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 Comedy Unleashed / YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) — It has been ten months since Nicholas De Santo’s anti-abortion comedy routine was posted on YouTube. With this world-first set now passing a million views, the U.K.-based Italian-Iranian comic spoke exclusively to LifeSiteNews about his unusual path to bringing pro-life laughs to a global audience.  

De Santo laughingly says of himself that “if the proverbial bus hits me, at least I can say I was the best pro-life comedian you’ve ever seen.” The joke here, of course, is that he is the only one.  

He described his comedy as a sort of “duty… to satirist the injustice of a repressive political system – the Godless religion of the woke Left.”

Making waves 

With a title like “Nazis Killed Fewer Babies Than You,” it is not surprising that his pioneering act has already attracted some serious attention. As Grayson Quay of Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller put it, De Santo goes where the supposed “rule-breakers” of mainstream comedy won’t.  

“Others are willing to flirt with pro-life sentiments..[but]It’s a kind of controlled opposition” Quay wrote, in a June 2023 piece for the American Mind. 

Quay’s article stresses how self-styled “transgressive” comedians will always return to the pro-abortion baseline. 

Not so in the case of De Santo, who notes in his routine that “in Nazi Germany, they eradicated undesirables for the glory of the Fatherland and the advancement of the Aryan race.” In the West, we do it because a baby “would be a burden on Karen from accounting.” 

Fearless for a reason 

De Santo is a comedian who will go where all others fear to tread. His background, including a childhood in Iran and then surrounded by Italian communists has sharpened his satirical eye. A former World Service journalist, his twelve year career with the BBC came to an end in the middle of lockdown. The reason? The BBC could not take his jokes. 

The BBC discovered his YouTube channel, he said, which at the time had about seven thousand subscribers. Despite his limited audience, De Santo was warned his “outside activities” could be “deemed harmful to the reputation of the BBC.” So began a process which would end one career, and begin another.  

“I served a three month suspension in 2020, right when you could not leave the house” De Santo told LifeSite. “Following three disciplinary hearings I was given a written warning. I decided to resign at that point, and continue my comedy.” 

There was “no doubt,” he explained, “that if my comedy was left-wing – it would not have been a problem.”

Why then did De Santo continue – given that his interest in stand-up had destroyed his professional life? 

“Without being pretentious – I see my comedy as my duty,” he says, with genuine diffidence.  

A sane man in an insane world 

Married, with two daughters baptized into the Catholic faith, he sees the Christian tradition of the West as something in need of defending. Echoes of his past inform his stage presence.  

“There is a kind of mentality that produces weakness, that teaches the children in the West to be feeble and guilty,” he says. This amounts to a culture which is “handing the weapons of its own destruction to its enemies.”

Antinatalism, identity politics, mass migration and the “fact you are not allowed to be anything other than what they say is good,” he thinks “is the reason they go after religion – because, as Georgia Meloni says – ‘if you have no religion and no nation then you are nothing.’” 

This, says De Santo, makes people easier to control. It is a theme which has captured his attention since the “repressive regime” of the lockdowns – which he describes as an attempt to acculture people to a complete loss of liberty, forever. These are questions which are close to his heart, given his experience of Islamic dictatorship – and of Communist doctrines. 

From one repression to another 

De Santo’s journey to stand up comedy is an extraordinary one. Born in Italy, his Iranian father took him to live in Iran when he was aged 11. Yet De Santo considered himself out of place in the Islamic Republic, and dreamed of returning to the West.  

On completing his military service, he obtained a passport and eventually returned to Europe, settling in the Bologna area. He describes a sense of disenchantment accompanying his return, however, and this not only because he now lived in “one of the most communist areas of Europe.”

Instead of the Europe of his dreams, however, he grew to adulthood alongside a creeping sense he had escaped one dictatorial regime, only to find himself in another. This is a theme which, along with his uniquely pro-life message, informs and drives his comedy to this day.  

“I feel like I must speak out about the absurdity – to speak truth to power,” he says, smiling. Luckily for us, he is genuinely funny when he does so. 

De Santo has been “happily surprised” by the reception of his pro-life set, with many positive comments appearing beneath his video. Filmed at the London venue of Comedy Unleashed, a U.K.-based free speech comedy venture, he claims the open-minded audience seems more likely to be moved by his amusing arguments. 

“Of course, all comedy should be free speech,” De Santo maintains – having suffered the usual ritual of “being canceled for the content of my set.” De Santo says he has lost bookings, had venues closed to him, and was even told he was not funny by one impresario due to his conservative outlook. To say this after seeing his act is an insult to anyone with a functioning sense of humor. 

On the matter of insult, he is careful to stress he is not in the business of giving offense simply to offend. He agrees that “offense… is often a tool of political censorship or control.” In De Santo’s view, “where they don’t have an argument, they get offended – that’s how they shut you down.”

Yet to him, simply giving routine offense is not the business of the satirist. 

“I like to offend what deserves to be offended,” he says, meaning the anti-Christian and pro-abortion trends which he says have created a culture of authoritarian repression similar to the one he left behind in Iran.  

“I struggled for a long time to return to Europe,” he says, recounting his youth. “Only to find that many people here have stopped believing in it.”

De Santo’s comedy reaches beyond his unique pro-life message to address a wider moral, political and cultural crisis in the West. 

“Many [Westerners] have sadly been brainwashed,” he observes, noting also that “the West is something of a joke to those outside it now.”

It is De Santo’s mission to keep the jokes onstage. Outside his performance, he shows a serious intelligence motivated by a deep conviction of the value of Christianity. 

“The values of the West come from Christianity. Human rights – the value of life – these are Christian ideas.”

He sees the contrast with the world offstage, which is “a reality in which the jokes write themselves.”

As a visible sense of mission glimmers in his eye, he returns to the unintentional clown show of Liberal culture. 

“Now we have children transitioning gender,” he remarks. “A culture that cannot defend itself – or its children – will perish”. 

Thanks to the efforts of Nicholas De Santo, the fightback is flourishing. If there is one thing harder than getting laughs in the defense of life, it is making comedy funny again. Nicholas De Santo has managed to do both, despite the best efforts of the enemies of laughter to cancel him.

You can watch Nicholas de Santo’s pro-life set here. His more recent set, “White Men Made Everything” is here. You can follow him on X.