Sunday, November 09, 2008


I was as elated as most people by the election of American President Barack Obama last week. And while others like DMc were pondering the serious questions of how this watershed moment might change primetime television, I couldn't help wondering what it would do to comedy.

For the last eight years, President Doofus has kept the comedy mills better supplied than the post-Lewinsky years of Bill Clinton. I have to say I was getting a little tired of how easy targeting the most powerful man on the planet had become. But it was still fun.

And the best really was saved for last when someone asked Chris Rock if he thought a Black man could become President and he responded, "Why not? We've already had a retard for two terms!"

However, the hard truth is that (the occasional Dennis Miller one-liner aside) good comedians and comedy writers who lean to the right are relatively rare.

In addition, Barack Obama takes office at a very difficult time while carrying the deepest, sincerest hopes of a much of a nation -- and most of us don't enjoy seeing our "messiahs" punked or made fun of.

There's already a clip of MSNBC's Chris Mathews vowing to do what he can to make this Presidency succeed. When another reporter asks if that's really his role as a journalist, Mathews assures him it is.

After 9/11, a lot of comics wondered who would have the courage to tell the first Twin Towers or Arab hijacker joke. Some tried and when met with silence from the audience responded, "What? Too soon?".

So -- when faced with a President-Defunct everybody's joked out on and a President-Elect who might still be a little precious, I asked myself -- just how much time will have to pass before it's okay to make fun of the new guy?

Apparently  -- about 24 hours...

The always dependable Onion was first to strike...

Followed by a "Daily Show" on November 7th that will stand with many of their best episodes. Check your local Geo-locked Comedy Central listings for something called "Black Liberal Guilt". Canadian readers can find it here.

And the Neo-cons may not be as humorless as I thought, as this essay from Conservative blogger "IOWAHAWK" will attest. Even if you hate his politics, this is funny stuff.

Hawk, I don't know who you are, but your final paragraph left me with a helpless fit of the giggles.

God, it feels good to be able to laugh again.

Enjoy your Sunday.


Jaime J. Weinman said...

My theory is that all U.S. presidents turn out to be great sources of comedy, even if it doesn't seem that way at first. Look at George H.W. Bush (aka the one who looks good by comparison). There's nothing inherently funny about him -- he's kind of nondescript in every way -- but Dana Carvey made him into one of the best-known comic characters on TV. Or JFK; even though his private life was off-limits, he was so easy to parody that Vaughn Meader's Kennedy comedy albums made him a superstar (until...). There's plenty of comedy in any President because there's something inherently funny about one man, with all the flaws of any one man, being given that much power and with that kind of hope riding on him.

Anonymous said...


If you enjoyed FIowahawk, you'll love his Canadian cousin, Skippy Stalin:

Warning: extreme use of non-politically correct ideas, not to mention profanity, boobs and a style of writing that will require you to clean your monitor and keyboard of coffee at least once per blog entry. You have been warned.

Snarky Basterd said...

Oh, there are a few of us out here who can elicit a laugh or two: