Comedian Judah Friedlander tells a crowd how they should instead celebrate Columbus Day.

Burn! This Is How You Should Celebrate Columbus Day, Says This Comedian

Sheena Louise Roetman

Judah Friedlander, a comedian well known for his roles in “30 Rock” and “American Splendor” pointed out the absurdity of Columbus Day recently during a performance at the Comedy Cellar in New York City.

A YouTube clip shows Friedlander speaking to someone in the audience, presumably Argentinian, and inquiring if there are any “weird holidays” in Argentina. He follows-up by saying there are a lot of weird holidays in the United States as well, particularly Columbus Day.

“He’s the guy who discovered America,” Friedlander says, “even though there was already a million people living here. And he called them Indians, because he thought he landed in India but he popped up in America and they just kept calling them Indians. And then they pretty much slaughtered all the Indians. And we have a holiday celebrating that guy.”

Friedlander is releasing a new book of drawings, If The Raindrops United, on October 20 that deals with “a mix of comedy, dark satire, & serious as it touches on many issues including racism, sexism, classism, fascism, and government oppression,” according to the press release.

Meanwhile, also in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo sent out an email with the subject line: “On Columbus Day, the courage to take a leap of faith.” The email talks about the courage and bravery of immigrants and draws a strong parallel between Columbus Day and celebrating Italian-American heritage – a pro-Columbus Day argument that has gained popularity in recent years.

“My grandparents came to this country from Italy,” Cuomo said. “I am extremely proud of my heritage, the values of family and hard work, and the promise of American opportunity that they passed along. That Italian heritage has been celebrated here in New York since 1929 with the Columbus Day Parade, the largest celebration of Italian-American history in the world.”

The email does not, however, mention Indigenous people or the genocide Christopher Columbus helped to initiate.

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