Jack Hibbs sits down with the Editor-in-chief of the Babylon Bee, Kyle Mann. Tune in as they discuss the “fake news”, the cancel culture of our day, and how the humor-filled satire of the Babylon Bee can speak the truth in a way that makes you stop and think!
Learn more and get all the notes on this podcast by visiting https://jackhibbs.com/podcast - sign up for our mailing list and get the latest podcast information and updates!
Hey everybody. We had a great podcast today. We've got Kyle Mann. Kyle Mann is the chief editor of the Babylon B and we're excited. I think you're gonna find some great insights. You're gonna find some very powerful truths about how much we need humor in our life. Right? Thank God for the Babylon B. So here we go. Want you to put your pods in, turn your volume up and let's roll with this
Real life presents the Jack Hibbs podcast with intention and boldness to proclaim truth, equip the saints and impact our culture. You can get the outlines of this podcast by going to Jack hibbs.com/podcast. Today. If this podcast lifts you up and encourages you to live a more fulfilled life in Christ, then make sure you leave us one of those five star ratings to us. That's like saying amen, or yes, then that rating will encourage others to listen. Now, open your hearts to what God's word has to say to you.
Kyle, I've gotta ask you something right now. It says here that you used to be in sales at the Western water works supply company. And now that you're editor in chief of Babylon B, is that true? Or is this a Babylon B <laugh>.
It is absolutely true. Yeah. I was in construction sales for 11 years before I started writing comedy for a living, which is the most bizarre jump. You know, people always assume that like I started out, you know, people who write start out as assistant editors or kind of freelance writing before they get into, you know, a more, a more prominent role, like, like at the editor in chief of a Satre site. <laugh> but it was, uh, it was a, a bit of a journey. I, uh, I was always, I always enjoyed comedy. I always enjoyed satire. Um, I was in various different church environments over the years, so, you know, you're kind of absorbing it all and you know, I'm sure we'll talk about it. But comedy and satire is such a good coping mechanism and anyone who's been bashing their head in a, against a keyboard at a sales job all day, you know, knows that you need to retain that sense of humor.
So it's kind of a good path when you think about it, you know, that we, that we were using humor to kind of, uh, rally the troops and be able to, to do a nine to five office job, um, day to day. And, uh, yep. The battle won be launched in March, 2016. I sent in a, a joke. It was, um, it was, uh, uh, holy spirit, unable to move through congregation as fog machine breaks. And that was our first. That was our, I love it. That was our first big viral hit. And, uh, so the owner of the site said, do you want to write, do you wanna be the head writer? And I started doing it. And two years later I got hired, uh, full time as the editor in chief and made that career jump.
Incredible. I love it. I love the fact. And it is a fact that you mention that humor and satire is a, um, it's part of our human function, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> when things are rough and difficult, mm-hmm <affirmative>, which is rather interesting, cuz um, I've been to other parts of the world where there's there's cultures, where you're actually not really allowed to laugh and they actually don't even want to laugh. I won't name those countries cuz I have friends there, but um, they just, we as an American and I'm not saying as an American red, white and blue, I'm talking about as an American, the way that we're brought up, we often cope with difficult situations, not in a disrespectful way, by making something funny. It's actually some form of our ability to survive a challenging event or a bad time. And so for you guys, it's been amazing because hazing, because the more pronounced or demonstrative I'm thinking like the Trump era, you guys were so incredibly effective and funny and now we're in the dark days of Obama or Biden or whoever it is. And um, it even adds more, uh, to your list of
Well, because we wanna laugh. We need to laugh now.
Yeah. Um, yeah, humor is, humor is such a great, you know, humor has so many functions, you know, there's a prophetic role that it plays in, in proclaiming truth. Um, and there is a comfort element to it, you know, um, we get people that ride in and say that they're going through the hardest season in their lives. Um, you know, whether that's the death of a friend or family member or um, you know, just financial struggles or whatever it is. And they say that the only way that they're able to really consume the news, uh, is through the Babylon B because they're able to, to learn about what's going on on the outside world, but through the satirical lens that helps make them know like, Hey, it's gonna be okay. It's not the end of the world. We know who's in control of history. So we don't have to worry about, you know, this or that little, uh, event, right. When, when you joke about, when you joke about events, you really give them less power over
Us. I love it. That's so true. So true. Um, you guys, um, if I remember, right, didn't I see you guys on Tucker for example, on the, uh, Tucker Carlson show.
