Cockburn has found himself now and then a fish out of water (the time he got duped into attending a dry wedding comes to mind), but never has he felt as out-of-place as Tucker Carlson looked over the weekend while speaking at the memorial service of Sonny Barger, founder of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Carlson appeared as an Easter Sunday altar boy addressing a Black Sabbath concert, his freshly pressed gingham button-down a preppy contrast to a sea of black leather. Yet Carlson did what Cockburn has found Carlson does best: disarmed his audience with...

Cockburn has found himself now and then a fish out of water (the time he got duped into attending a dry wedding comes to mind), but never has he felt as out-of-place as Tucker Carlson looked over the weekend while speaking at the memorial service of Sonny Barger, founder of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Carlson appeared as an Easter Sunday altar boy addressing a Black Sabbath concert, his freshly pressed gingham button-down a preppy contrast to a sea of black leather. Yet Carlson did what Cockburn has found Carlson does best: disarmed his audience with sincerity, relatability, and humor.

Carlson explained that he grew up in California but almost never returns “because it makes me sad.”

“And standing here with all of you reminds me of the state I grew up in. I haven’t smelled cigarette smoke in the state of California in 30 years, and I’m just so grateful to smell it,” he said, eliciting laughs from the bikers. “So thank you, and I’m not joking at all. So thank you to those of you who are smoking and persisting. Thank you to those of you going to the Stockton Gun Show in two days. God bless. I can’t believe those still exist. I can’t believe this California still exists. And I’m just really happy to see that it does.”

Carlson recalled being a child in his parents’ station wagon and witnessing how, when the Hells Angels roared along the freeway, people pulled over. They “intimidated the shit out of everybody,” but “in a respectful way,” he said.

Carlson shared that he was inspired by the Hells Angels and acquired a motorcycle at the age of 19, which he used to deliver pizzas, adding he was “still a fan.”

Carlson said he’d never met Sonny Barger, but was invited to the memorial and felt compelled to travel all the way from Maine to the service because he was moved by the contents of a letter Barger left to his wife and friends and which was released publicly.

Carlson repeated the letter from memory: “Always stand tall, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor.”

“Why aren’t we hearing that from the people who run the country?” Carlson wondered aloud to cheers. “Why is it left to Sonny Barger to say, ‘Stand tall, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor?’ The president of the United States should be saying that every single morning as he salutes the flag, but only Sunny Barger is saying it. And I thought to myself, ‘I want to pay tribute to the man who spoke those words.’”

Watch Carlson’s full speech here: