COMEDY
03/21/2013 03:25 pm ET | Updated Mar 21, 2013

David Cross On How George W. Bush Changed His Comedy: 'I Woke Up On 9/11 And I Was Scared'

When it comes to mocking President George W. Bush, not much comes close to comedian David Cross' 2002 breakout album, "Shut Up, You F*cking Baby!" Now, 10 years after the Iraq war began, Cross recognized Bush's election as a true turning point in his career during an interview with Michael Cera at New York's 92nd St. Y.

According to Gothamist, a conversation about Cross' early career led him to discuss the ways that Bush's presidency and the aftermath of 9/11 pushed him to change his act as well as his political beliefs:

“Where my comedy really solidified was when Bush was elected. I couldn’t understand how craven and crass he was, and how dumb other people were for electing him. I come from a blue city in a red region, and I think the sense of ‘how can you not see what’s happening’ really drove me... and that was when I was becoming more of a responsible guy as well. But my comedy took a turn when Bush was elected... so many people went to the Right during that time. Dennis Miller said he woke up on 9/11 and said, well, ‘enough’s enough’. I woke up on 9/11 and I was scared... and I was way more to the Left. I was like, ‘This is crazy—I know why this happened, I’m not condoning it, but I know why this happened.' And it turned out saying that then was not so popular.”

In addition to performing material about the Bush presidency, Cross participated in demonstrations and marches in protest to the Iraq war but was ultimately unsatisfied with the lack of effect they had. In a 2012 interview with Playboy's Eric Spitznagel, he explained his reservations about the "Occupy Wall Street" movement by citing his previous experiences:

"I remember when I went to the anti-war marches in Washington and New York, it felt like something significant was happening. During the Washington protest, 15 million people marched around the world that day. 15 million people, and it did nothing. It didn’t slow down the Iraq War, not even a hiccup."

Click over to Gothamist to read more about Cross and Cera's conversation and listen to one of Cross' bits about Bush from "Shut Up You F***king Baby!" below (warning, some NSFW language):

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