Yeah. We, and that's huge. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and, and you think about that, like how crazy that is that Christian news satire site, you know, launched it six, six years ago, having having this broad cultural impact through things like Tucker Carlson becoming an ally of us. And you know, we're finding these allies out in the world that, you know, maybe some of them aren't necessarily allies in faith or maybe they're not our brother and sisters in Christ. Um, but are actually, you know, allies in the, in this culture war, they stand side by side with us in certain issues, defending free speech or whatnot. That's crazy to me. I mean that we feel humbled and honored and totally not worthy of <laugh> that kind of impact well, but
You should. And I love that because God is using your platform so uniquely and I mean, let's be honest. Um, I personally, I don't think that Satan's got a funny bone in his body having said that, uh, I believe God invented humor. And when, when we see what you guys are able to communicate to an audience that the church, no evangelist, no pastor, no priest or Pope is gonna get to the audience that you guys are reaching and you guys are also what, so what I believe is almost, um, you test the culture and you, and, and you know, how you test the culture, you test the person that is consuming your product for the lack of a better term when somebody reads something, uh, at Babylon B that I think is extremely funny because first of all, I have no problem laughing at myself or what, or what you guys just pointed out is so incredibly true. When I see the person next to me, look at it and say, oh, that's despicable. It tells me so much about them that there's something broken <laugh> in them because they can't laugh at that. You
Know? Yeah. We find that when we find that when someone gets very offended by satire, now I'm not saying that there's not a line that people can't cross, like obviously there's humor, that's God honoring and there's humor. That's not God honoring. And you have to be careful of that. But at the same time, when someone reads us a hysterical piece, uh, or watches a funny video or whatever, and they get offended, it often says more about the person exactly than it does about the, the comedy. Um, I, you know, I think we consume a lot of comedy that's that comes from the secular world. Right. And most of the time, if there's a joke about Christians or the church, I can laugh at it and go, yeah, that's kind of true. Exactly. Without getting super offended or trying to cancel that person or trying to burn that comedian's whole career down or whatever.
Right. Which is not what you see on the left. Right. You know, it's funny, the stereotype of Christians is that we're the kind of 1950s footy dudies that can't laugh at anything. We're the guys who are sitting in the corner at the party and like, you know, all you guys are having too much fun and shame. Yeah. <laugh> and now it seems to me that the secular secular left has become so zealously religious about their beliefs. So blindly religious, that they're now the ones who take themselves so seriously stoic well, and that makes a great trust. It makes a great target for a joke. Like that's why, that's why Hollywood's beat Christians up for five decades. That is true because we were so serious. You know, now it's like, it feels like the church has lightened up and been able to laugh at our, we've been the butt of so many jokes. We're able to laugh at ourselves. Good point. The left wants to tear you down when you, when you make fun of them as we've seen it.
Yeah. And they don't know what to do with you guys. Right. They really don't. I don't know who it is. Maybe, you know, but some famous Meur out there, uh, said that progressives or left this camp meme. Yeah. And, you know, it's so true because, um, you've gotta be able to see things in life, in such a way, the congregation that I pastor over, um, they, they know me and I've, and I disclose it to them that, um, that for me, I see things in cartoon fashion. And for me, people think I have a profound memory. I don't, it's just that what I see, I see everything very technical and I see things almost with captions over people's heads. And for that, I'm able to remember a situation or somebody that I've met or their name, but in many ways, it's able, it enables me to cope with what's going on as a pastor. I'm not a remote pastor. I'm here, hands on. I meet with people who are dying or their child has just been told that there's some gender type, whatever, and the parents are coping. And for me to be able to deal with that, um, I've got to be able to see this situation in, in a, in an area of hope. And a lot of people don't equate humor with hope, but there's a great connection.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, um, G Jerin wrote a famous essay. Um, well famous for JKH Chesterton. Exactly. That was, uh, it was called, uh, on, on, I think it's called on chasing after one's hat or on running after one's hat. And he made this point that when, you know, you've faced some hardship in your life, whether it's large or small, and he uses the example of a distinguished gentleman whose hat blows off his head, and now he's frustrated in his whole day's ruined cuz he has to chase his hat down and be an idiot, you know, on the street running, as everybody's laughing at him, looking
A fool, he looks like a fool. And he says that we should enjoy being the butt of the joke we should enjoy, you know, see yourself as the star of a sitcom, not, not the star of this great drama, you know, and you'll enjoy your life. You'll be much more content in life.
Why can't we, why can't we Kyle, enjoy humor at our expense. What's wrong with this? Look, I'm old enough to be your dad. I remember in America that laughed at itself. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I grew up in an era where, when we did something, uh, it could be a laughed at and made fun of, there were, there was something in my day when I was a kid that it was like the Dean Martin roast. You can watch the, maybe on YouTube being Crosby, Bob hope. I mean, they're ripping into these guys that are on the platform and they're all laughing. I mean, somebody's, somebody's making fun of Ronald Reagan, the president or the governor at the time. And people are laughing including Reagan and now you'll get sued for that kind of stuff what's happened.
Yeah. You know, it feels to me like in order, the power of comedy is a uniting power, right. That when you do find normal people, whether on the left or the right, and there are some people on the left who are kind of at least normal, or at least, you know, as the over 10 windows shift,
Fewer number, well as the over 10 window shifts, you still have some people that are kind of finding themselves left behind by the democratic party as it goes crazier and crazier. But when you can find that common ground, that's what humor helps us do is it helps us to all kind of come together and laugh at each other, you know? And growing up with groups of friends, you'd make fun of each other for this or that. That's right. And you never saw it as you know, oh, this guy said this, cancel him. Don't
You never cried about it.
You never cried about it. And I mean, I think the other side of it as like I was saying before, the secondary left takes themselves so seriously that they can't laugh at themselves. Um, and also, and that's just a difference in worldview because what, what, what they, what they see is that their, their political beliefs are salvation. Right? Cause they don't have an idea of God. They don't have an idea that there's a hope in the future and all this political stuff that we're fighting over while there's important battles, you know, Christ reigns over history. We're gonna get there like right. We know the ends. That's we know the end of the story. We read the book, we can laugh about it, this right. The ins and outs of, of, of what's going on. Whereas if they think that their political philosophy will bring heaven on earth, right. Will bring salvation to mankind. Yeah. Then if you were laughing at it, it's like laughing at their religion.
Yeah. You're exactly yourself scoffing and mocking them and right. They can't cope with us. Right. They can't cope with that. Um, do you guys have like an arch enemy number one type of a, is it a group or is it a person that just can't handle you guys? They actually maybe even campaign against you somehow <laugh> or, or is that just a federal government? <laugh>
Well, yeah, I mean, right now it's a massive like Alliance against us, uh, you know, big tech collusion against us. Um, we've had everyone come after us from CNN to the fact checkers, to Twitter, to Facebook, to the New York times. Um, we had an X, CIA agent that was coming after us on Twitter saying that we were far right. Disinformation disguised as satire. Um, it, it it's like this. Wow. <laugh> that would be brilliant. <laugh>, you know, I don't know about the whole deep state conspiracy theories or whatever, but it feels like there is this thing, you know, that, uh, I don't know if that's a spiritual battle or, or what that is, but it, it, there is this Alliance against us, you know, and, and it is, we are treated completely differently than other, you know, if satire sites that are on the left or comedians that are on the left, we get fact checked constantly, you know? And they'll say that we're, uh,
Help me. <laugh> we're talking satire hearing, and yet fact checked. How does that POS give me an example, how does that possibly work out? The last thing I'd ever expect is that for the fact checkers who need fact checking are fact checking you guys.
Yeah. Yeah. Constantly like, I, I, I think we might have 40 or 50 different joke fact checks out there. And, um, and what's concerning about that. Isn't, you know, it is funny to me, like we did a joke saying that Ocasio Cortez went on the prices right. And guessed that everything is free and <laugh> the,
The see, and there's, that's, that's great.
And there's a fact check of it on snows, you know? But, and it, to me, it makes the joke funnier
Actually. Oh my gosh.
<laugh> did you think that actually happened? Cause
I was, no, my point is I'm, I'm ified <laugh> as to how bad it is that they can't laugh. Right.
That they like that's funny. Right. I mean, regardless, regardless of what side you
Come from, you know, AOC had to have laughed at that. Yeah.
I would hope so. Right.
But, but to think that somebody got their, their nickers in a wa over that is both extremely funny and horrifically tragic at the same time.
It is funny. Cuz if you Google that joke, the first result is snows and it says, did Ocasio Cortes really go? The price is right. And guess that everything is free false, you know? And then there's a thousand word debunking of the, which
They make it, they make you, you
Know, it says something about the target of this sat tower. If you can't tell that that that's false immediately, right. On the right on its face. But the concerning thing about it, it does make us laugh. But the concerning thing about it is that there's this kind of big tech cabal, where if a fact checker labels you as false now Facebook rates you as an unreliable news source. So now your links start to get suppressed on Facebook, you know, and then Twitter and Facebook are talking and then they start to suppress you. And we're banned from Twitter right now,
Too. So, so because, okay, I'm trying to follow this, help me out. Cause I'm it's, this is not my world, but if they ban you guys or label you guys as disinformation or false information, yet you're a satire organization, a comedic product that they've actually put you guys in the realm of opposition politically, you are, you are political opposition.
Well, you know, and they, they don't say that outright. No they don't. But what they say is this is a disinformation side or a, you know, this side is, is, is, is confusing people. So it's rated down in the, in the metrics or
Because it's satire.
Well, yeah, but they don't really kind of acknowledge that it's sattire, it's like false fact check false. They made a false statement. You know, I, the very first one we did, we, we had one of our river's first fact checks was we said that CNN purchased an industrial washing machine to spin the news in.
And I, I remember reading that
Facebook tried to take us off their platform de monetize de platform us, cuz that was false because
CNN didn't really buy a washing
Machine because they didn't. Well, as far as we know, they didn't that didn't actually happen.
Believe I'm sorry. Let me again, I'm stupid. Now I'm asking you, was that a real human that decided that to, to critique you guys like that? Or are those bots, what is that?
So this, the way that we think it works is that there's a real human at snots or the different fact checking sites who decides we're gonna fact check this one. And then Facebook has an algorithm that feeds any fact check from snots and it grabs it on their sites, says, all right, this one is labeled as false. You're you get dinged for sharing a false story. And you know, they do that with USA today. They do that with AP fact checkers. They do that with SNO. So we've gotten fact checked many times on different topics. Uh, and so now we have a very low rating in the system. <laugh>, we're a purveyor of, of false information.
Has it hurt you guys at all that oh, the technology side of it.
Yeah, absolutely. We get completely suppressed on Facebook. You know, any link you share at Balon, be.com your friends probably won't see. Um, we went from getting, you know, uh, we'd post a joke that would get 50,000 shares, a hundred thousand shares on Facebook to links that get 10 shares, you know, that's the level of,
And it's so obvious that, I mean, that's quite obvious even in our sermons, we'll, I'm not known to be politically correct. And it's, it is you, you know, I'll look and see three days later where a, a, a, a message will have, you know, normally a hundred thousand something, 200,000 views, and it's got 57,000 or, or even, or just 10,000, something's up. Yeah, something's up. But, um, what about, um, and, and we're kind of going into areas that are kind of yet maybe, uh, not announced or fully announced, but, um, we've been told on our end regarding religious content, that there is some sort of hope coming, uh, part of this truth, social, uh, team. We've heard that there's going to be things coming where we'll be able to, uh, actually speak and preach and do what we do. Uncensored. Um, have you heard anything about that as well? Is there anything that you might be able to say that, uh, there, there is a fair game coming to town?
Well, I'll say that there, there is some hope from different angles and I don't know exactly how everything's gonna gonna shake out in the end, but, um, obviously we have all these alternative social sites that are coming out and that's a positive thing. It's good to, to be able to put your content on 20 different platforms instead of just the two big guys. Yeah. True. At the same time, a lot of those smaller sites, they're not gonna drive the same amount of traffic. You're not gonna be reaching the same audience. Right. It kind of puts you in this echo chamber where you're not reaching the people that you're trying to reach. You know, a Babylon B article that goes viral on Facebook is gonna get us a lot more traffic, a lot more exposure, a lot more Tucker Carlson appearances than something that does well on parlor or on treat social or these different sites.
Um, obviously with, with things like, like Elon Musk, putting in his offer to buy Twitter, it seems like there is this, even within the big tech companies, there is this pushback. Um, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, we even saw it with Netflix. The Netflix was telling its employees to, you know, if, if, if we're gonna make nonw content, you just have to deal with it or quit, you know? <laugh>. Yeah. So you're seeing a lot of these guys that made this bed that they have to lie in now, starting to say, wait a minute, you know, we're gonna be in trouble. And you saw it with Twitter, with Elon Musk, they're having to clean up their act because they're realizing now that they're doing things that aren't good for business, just, um, just because they wanna push their woke ideology and agendas. So I've been encouraged by some of the developments that we've seen. Wow. In that area. Yeah. Yeah.
Something's gotta happen.
Something's gonna give, I mean, something has to, people are, people are waking up and rebelling against it.
Absolutely. Gosh, I laughed, uh, you guys something to the effect where Elon Musk was buying Twitter, but he woke up Brad. He woke up the next morning and there's like 300 and 138,000 board member votes that had been counted during the night. And that's right. Yes. You know, that, just that kind of stuff. Just, you know, everybody who's watching the news from either spectrum has gotta just say, oh, that is funny. So your Christmas stuff, what's, what's your, what's your favorite? Do you have a genre? Do you have a season or for you? Is it just each day?
Um, so a lot of our processes definitely like waking up in the morning, looking at the news, how can we make fun of this? You know, and you want, you, you know, we are there to communicate truth. We are there to, to, um, you know, deliver a message that we wanna deliver. But at the same time, um, a lot of the problem with a lot of Christian or conservative content in the past has been that they put the message first in such a bla and an obvious way that, you know, the comedy suffers or the creativity suffers. Right. So we definitely try to do a comedy first approach or humor first approach, where if it's not funny, it's not gonna get published. It doesn't matter how good your point is. You know, if you're just, if this is just an op-ed in disguise, then any number of websites could do that.
Tons of those. We'd rather be funny, you know? Um, I mean, for me personally, I love, I love doing the classic Christian jokes and church humor jokes, cuz that's my wheelhouse, that's my world. I making jokes about your own is always my favorite.
You know, and some people will get upset and say, why do you make fun of Christian so much? I'm like, cause we love. Cause we love Christian.
That's why <laugh>. Yeah. Well and you know what, and it, and it makes it, it makes the Christian audience that's viewing or, or reading your content. It makes them stop and look on the inside to ask, is that true? Right. Is that really happening? I mean, honestly you, you mentioned or did you mention, or did we talk about it before going on, on the air about um, yeah. You just did about the holy spirit, the fog machine. Yeah. Right, right. <laugh> that kind of stuff. I mean, truly it's like, oh, that's funny. Because look in Christian ministry, we could get so caught up in the lighting and in the fog and in the stuff that we forget to stop and ask God to bless the service.
Yeah. You guys have a disappointing lack of fog here on this set. Um,
I've noticed this if
We've pretty tragic, if
We all, if we were only sensitive to the holy spirit, <laugh> we would've had his fog here. Well, just the right amount of fog so he could move <laugh>
Well, that's the good, that's the kind of prophetic or cutting edge of satires that it makes you laugh. And then it makes you think, uh, GK Chesterton once said that, uh, humor can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle. Wow. And that's like so accurate, you know, I, if you read an article that says like, you know, 10 things you should be doing differently in your worship services, you know, you might already be on guard or like, what are they saying is wrong with my worship services. I love it. You know, but if you're at a joke that's just lighthearted making fun of, uh, kind of something that we do in worship services. Right. Then people are willing to laugh at it and then think, oh, maybe there's something, maybe we are swinging too far that way or that way. Right. Whatever.
So take us, uh, into the, the day in the life of being at the, at the be what, what happens.
