Adam Conover Quotes

You can’t escape culture. You can learn about it. You can criticize it. You can try to move it slowly. But at the end of the day, you can’t actually opt out of the culture that you’re in.
Generational thinking has always been reductive and condescending.
I eat about two meals a day vegan, is my rule of thumb. When I’m traveling, all bets are off, but I don’t cook meat in the house. I rarely cook eggs. I never use milk. But when I go out to eat for a special treat, I’ll have some meat. But I know, personally, that’s the best I’m ever going to do in my life.
Your date of birth is a security point for identity theft.
Information’s right at our fingertips, but so is what you want to believe. It’s the classic thing of someone Googling ‘autism vaccines’ – they’ll find what they’re looking for, depending on what they think. You’ll find lots of people who are just bolstering what they already think, bolstering their cultural attitude.
On ‘Adam Ruins Everything’ we do the broadest sketch comedy possible. We do stuff where you can see it immediately and know it’s a joke – characters in big silly costumes; here’s Uncle Sam and he’s twiddling his fingers saying, ‘Oh, I’m naughty.’
I think that veganism is a totally great choice with incredible benefits, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect other people to be vegan or to expect everybody to be vegan. You can proselytize all you want, but being vegan is a pretty intense choice for a lot of people.
I’m a liberal arts comedian and the definition of liberal arts is all spheres of human knowledge, coexisting, mixing and influencing each other.
Late 19th-century America was basically a plutocratic enterprise while people toiled in mines and died of coal dust poisoning.
I went to Bard College, which was a really interesting synthesis of a hippie school and a serious academic institution. It was really the perfect spot for me.
That’s something I learned as a philosophy major: The philosophy ethos is, always question, never rest.
At any point, the sum total of human knowledge is not, ‘Here’s the world as it is perfectly,’ it’s, ‘Here’s the best we know so far and we’re always willing to be proven wrong.’
As a comedian, I am attracted to truths that are uncomfortable. I like funny bummers.
Security theater is the idea of putting on a big show of security in order to make people feel safe. That’s why the TSA screens everything and takes your stuff away.
Into the Breach’ is a wonderful strategy game where you play that you are trying to stop an alien invasion. But of course, ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ and ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ are just two of the most superlative games ever made, and so when I have time to completely lose myself in those, it’s really, really a joy.
I wanted to go to grad school in philosophy… Nobody was like, ‘You should!’ You know, they were all like, ‘you could?’
Millennials are always on their phones and it’s running their lives, but you know who is also on their phones? Moms and Dads and also some dogs… everyone is on their phone all the time.
You have to accept that other people are not going to live their lives like you, and you have to find a way to achieve your goals while they are still existing and living their lives according to their choices.
I find that I have a lot of suppressed energy when I’m on a plane for a long period so when I’m holding a fidget spinner, being able to play with it and just sort of run my hands over it helps me out quite a lot; it helps me relax.
I have a lot of family in Marquette. I’m way more familiar with the U.P. than I am with the lower peninsula. I’ve visited Michigan every couple of years since I was a kid.
Some people are writers and don’t ever want to be on camera, some people act and not write – I like writing words for myself to say.
Young people are narcissistic. They become less narcissistic as they age, but they become crankier about younger people being narcissistic.
It’s the reaction I’ve gotten my whole life: that I learn something and try to tell people in conversation, but when I tell them, they are annoyed.
You can learn more about anything, and the truth about almost anything is surprising.
Narcissism is a fact of life – it’s a natural part of growing older, right? It’s a part of your development. So being angry about the younger generation being ‘narcissistic,’ that’s like saying ‘Oh, this young generation only wants to poop in their diaper! They don’t want to use the bathroom!’
It’s only when you get towards the top that people start throwing you down a rope. It’s like a law of nature, and it makes me think a lot about what my responsibility is to folks who are further down the hole where I was – how I can offer them help and how I can try to help change the structure of American society.
Los Angeles is a rich city; California is a rich state; the United States is a rich country. The money is out there, and Los Angeles teachers are demanding that it be spent where it belongs, on our kids.
The truth is, people love to learn.
I want people to know the truth. That’s what drives me. That there is truth in the world to know, and once you know it, you have a responsibility to share it.
I don’t claim to have all the answers; after all, I’m just a comedian who reads a lot.
My goal is to be able to speak to everyone in the country and to be able to make everyone in the country think differently about our political system.
It’s one thing to make people laugh, but after a certain point, comedy is almost cheap.
The journalistic and political classes are very eager to borrow the cultural authority of comedians when it suits them, sending out gala invitations and posing for photos in hopes that a bit of that edgy satirical shine will rub off on them.
One of my favorite things about sketch comedy is doing parodies and music videos.
I see myself as an avatar of curiosity and doubt.
I wanted to go to grad school for philosophy, but I couldn’t hack it in college, at least I couldn’t at that level.
I guess what’s happened is that I’ve a little bit let go of the idea that we can reach everybody. Certain people… the informational world they live in, it’s so distorted that it’s hard to get through.
Doing a format parody is one of my favorite things to do in comedy.
Listen more than you speak.
I can’t think of another place other than TV where a five-person sketch comedy group could make a living.
Social media is just more media.
I want to do stories that are about the bits of cultural furniture that are sitting there that we’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s been there for years! What could possibly be weird about it?’ And then we’re going to lift that piece of furniture and look at all the bugs scurry away.
