For someone who has made a living out of joking around, when it comes to Rob Schneider's politics and this election, he is pretty serious about his views. And while it would be safe to say that most comedians lean towards the liberal side, Schneider isn't shy about saying he's a Romney supporter (sorry, was a Romney supporter).
Over here at the Weekly we also love to exercise our freedom of speech in many (many, many, many) ways and with Rob coming through the Irvine Improv this weekend (November 9th-11th) and being pretty vocal about his candidate choice this election, we thought we'd pick his brain a bit to get his take on how he thought this election would've play out in an ideal Republican world. And even though this obviously wasn't a good night for Romney, there is one thing that we can all agree on, we have to stay strong and stand together. Come on. You can do it!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Have you always been into politics or is there something about this election that has you extra heated? I mean, you've been certainly up on California's voting scenario that's for sure!
Rob Schneider: I think the place that we need to go is whether you buy something, vote for something, whether you want to eat something, you have to ask yourself a certain question. Does this act that I'm doing better the human condition or worsen it? I think we have to ask where things are made and if you decide to buy shoes made from a 14-year-old working six days a week, it's your choice or your karma that you have to live with. I think we have to make decisions as far as the next generation and that this generation is stuck. At the end of the day the baby boomers are going out in a blaze of whining. We just have to hang in there. I don't get depressed about things but I was thinking when I was flying back on the plane today, it tends to be a habit for people when they start getting older that we think the world is getting worse. I think that is endemic of our culture and that people's world views change, but it's not a reality. Like with global warming and these super storms that we are having. Neither candidate mentioned global warming or gun control in the debates, like it isn't an issue. It's just unbelievable.
For a funny guy you are certainly serious when it comes to your knowledge and I've noticed you've been getting rather into it on Twitter.
You know I don't have a lot of followers on Twitter compared to other people but if it's mine, I'm going to say what I want to say and joke at the same time. Some people take it too seriously. I don't mind joking about things and ruffling a few feathers. [Laughs.] At the same time I also feel like I have a responsibility to express my opinions. The liberals as much as the conservatives get upset, people are rather touchy and I think it'll mellow out after this election.
Oh yeah it's been crazy. All of the sudden the jokes stopped and it's all politics all of the time. It's been very aggressive but I've tried to appreciate it as much as it annoys me.
Yeah well the difference is people don't seem to respect other people's opinions. There isn't a really high tolerance for it. If anything I think that the polarization in Washington has spread to the populous. With the media then, you were exposed to different ideas and with the media now, conservative people can only listen to conservative radio or TV if they want so they're not getting an influx of other ideas. That's a real issue. People only look for what they want to look for and there is a lot of garbage out there.
So if it's not too personal, who got your vote this year?
I hope I don't come off as some arch conservative because I'm really not but, I'm supporting Romney this time. I was actually arguing with these guys today on Twitter and they were asking me how I could support Romney. I just said look, I can't support Obama this time. If I opposed Bush's policies with his civil liberties abuses if anything, Obama not only continued it but he increased it. The drone attacks have killed more civilians under Obama than under Bush and I think at the same time you also have the fact that Obama has had more executive orders than any other President in history. The abuse of power is like the abuse by an emperor. You're supposed to have the legislative and judicial balancing out and it's just not doing that. I mean, when Obama can bomb Libya without having the congress's approval...I'd be a hypocrite if I supported Obama if I'm against what Bush did. I just can't. I'm all for kicking them out every four years though. I think it's enough and we should have term limits.
Have you ever thought about running for any kind of office yourself?
I can be more influential not doing that because I'd work with both sides. I like to be involved though and I plan on becoming more involved the next time around too. I have thought about it but people in the entertainment industry have a lot of baggage! [Laughs.]
Ok so bottom line here, do you think Obama or Romney would be better from a comedic stand point?
Oh definitely Romney by far. Romney will give us a lot more of opportunity for jokes. I think Paul Ryan too, I worry we don't know too much about him and being so close to the Presidency. There is something weird about him, I start thinking Damien like 666. We'll have to see.
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Since the election will be over by the time you hit Irvine this weekend, will you be retiring any political jokes?
Yeah all of the democratic and republican stuff is in the garbage, I did my last twenty minutes of it last night and then threw it all away so that's it! I'll talk about what it's like to be in your forties, relationships, and I have a bunch of new jokes I'm going to try. I played in Irvine like 25 years ago back in the 80's so it'll be good. I've been working on my act since then so you know, I've worked out all of the kinks!
Follow Rob on Twitter @RobSchneider and check out his website www.robschneider.com for upcoming tour dates. You can also get info on donating to the Rob Schneider Music Foundation that helps to provide equipment and musical instruments to Pacifica's elementary schools by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Get your tickets now to see Rob at the Irvine Improv this Friday through Sunday at www.Improv.com or by calling 949-854-5455. The Improv is located at 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618.