Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Samantha Bee
Screenshot: Full Frontal

What with the ongoing destruction of American democracy by a failed steak salesman and reality show sex criminal and his army of pasty Republican sycophants, Full Frontal host Samantha Bee is pretty busy these days. Why, just last night, she had to run down how Donald Trump is scouring the Department Of Justice of any and all people who’ve shown even the slightest resistance to his megalomaniacal move to reform the republic in his own hastily cobbled-together visage, meet the women that were the managers of Trump’s impeachment trial, and wonder just what happened to that 50 grand Andrew Yang received from a Full Frontal contest just before dropping out of the presidential race. Still, there’s always room for a little fun at the expense of a farcically right-wing fake educational institution that spends all its time trying to trick young people into believing that all America’s troubles really stem from the erosion of traditional conservative values. You know, like that women should shut up and accept their male’s creepy, unwanted romantic attentions, because men are men and women are property.

That’s just one of the philosophical pillars propping up the laughably low-rent hall of learning that is Prager University, which isn’t a university, but is the date-rapey brainchild of right-wing talk show blowhard and spousal abuse enthusiast Dennis Prager. Noting that the “university” (actually a YouTube channel targeted at youths just hitting the formative “are women actually humans” stage) touts itself as a university despite not being accredited in any way, since the series of short online videos with sub-Sealab 2021 graphics is “a place where you are free to learn,” Bee explained that that essentially means that literally anyplace on Earth qualifies as a university. So, congratulations—welcome to A.V. Club University. Your first lesson is how to avoid falling for specious, atavistic screeds from a sneering, sententious old creep who looks “like someone who started serial killing after retirement” and his tiny cadre of right-wing pseudo-celebrity guest lecturers. (Including Yakov Smirnoff, who, if nothing else, bears out the American Dream of doing the exact same shtick for 40-plus years.)


In case Prager’s name sounds familiar, somehow, the “bullshit conservative propagandist” (Bee’s words) was also behind comedian Adam Carolla’s recent, let’s call it “documentary,” No Safe Spaces, which contends that those fancy-pants accredited educational institutions (what with their academic standards, and actual buildings and stuff) are just places where impressionable kids aren’t taught that, as Prager puts it, present-day conservatives are just like Jews during the Holocaust. And all-time batshit sophistry about how women don’t view their sexuality like a male-owned treasure to be plundered at a husband’s whim anymore, so “why would a woman feel violated by an uninvited touch?” Or that God’s definitely a man because earthly men aren’t attracted to girly traits like compassion or mercy. Oh, and that contemporary art is all about poo-poo and pee-pee. (To be fair, Bee pointed out that she does tell lots of boner jokes, too.)

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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