Yeah. I mean, it's a super fun group of guys, you know, I, well, and that's, that's the funny thing about all the fact checks and the, and the censorship and, you know, one of the things that New York times said was that we are a, um, we are far right. Misinformation source, um, disguised as humor disguised as satire, which similar to what the CIA agent guy said. Um, and it couldn't be further from the truth because when you juxtapose that against what we do day to day, you know, we're guys that are sitting around in a circle in a very small office, which we're about to get a bigger one, but we're sitting around in a very small office, just looking at each other like, well, what do you got today? What's funny, you know, what's making you laugh, you know, and, and we're making each other laugh, we're cracking jokes, jokes. Um, and, and just looking for the ones that float to the surface, you know, and this kinda, my job is the editor is to like, you know, filter stuff out, you know, that's really funny, but we would get in trouble for telling that joke, you know, Calv chapel would be mad at us for telling that joke. So don't do that one. There's
Got, oh, no, tell it.
Tell it please. It's gotta be, um, I mean, do you guys ever sitting around that circle, do you ever just say, you know what, that was such a bad, I don't don't even, don't even try to come up with something like that again.
Well, I think a good rule for writing comedy and, and creativity is having your, having your, uh, space where you pitch your ideas, having that be a safe space
And they can, yeah.
And I know we hate the terms. No, I
Know what you mean, but, but you sh you're right. It should be like that.
You're not gonna get canceled or lose your career over a bad pitch or a pitch that's too far. Uh, let it loose, you know, right on you can't write, you can't write creativity. You can't write comedy from a place.
You mean first amendment kind of stuff
For, right. Exactly. Wow. You can't write it from a place of fear. You have to write it from a place of boldness or just being true to what you're, what you're feeling, you know, and has. And that's, I mean, good comedy. What does everybody always say? Like that joke is so true, you know? Uh mm-hmm <affirmative> and that's why it's because you're writing something that's true yourself. If you're, if you're writing something just to please an audience or you're writing it because you're afraid, oh, we can't go too far this way or that way, then it's not, it's you're gonna lose your edge. And at the same time as the editor I have to, then I, I think there is a place for filtering and saying, does that go over the line this way or that way? And that's the editorial process. So that's more, I've got the pitches collected and then I'm kind of filtering through or editing things, uh, you know, trimming off edges to, to kind of get what we want.
Um, we also shoot a lot of videos. Now we're doing a lot of sketch comedy on YouTube mm-hmm <affirmative> and elsewhere. And, um, and we're doing podcasts and all that. So then, so a good chunk of our week is writing stuff for that. And, and that's, that's my favorite is sitting down and writing a sketch. You know, we, we sit down and write an idea really. And it's, you know, if you ever sat around with your friends and joked around, I mean, that's the, that's what the feel is for writing a sketch, cuz you're all throwing jokes in and ideas and wow. A lot of fun.
I was completely blown away. Cutoffs, cutoffs, uh, surprise. Just shocked actually to see that you guys had interviewed Elon Musk. I can't imagine how that even came together. <laugh> uh, I would, I would, first of all, have to assume that he's a fan, which is an incredible honor to have Musk as a fan, but to get him into your right, I assume you got him into your offices,
We actually flew out to a studio and had him meet us there, uh, kind of closer to him. So it was, it, it was a whirlwind. It was incredible. Yeah. He, he, he had interacted with our content, um, on Twitter and such before where he'd replied to a joke or laugh at a joke, share Balon B joke, that kind of stuff. So we knew that he was a fan. Um, but you know, our podcast, we, we typically am able interview pastors or, uh, you know, apologies. Sure. And just, you know, we, we kind of, we kind of stay mostly in the Christian sphere or comedian, stuff like that. And so, uh, Elon Musk was definitely out of our league for an interview. And, um, <laugh> we had a, we had an assistant podcast producer who kind of without, um, without really running it by anyone just started DMing people on Twitter, asking if people would come on her podcast, you know?
And, uh, and he kind of calls me in a frantically, you know, Kyle Elon Musk just replied to our Twitter DM, what do I do? You know, <laugh>. And so he basically replied and said, uh, you know, fly out tomorrow and we'll do the interview. And, you know, just let me know where to meet you guys, get a studio and let me know where to meet you guys. And so it was that quick. Um, and we did it, it was out, it was out two days later, you know, we had our, our podcast production team was working nonstop for 48 hours to, to do the postproduction on that and get it out on the, on the YouTube channel. And it was just, it was awesome. Just quite an incredible thing.
How did you, how did you find him to be, you know, everybody asked that question. Everybody wants to know what's he like when the, when the mic's off and the lights
Are off. Oh, was great. I mean, he, he was such a cool person that he came in and sat down and, you know, we were all very nervous, obviously, you know, like this is the, the biggest interview that we'll ever do.
I mean, it's yeah, it's,
We didn't feel worthy or deserving to be doing this, you know, like just there's other better qualified interviewers that could be doing this <laugh> and we sat down and, uh, and he just sat down. He almost started interviewing us. Like he just sat down, like I love the Balon be, how did you guys get started? And, you know, he was just asking us questions and we're just kind of caught off guard trying to answer 'em. And then we kind of just flowed into the interview and it was very, it was almost very informal and he just, we just let him talk and such an interesting guy, um, obviously very intelligent. Yeah. And, um, and just a wide range of topics from humor and cancer culture and comedy to, uh, you know, we were ask, asked him a very technical question about his rockets and he went off for 10 minutes about it. And <laugh>
About his toys
Rockets. Yeah. Right, right,
Right. It's amazing.
