hard call, especially because both Hillary and Trump are using that term. I think Hillary has stolen a page out of Trump’s book.

BPE: Like the one on how to make money on cattle futures?

Young: (Laughing) She’s just a good business woman. Look, the tactics she and Donald Trump are using work great in the business world. Maybe we’re not used to seeing that in the political world. (Pause) No – we’re definitely not used seeing that.


About the author

Anthony C. Hayes

Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A former reporter at the Washington Herald, and Voice of Baltimore, Tony's poetry, photography, humor, and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!, SmartCEO, Magic Octopus Magazine, Destination Maryland, Los Angeles Post-Examiner, Alvarez Fiction, and Tales of Blood and Roses. Contact the author.
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