Late-night shows have been put on hold amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. But one Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer is still delivering hysterical, Emmy-worthy impersonations from her Twitter account and pissing off conspiracy-spreading Republicans in the process.
“I can’t write jokes for work,” comedian Blaire Erskine tells The Daily Beast. “I have to do something to entertain myself when I’m not picketing.”
On May 24, Erskine posted a hilarious impression of Georgia’s GOP district chair—and failed gubernatorial candidate—Kandiss Taylor, lampooning her widely mocked comments about our planet during a discussion with two flat-earthers recently on her podcast.
“People want to be like, ‘If the Earth is flat, then what about night and day?’’ Erskine says in the video, nailing Taylor’s Southern twang. “I don’t know. Let me think about it. Maybe because the Earth is double-sided, and God flips us over when it’s time to go to bed and flips us back over when it’s time for us to wake up.”
Taylor’s actual comments on Jesus, Guns and Babies—yes, that is the actual name of her podcast—weren’t that far off. Mostly, the GOP chair is concerned that we’re all being brainwashed into believing the Earth is round through globe propaganda.
“All the globes, everywhere” Taylor said in the episode. “I turn on the TV, there’s globes in the background. Everywhere there’s globes. You see them all the time, it’s constant. My children will be like ‘Mama, globe, globe, globe, globe.’ They’re everywhere.”
Erskine’s impression of Taylor was apparently so good—or maybe conservatives nowadays are just so absurd—that BuzzFeed included her in their “14 People Who Failed Hard This Week” listicle, apparently mistaking her for the politician herself.
“I think it was a combination of a few ‘sources’ mistaking me for her,” Erskine explains. “But nevertheless, thank you, Buzzfeed. Don’t replace your writers with AI.”
To be fair, it wasn’t the first time one of Erskine’s viral political parodies, which she capitalized on during the pandemic, left the internet scratching their heads. A previous video she recorded pretending to be Ted Cruz’s director of communications during his infamous Cancun scandal in 2021 stumped Succession star J. Smith Cameron. Unfortunately, her send-up of Taylor made it to the GOP official’s desk, prompting one of the most galaxy-brain spiels to circulate on Twitter in recent memory.
“‘I’ve never said the Earth was flat,” Taylor responded in a 12-minute video. “I’ve never said that I was a flat-earther. I never said that globes were fake. What I said was that NASA taking billions of dollars every month of our taxpayer money and funding something that we do not see any progression in—going to space, going to the moon, going to Mars. There’s no progression.”
The entire response is as erroneous and spoof-worthy as Taylor’s initial comments fretting the prevalence of spheres. She refers to Erskine as “radical liberal psychotic girl” before differentiating the two of them for any of her confused followers by the size of their upper lips. “The red was a nice touch, but you don’t have the lips for it,” she retorts. She also mistakes her for a Saturday Night Live writer.
Erskine reposted a clip of Taylor’s video, joking that she “just learned a lot about myself,” including “don’t have a ‘full front top lip’ and ‘apparently work at snl,” adding, “thank you for clearing that up @KandissTaylor.”
When The Daily Beast reached out to Taylor for comment, she offered this response via text, “Blaire Erskine is a failed comedian and completely out of touch with the heartland of America. The truth is, the media has lied about EVERYTHING, from ‘safe and effective’ vaccines, ‘secure elections,’ to men now being able to conceive babies. Everybody loves a good conspiracy theory, but we can’t smother and demonize people for their curiosity in pursuit of political correctness.”
Asked if she believes the Earth is flat, Taylor evaded the question by replying, “I’d love to visit space and see it for myself one day!”
Despite having some of Taylor’s followers in her mentions, Erskine said she’s not concerned about receiving a ton of backlash from the politician’s fringe camp of rightwingers—or flat-earthers—online.
“She got, like, 3.4 percent in the Republican primary,” Erskine said. “I don’t think she has many followers. I am taking her response seriously, though, especially the part about my accent being fake because I’m from Atlanta.”
Like all the best parodies, the 31-year-old Georgia native says she has a familiarity and underlying affection for the archetype Taylor represents, given her Southern roots—even if she’s not on board with her ill-informed ideologies.
“I love brassy Southern women,” she said. “I was raised by them. Luckily, the ones who raised me weren’t far-right bigots who think globes are a conspiracy. All of that was appealing to me when she first came on the scene, and then her ‘Jesus, Guns, and Babies’ schtick was impossible not to parody.”
“She could be an incredible comedy writer if it weren’t for everything else about her,” the comedian adds.
Despite the absurdity of Taylor’s remarks, Erskine doesn’t want her parody to give social media a false impression of her home state or incite elitist notions of Southern people. She says comments generalizing Georgia based on some of their elected officials or making fun of Taylor’s accent “bum [her] out.”
“I love Georgia, and I know Kandiss Taylor is not representative of our state as a whole,” she clarified. “Georgia has its problems—its Marjorie Taylor Greenes, if you will. But it’s also full of some of the most brilliant and talented people I’ve ever met.”
Nevertheless, funny is funny. And Taylor has provided Erskine—and the rest of the world—plenty of material to take advantage of. And this latest dust-up wasn’t even Erskine’s first social media encounter with the GOP official.
During Taylor’s run for governor in February of 2022, the comedy writer released a video mocking her bid by declaring “all abortions will be illegal cuz that fetus could be a Jesus.” Taylor earnestly replied, “Blaire Erskine is right, All abortion is murder and will be criminalized in Georgia She’s also right that America’s founding was through divine intervention Jesus is with our movement and we will take Georgia back from the corrupt swamp and return it to the people.”
“I never thought I’d be satirizing this woman over a year later,” Erskine said. “But that’s what happens when she speaks out against Big Globe while I’m in the middle of a writers’ strike.”
Additional reporting by Zachary Petrizzo.
For more, listen to Blaire Erskine on The Last Laugh podcast.
The post How Comedian Blaire Erskine Made GOP Flat-Earther Melt Down appeared first on The Daily Beast.