Yeah. It was quite a cool thing. And then he, and then he was gracious enough to hang out with us for another hour or so after the, after the cameras were off and, and just, just wanted to talk about the BMB and, and him and, and the way the culture's going. And it was very cool, you know, we wish we left the cameras on <laugh>. Well,
Exactly. Isn't that true? So just personally, what, what do you think, um, he's south African, right?
Yeah. But he lives here obviously now, I guess.
Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, um, so where do you think he's at? Uh, is he moving more center or right, or where's he at, in his world view of, I mean, I mean, I was gonna say poor guy, unfortunate guy in the sense that he's, you know, he was there darling, the leftist darling for a long time. And then now he's asked people to use their own minds and think, and they hate him now. Yeah.
Well, I mean, I think it's a little bit of both. He, like, he's probably, you know, I can't speak for him necessarily obviously, but, um, he's probably moving slightly, right. While Democrats are moving incredibly left. And so both of that makes it look like he's going far. Right. Or what everybody's,
A good point. You know, it's the same thing with bill ma if you watch him now, you know, bill ma will go on there and say things that sound like it's just normal things that people believed five years ago makes him seem like a far right. Nazi or whatever. <laugh>, you know, that's like how bill ma anyway, you know, that's the stuff that the left will accuse him of, you know, being this far right. Guy now. And he's like, I'm just saying that boys are boys and girls or girls like <laugh>. Right, right. Um, so there's probably some of that Overton window shifting with, um, with Musk. Yeah. Um, I think he, he is probably a classical liberal, um, you know, just that he does value free speech. That seems to be one of his big rally and cries is free speech and freedom and right. Um, and that puts him on odds with Democrats nowadays, sadly. That's
Right. So you being the editor in chief, you've gotta know funny when you see funny. Yeah. Right. So it's not just a title for you, you know, what you're doing? Is this something that you, that you just, all your life, it's the way that God wired you, that you saw things funny? Is it something where there was a click, maybe you, was it a movie? Was it, was it a, was it an event where something just got the sparks and wheels flying?
Yeah, my, you know, I always say, I, I don't know if I was that funny growing up or whatever, but my, my family always says, oh yeah, you were the, like, you were the clown of the family. Like, don't you realize
You the entertainer, the
Clash clown. But I think I was, I always had a dry sense of humor. Like, I, I didn't, I wasn't the, over the top, like, oh, I'm the guy who's gonna throw a pie in his face or whatever. It was more dry commentary or, or just that rye witiness. So I love, I love all the old Christopher guest documentaries, like the spinal tap and mind, wind and best in show, you know, those are the ones show. Those are the ones that speak to me, you know, because it is, you're finding this little subculture and you're doing this very dry. Is this, is this real? Is this a joke? I don't know what this is when you first watched those, those movies. So I've always loved that kind of humor. Um, and that obviously fits very well balony so yeah, when I saw the Babylon posted on my, on my Facebook feed, the first day it launched, I, I looked at it and I, this is it. This is what I want to do. You know, <laugh> I told my wife, I had, we had just moved into a new house and I was still working at the old sales job. And I said, I want to do this writing thing. Full-time if, if it ever happens. Right. You know, and she's, she's been very supportive, you know, she's like, well, if you wanna quit and do it, do it. But she, in the back of her mind was always like, how is this writing ever gonna make money? Like writing these Christian jokes? You can
Do all, you want just pay the mortgage
As long as you that's right. Bills. And God's been gracious in that area. So <laugh>,
What are the, what are the setback? What makes it, what, what makes it a hard day for you? What's a hard day.
Well, I mean, any, I, I find that as humans, we can always find misery in any situation, no matter how good, you know, <laugh> like, it's so it's so tempting to, to be discontent with your life. You know, if you're, if you're a cashier or, or yeah. You know, a sales guy or, or banker or whatever, you're, you can always find something that makes you, uh, depressed about your job. That's true. You know, um, I mean, for us, it's the, the worst is the, um, uh, not being able to find the joke, not being able to find the right, you know, angle the right thing. Um, with comedy on the internet, it's especially difficult because you're not a standup comic where you can get that instant feedback
And it fuels you. And, you know, you say something and you hear everybody laugh and you're like, okay, good. I'm I'm on the right track, you know? Right. So when I do, when I do, um, like a speech, uh, somewhere when I go give a presentation and read some Babylon bee headlines, you get that, like the crowd is, the crowd loves it, you know? And you can get that instant feedback on, on the internet. It's difficult. Cause you don't get to, you don't get that instant feedback. You know, maybe you get some likes or comments or shares and then, but that's so mechanical. It's just numbers. It doesn't really, it doesn't show you the person who's texting it to their friend. And the, the group texts that go around. Everybody tells me about where they're sharing about WMB articles.
That's exactly what happens here. Yeah.
You don't see the pastors on Sunday who show a, about B headline at their congregation. Like you don't get all that feedback. All you see is that number. So when there's things like suppression on Facebook or suppression on Twitter or whatever, you know, you're not getting that feedback. You're like, oh, we're not getting the shares we want, you know, that can make you go. Ah, we're really not funny. You know? So for six years I've been saying, I'm not funny. I don't have any more jokes. And uh <laugh> and then the next day you always, you always are hit with something to
So like, um, like I've heard that comedians go through certainly pro athletes go through a slump. Sure. Um, how, how would you get out of a slump? Yeah. If that's
True. I mean, I, I think like I was talking about Chesterton earlier with the chasing your hat thing. That's something that we constantly quote around the office, you know, if there's a day where, ah, there's no jokes coming together or this, you know, we say, well, it's just a chasing your hat day. We're just, we can be the idiots today. And we don't always have to be the ones who are clever. And um, so I think we have to keep that on mind and I have to constantly slap myself and remind yeah. Uh, uh, uh, you know, not literally, but I, I have to constantly slap myself and remind myself, like you tell jokes on the internet for a living. You've got it easy. You know, it's, it's the Israeli lights in the desert, you know, when they get, they get rescued from Faroh and then it's like, oh, we should have gone back there.
You know, I'm like, I always have to remember like, oh, well you were sitting at a sales job working 80, 80 hours with hat in your life, you know, five, four or five years ago. So, uh, that's so true. You have to try to be content in that and remember, keep things in perspective. I mean, even where we are in human history, just that, you know, we wrote a Babylon headline once that was like, you know, I'm bored. It says kid who has more things than royalty had a hundred years ago, you know, and there's a kid sitting there with there's all these video game consoles and you know, but that's me too, is like, I sit there and go, oh, you know, life is hard. And I'm like, well, you know, a hundred years ago, I would've been farming my own food and <laugh>
Right. It's so hard to, to, or it's so easy to forget, like where we are in human history and how content that should make us. Right. You
Know, do you see funny in, in just things naturally though? I mean, um, like you guys have to sit down in an office so to speak and put things together, but are you not just because it's such a part of who we are as, as created an, the image of, of God that aren't, you just kind of always on the funny note, so to speak, not, not being funny, cuz that could be obnoxious. Sure. But what I'm saying is like, um, you just saw that, you know, yesterday I saw a squirrel fall out of a tree. I thought that was <laugh> incredibly hilarious. Especially when the Squire was okay then it was even more funny. But um, you know, those kinds of things are, you just does, do you see things cuz a hundred people can look at something, but you look at the exact same thing I would assume. And you see it just a little
Yeah. Different. Well, my wife's constantly having to hit the back of my head cuz I'm writing headlines in church, you know like I'm watching what's happen. Me's down that's and uh, we're going, that is great. We're going to a Calver choppa right now. So there's a ton of context.
Great context. Yeah. At a cavalry, lots of stuff to make
Fun of. Yeah. So you have, but, but I think that's a good, that's a good habit to cultivate for anybody, not the writing during church, but the finding your <laugh> finding you, you're taking notes, taking notes. That's what it is. Yeah. Of course you are in my own way.
That's right. That's right. Um, did, did you see, you had kids?
Yeah. Yeah. Three boys.
Yeah. They're 13, 11 and oh actually 12 one just turned 12, 13, 12, and six.
What? Uh, with the older ones anyway, what, uh, what becomes with their friends when they say are they find out? My dad writes for the Babylon.
Yeah. Yeah. My, my, um, my eldest is very embarrassed because he's a shy kid and uh, oh I, I go to pick him up at, at the junior high and uh, and all his friends know the Balon B and they're like, I watched your show today. I watched your podcast, you know, you know, so he go to a Christian school, so they're all, they're all in on it. My middle son more likes it. It's his claim to fame. So there you go. Um, yeah. <laugh>,
Isn't that something? Yeah. That's awesome. So you personally, um, what's been your faith journey with, with Jesus. How did this happen to you? Where, where did that all begin?
Yeah, I, uh, I grew up in a Christian home, um, up here at PFB, you know, a purpose church now, uh, for, um, for the first 18 years I went there my life and then, uh, it was, I got baptized in for my freshman year of high school there. And, uh, that was kind of the moment that I, you know, I had grown up in the church and it's so easy in the church to find, um, to, to kind of become that self-righteous guy. Who's, you know, I was the guy with all the Awana trophies and very, very proud of myself, you know? <laugh> wow. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that was when I realized, you know, um, I dunno, lot of people, a lot of people that, that come to faith later in life have to repent of all the worlds and move, you know, to the church.
I felt like in a lot of ways I had to repent from the idols in the church. Mm. You know, to find Christ. Sure. Yeah. I see that. You know? Um, and, and so that was, that was kind of the journey where I, where I came to know the Lord. And then, um, and then from there it was just growth and Bible study. I, I had a great youth pastor who, who taught the word of God. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> very strongly from the pulpit and the youth in the youth center there. And, uh, uh, so I really learned to love the Bible, um, and take it seriously in a, like, that was the first time I had heard like real hardcore, like through, uh, through the books of the Bible exposition preaching, being able to hear like, like we're gonna preach through the book of Galatians. Yes. Was like this. Wow. This is, uh, yeah, this is incredible, you know, and I got to hear that, um, for the first time so that, you know, and then I, I, I bounced around at various different churches. Like I said, that gives a lot of material for the Babylon B you know, doing different church plants and different denominations through the years. And it gives you a lot of material. <laugh>,
It's incredible. It's so good. Um, this is one reporter's opinion is that as I look at what you put out, being a pastor and in the word, I'm always encouraged by how, um, how solid you guys are in your humor. And I don't mean solid, like, um, not funny, I mean, solid, funny where, what you're talking about is a biblical issue or truth that has its answer. And, and we, the believers can tell when we're reading it or saying it, this guy knows what he is talking about these guys know. And, uh, you know, I've never gone on the Babylon be to, you know, Wikipedia. You guys are to see what your statement of faith is. If it's out there, it comes across, it's clear God's using it. It's remarkable. Um, we love it. Um, in the closing moments, um, what do you see the future of the Babylon B becoming?
