It’s no surprise that standup comedy started in the USA. From the very beginning, this young nation defended freedom of speech in a way that was inconceivable to the nations that came before. Prior to that, only the court jester had been able to make jokes about the government in public without losing his head.

But even though the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, the ability to joke as we please hasn’t always come easily. Jokesters have fought long and hard for their rights, forging a new path for the rest of us.

Up until the 60s, conservative culture ruled the day, which meant legends like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor were all famously arrested for violating “foul language” laws as they made their audiences laugh.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the radical left now holds all the cultural power. Instead of avoiding lewd and crude language (which they actually applaud), they are now concerned with “hate speech” and offensive ideas.

Anything they don’t like is hate speech, sexist, trans/homo/xenophobic, or “racist.”

Instead of banning curse words, they’ve created an ever-changing list of other words that were better received in the 70s than today. If you violate their arbitrary rules (or even vote the wrong way), you run the risk of losing your ability to bring your comedy act to town.

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That brings us to Seattle, Washington, where Capitol Hill Comedy Bar has ignited national controversy after publicly canceling four established, well-known comedians, even when tickets to their shows were selling like hotcakes. The comedians—Dave Smith, Luis J. Gomez, Jim Florentine, and Kurt Metzger—were informed by the club that, due to community pressure, they were no longer welcome. All four shows were canceled and the tickets were refunded.

While I’m glad this became public, this behavior isn’t new in the Seattle comedy scene. The same thing happened to your favorite half-Persian comedian (me) at LAUGHS back in 2020. I had performed to a sold-out crowd in 2019 and the owner happily invited me back.

But just a few weeks before my return, the owners of LAUGHS stumbled upon a social media post in which I mocked NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace for falsely claiming that a garage door rope was a noose meant to threaten him. Bubba (who is half-white) cried like Kaepernick about the blatant racism he was facing, and NASCAR rallied around him immediately. The Confederate flag was banned from all events, the FBI was called in, and they even held a kind of apology ceremony in which Wallace sat in his car while White drivers pushed him around the track in a show of solidarity.

Of course, after a full FBI investigation, it was found that the “noose” was simply a rope tied to the garage door so that crews could…you know…get the door open. Indeed, not only was the loop so small that only a hand could get through, but it had also been there for months—long before Wallace ever visited that track.

Fully invested in the idea that the USA was racist, the only person who thought it was meant for Bubba…was Bubba! Paranoid much?! Plus, it was a great way to get lots of attention, so I guess it worked out for him…

This all went down right after the Jussie Smollett race hoax, so I made a social media post calling him “Noosey Smollett” (which I still maintain is a genius pun to this day).

For that, I was mercilessly fired from LAUGHS and told I would never be welcome again.

Eventually, an embarrassed Bubba Wallace came out and acknowledged that it wasn’t a hate crime after all. Once that happened, I thought I could rekindle my relationship with the club via very polite email—to no avail.

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Of course, clubs should never be compelled to work with a comedian. They’re private venues and can do business with whoever they want. However, in this case, we had already agreed to do a show, and then they backed out. That’s a whole separate issue.

This from the same people who throw a fit and scream about “book banning” whenever someone suggests removing graphic pro-LGBT comic books from elementary schools.

Do not be fooled: so-called “progressives” do not value free speech, and they never have.

But while my situation at LAUGHS flew under the radar, the cancelations at Capitol Hill Comedy Bar became public. The situation clearly displays how the “tolerant left” wants to shape ideas and control what people hear. If they’re doing it at a local comedy club, imagine what kind of subversion is taking place at the higher levels. If this is happening in Seattle, what other major cities are quietly doing this as well?

But there’s a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow flag: Tacoma Comedy Club, just 30 miles away, has taken on these four comedians and they are on track to make a killing thanks to the new publicity.

Just more proof that capitalism and free ideas will win in the long run.

And if you’re interested in seeing these acts, you may notice that a fifth comedian has also been added to the prestigious lineup. I’m proud to announce my triumphant return to Seattle for five shows between MAY 30-JUNE 1.

Let’s show the CHAZ who’s in CHARGE. See you there. Tickets are available at

Kevan “K-von” Moezzi creates hilarious content for Valuetainment Comedy and is the host of The Right Show. He also tours the nation as a standup comedian. Follow K-von on X (Twitter).

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