Employ empathy.
In philosophy you’re never 100% sure. You’re always undermining what you think you know. That’s always been my philosophy and my intellectual ethos.
I am not an educator and I’m not a journalist. I am a comedian. But I do truly believe that the point of comedy is to make the world around one better.
Fingerprint matching is – you know the whole thing about how no two fingerprints are alike? That’s not strictly true.
In my moments of greatest hubris, I say to myself, ‘Yes, you should be trying to change the world.’
People are so quick to demonize and stereotype those on the other side that they often say that it’s impossible to work with people on the other side.
In a live setting, the audience is trapped and can’t leave. That really makes the audience be with you and laugh more because you’re there.
I hate cars; in terms of what they do to nature and personally I just don’t like driving them. I think they’re a very bad way to design a transportation system.
There’s no replacement for having a burning desire to talk about something: ‘I know this and other people need to know!’
No one who hired Siegfried & Roy was shocked when they brought a tiger onstage. So you shouldn’t be shocked if you book a comedian and she points out that the emperor has no clothes.
All my life I have been the guy who always says, ‘Oh I think I read a thing about that and you know it’s actually true about that is yada yada.’ The reaction that I got when I would do that from people when I did that was not always good.
I think that at the end of the day correcting misinformation and questioning what we think we know as a habit of mind is incredibly important.
My goal as a comedian is to sway people’s opinion. It’s not my only goal and it’s not the only way I measure myself.
Growing up as a comedian the most influential person on me was Jon Stewart. He showed that comedy could have a real tangible effect on the world. He showed that comedy could move the needle of society and that a comic can do real things and make a real contribution.
I get messages from 21-year old white dudes who have just gotten out of an expensive college and say ‘Hey can I pick your brain?’ and I have nothing to say to them because A. They already have all the advantages and B. My advice would be the same as anyone else: Go do open mics.
The brutal fact is that which foods are available in your grocery store is determined by trade wars, agriculture policy, and the outsized power wielded by large corporations.
I consider myself to be doing comedy in a post-Jon Stewart world to a certain extent.
What people say about millennials is the same thing they’ve said about every generation: Younger people are obsessed with technology, and selfish, and they’re lazy, and they live with their parents… Guess what? That’s ’cause they’re young people!
I think the best comedy enlightens, informs, and changes the way people look at the world.
I sort of expose the truth about common misconceptions, or you know, investigate why we do certain things culturally, why we have certain traditions, and ask the question, ‘is this really the best way we can be doing things?’
I think that people are more eager to learn about food than almost every other topic.
We have a more intimate relationship with food than with almost anything else we buy, so people are with very good reason concerned about the real story behind what they eat.
You can’t solve climate change by everybody individually buying a more efficient car and throwing out less stuff. You have to make national changes through national policy.
I’m the only member of my family who didn’t get a PhD. So, I’m like the failure of the family, cause all I have is a bachelor’s, like a drop out.
There is nothing better than getting to just dig in and seriously play a video game for a six-hour flight from New York to L.A.
I find that a really restful, relaxing way to spend time on a plane is to listen to an audiobook while drawing.
Comedy has no rules, per se.
If it weren’t for the fellow union members and leaders who have my back, the barons of the TV industry would happily pay me a nickel a page and spend what would have been my residuals on more caviar to put in their infinity pools.
A lot of the language about Millennials is extremely gendered.
The idea that you must bathe every day is, to a certain extent, a manufacture on the part of the soap industry.
I think people are better for having learned, even if they aren’t happier.
I had the benefit of going to a really good high school on Long Island. I went to Shoreham-Wading River High School, which kind of started as an experimental public school back in the 60s and 70s. It had a bunch of teachers there with a unique teaching philosophy.
I need to challenge myself and to try to improve my knowledge. That’s my goal.
I wrote for this sketch group called Olde English for about six years and we made a movie together, but we sort of stopped making sketches.
I’ve always been kind of an information sponge.
We don’t claim to be infallible. I don’t claim to be giving you truths from on high.
I’m a naturally curious person.
I loved ‘Beakman’s World’ growing up. As much as I loved ‘Bill Nye,’ I always preferred ‘Beakman’s World’ because I thought it was funnier.
Wading River was a gorgeous place to grow up and I feel very lucky there was a wood by our house where I could go explore when I was a kid.
I don’t consider myself an educator.
I don’t want to change people’s opinions to my political opinion; I want to enlighten people and make them think about the world differently.
When something actually shocks me, that’s when you know it’s a great topic.
I have a very deep belief that all the problems in society are not because some people are bad and some people are good and we have to get rid of all the wrong people. Everything that we want to fix is because of a flaw in humans in general, something that humans together do incorrectly.
We’ve had erratic, weird presidents before. America’s still here.
The direction of the country isn’t controlled by one person on top making decisions. It’s a mass movement of people making a lot of individual decisions that add up to something broader.
Human capacity for not thinking about what we’re doing is infinite.
The Daily Show’ was really a turning point, where people started to realize that comedy can have a true cultural impact and can have something to say that is serious.
I have a vested interest in increasing the amount of diversity in my own business. That’s something that I care about. So mentoring people who are trying to break into the business who could use a hand, that’s the type of person I look for.

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