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. We, we've had a lot of irons in the fire for a lot of years. Um, you know, it's a, it's a small, but growing company where we're in this kind of act two, if you will, of, of the company growth phase now where it's like, you're, you're moving from, you know, a couple guys in a garage to, you know, now we have people that are working on, I mean, you wouldn't believe the Babylon B you know, if I told you that two or three years ago, uh, I was the only employee, you know, and we were <laugh>, we were still, you know, we had other writers that were contributing part-time or throwing in headlines or whatever, but, but, um, if there were on a given day, we might have published eight articles and I might have pitched written and photoshopped every single one, you know, like that was a, and so now we're kind of getting to a more sustainable level where we have Photoshops that I can go to if we have people that are writing articles that I can go to, I have a great managing editor that can run some of the day to day.
Um, so that's kind of the, that's kind of the, uh, trajectory is like, we're, we're building this out. And, um, we've looked at a lot of things like film projects and TV projects. Um, our video content on YouTube has been taken off, uh, being able to turn a lot of the Babylon B style headlines into a, into a full on sketch, you know, three or four minutes of, of really building out that joke. It's been a lot of fun. We're looking at what it would mean to do something like Saturday night night live from the perspective of the Babylon B incredible, um, you know, ways that we can impact culture. We say that the Babylon B speaks truth to a culture that no longer believes in truth. Mm. And we're just looking for ways to do that different formats. How do we go where the culture is and bring that message in a way that humor first, and then that message comes and punches people right afterwards.
Wow. What you just said is a modern day version of the whole concept of a parable,
A parable, a parabolic teaching is ancient, and it is something that theologians understand that it's God that invented parabolic teaching. When we read about the parables in the Bible, there's, they're not only localized to Jesus there's parables in the old Testament, but when Jesus taught a parable, that's what we see often recorded. What we don't realize is that in the Jewish way of preaching and teaching, the teacher had been teaching for an hour or two in this case, rabbi teacher Jesus. And when he delivers the parable, it is taking the message that he just gave you. And they put a bow on it with a memorable, colorful description. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so parabolic is para alongside cast to cast truth alongside your head. And that's exactly what you guys are doing. You were wrapping up truth to be dropped alongside ahead that wouldn't normally even consider it because it's that satire funny. It's extremely effective, obviously, which is why you guys are being so, uh, uh, attacked because that's evidence of your effectiveness. And yet at the same time, we don't want you guys to ever get right. So serious about your success. We, we want you guys to keep doing what, what, what you're doing. Uh, you guys are an incredible form of release for us, and we love it. And the world loves it.
One of the things Babylon B's been doing a lot of is, is books. We have, um, the sacred text of the Babylon be, which is our best of collection. That's awesome and beautiful. And it looks like a giant Bible on your show. Um, we have a, uh, we have the Babylon B guide to wokeness where we destroy wokeness in all of its forms. We have how to be a perfect Christian, where we might cult, uh, church culture. And then me and the managing editor of the Babylon B Joel Barry just, uh, have had a novel that's, uh, coming out on June 7th. I don't know when this airs, but yeah. And it's, uh, it's called the postmodern pilgrims progress. Um, and we take John bunion classic pilgrims progress, of course, put a sci-fi and a humor twist into it. And we have a kind of a, uh, a guy who's a little bit of an agnostic doesn't really know what's going on.
And he kind of goes through this journey where he, he meets God through these encounters of woke people and, uh, you know, people in the, you know, charlatans in the church and this and that. And, and, uh, so we, we took that structure that bunion did so well of, you know, Mr. Worldly wise, man, and yes. And, uh, and all these characters that we all encounter. And you'll, you'll read the book and look at the people and go, I know that guy at church, or I know that guy yeah. In the world. And gosh, that's great. So that's been a lot of fun and the response has been, has been great from people who, who have taken a look so
Far. Fantastic. So sometime around June 7th, ish
Is June 7th is the release.
Yeah. Is the release mm-hmm, <affirmative> gonna be available. Amazon, everyone,
Amazon and, and non woke places as well. Exactly. <laugh>
Is, uh, Salem books.
Fantastic. Yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative> well, listen, Kyle, keep it up. Don't stop. We love you guys. And, uh, we so appreciate you taking the time to be with us and we actually wanted you to be here, um, just so that we could get near closer to the Babylon B. So thank you brother. Thanks
A lot. I
Appreciate it. Good. Bless you. Our pleasure.
This Jack Hibbs podcast, as well as all the broadcast outreach opportunities are listener supported. Will you consider partnering with us through a special gift? Go to Jack hibbs.com to learn more and stay connected.