The Bible list joy as one part of the fruit of the Spirit. And while not all joy leads to laughter, you often find laughing where there is joy. And I enjoy laughing, especially at the silly parts of life. Good, clean, and funny entertainment is hard to find today. But one of the best sources of laughter I have discovered over the past year is from comedian Nate Bargatze .
Keep It Clean
To be clear, Nate is not a “Christian comic.” His subject matter is not about the church, a congregation, or Christians. If anything, you would be able to label Nate as a Christian who is a very successful comedian. He has committed to being a clean comic, which is rare in the comedy scene and today’s media. His style is often self-deprecating (sorry, Nate, if you have to read that one) or a clever take (rant?) on everyday life. For example, he shares how his name caused an airport security mishap. Nathaniel, or Nathan, or as he is known to his friends and fans, Nate, was too much for an agent worried about the names not matching. I should probably let him tell that one!
His comedy specials on Netflix and, most recently, on Amazon Prime are safe for the whole family to sit down and watch. Clean, funny, and full of moments where you can laugh out loud and find joy. And without any guilt. No language or laughing at other people’s expense. But I will say comedy is subjective. His style may not be for you, but you can find plenty of clips on his youtube channel. Take a moment to listen and decide for yourself. (You are welcome!)
Nate, who put in the work, starting in Chicago, moving to New York, and then to California, is not satisfied with being a comedian. He landed back in his home state of Tenessee, and he started a podcast partly as a response to Covid closing so many shows and venues. He humbly named it Nateland. It is a comedy podcast where Nate’s friends (also comedians) gather and talk about nothing and everything. The podcast is informational. Much in the same way, Saturday morning cartoons of the 80s tacked on PSA-type content to be deemed “educational.” The podcast cast has undergone some changes but has regularly settled on having Brian Bates, Aaron Weber, and Dusty Slay.
The podcast is funny and worth the listen. But I think the vision behind what Nate is building is even more impressive. Nate is creating a community that supports clean comics. He is using his success to build this community, and fans of clean comedy should rejoice. Nate probably does not see it in such grand terms, but he is making a legacy.
Anger, resentment, criticism, and doom fill my screens daily. My soul craves moments of joy and rests from the chaotic rhythms of this world. As Christians, we must be careful about what media we consume. I am excited to have stumbled across Nate’s comedy and the Nateland podcast. And I hope that after reading this, you might find joy and laughter in the community Nate is building. If you do, send Nate and crew a hearty “hello folks” and “hey bear” from me.