Kyle Mann is the editor in chief of the Babylon Bee. This interview includes questions submitted by Hillsdale students, and has been edited for length and clarity by Tracy Wilson.
What’s the best joke you’ve ever told?
I wrote the one during the pandemic about celebrities spelling out ‘We’re all in this together’ with their yachts. It got shared as big news, people thought it was real. I did the one where Joe Biden cut the hole in his mask so he could sniff people’s hair.
Were you the class clown growing up?
I think I was voted class clown in my senior year of high school. I wasn’t goofing around, but I did get kicked out of class one time. I’ve always just had a good sense of humor about things. I don’t think I’m that funny, but if you’d ask my family, when I told them I was writing for this site, they were like, that makes sense, that’s totally you.
If you could add a historical figure to the Babylon Bee staff, who would you choose?
G.K. Chesterton or C.S. Lewis.
How is the Babylon Bee able to predict the future?
Satirists throughout history have done that. Read Chesterton, it’s scarily accurate. Chesterton has a quote about how in the future we’ll sacrifice babies on the altar of feminism. Good satire is going to take the truth, and it’s going to take it one step further.
Do the ideas come naturally, or is there a way you look at things and come up with ideas?
There’s a lot of trial and error of throwing an idea out and going, “Ah that’s terrible, why did I even suggest that?” Getting the bad ones out of the way gets you to the good ones.
Where do you get your news from?
Because we know our followers are mostly consuming our stuff through social media, that’s where they’re getting their news, is by scrolling Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We have a couple of tools that analyze social media and pull the stories that are buzzing right now.
What’s one word you would use to describe the Babylon Bee?
Subversion. That’s what good comedy is, is subversion. At the end of Abolition of Man, C.S.Lewis talks about how the whole purpose of seeing through something is to see something through it. I like that we can subvert and deconstruct false ideas and false world views in order that someone can latch onto something better or something true.