The look on Conan O’brian’s face when Bill Burr starts talking about the realities of US politics is priceless. How the two party system is really “the man” betting on both horses. Hedging their bets because they’re both run by the same companies, same donaters, same banks.
Look at Conan’s face 2:01-2:08, that is the look of a man who knows his charade is being blown as truth slips its way past censors from Burr. The smile drips away from his face when he realizes he isn’t talking to a brainwashed liberal or strawman ‘uptight’ Republican that America loves to hate. He’s talking to someone that actually speaks some truth on TV. He’s only half joking when he says we NEED the “psycho”. There is a lot of meaning to that. Someone that is ACTUALLY different would be considered a nut job in a way.
He serious’ed the fuck up real quick. It took the audience laughing at another one of Bill’s jokes “go with the psycho” joke (2:16), for Conan to get back on track and laugh at an actually good joke, which he had missed entirely. Only a bit of a delay though, since Conan is a professional and all.
Conan has been in the industry long enough to know people have their careers ruined and can even wind up “suicide’d” if they talk about who is really in control. He did do a comedy thing in the White house, I’m sure he’s been censored enough in the beginning to learn what can’t be talked about and he may have thought Bill was going to delve deeper into the topic than he did. Bill didn’t even scratch the surface and Conan goes dead silent. They can punish Conan and take his show, but Bill’s got nothing to lose (except for the aforementioned) so he can say anything.
Bill is a great comedian, because while he does spout some soul crushing truths, he knows when to reel the audience back in. You can’t be a comedian and only hammer on the cold hard truth. People get uncomfortable since in their hearts they know the lies they have been told their whole lives have been called into question. Even if it’s just subconsciously.
So Burr starts out with what you need to hear, gets that emotion of dread going, the feeling of the truth, then disqualifies it with a line “But what do I know? I don’t read books.” and the audience laughs, because he discredits himself.
Yes, he is releasing social tension. He knows that speaking about this get’s people to pull out. He is comedian and wants to keep the atmosphere funny and social. He is not so much making fun of conspiracy theorist, but making fun of himself having too much time and not having children. People have to think you aren’t one of the “bad guys”. They can think to themselves, “Oh good, so it was ALL an act.” And they can go on with their lives, but a few… A few can’t discredit what they briefly understood.
People don’t like new ideas, they just want to tune out and feed their egos. Feed the worldview that has already been presented to them so nicely by people who intend to use them.