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Serious Government Dashes Comic Hopes

Apparently the voters simply thought that the problems with the economy and other issues were simply too serious and voted for one of the most serious governments that we've had in some years. And while serious legislators may be good attacking serious problems such as the recession, a real depression of comedy might come from such a serious government in which comics aren't able to make easy fun of the politicians.

Even Conan O'Brien recognized this fact in a comedy bit where he attempted to make jokes about Barack Obama not liking beets for dinner. Of course this wasn't even funny, which was exactly the point. Compared to the endless gift of pants-down humor that could be made about Bill Clinton or the endless mentally challenged jokes about George Bush, Barack Obama is a serious man who is serious about being a great president who wants to achieve real results and there just isn't all that much funny about that. And Barack Obama has few distinctive bad traits that loan themselves to humor like even Reagan or Bush 1 had as well. Comics must be beside themselves with panic for the coming recession of laughs with the election of the first serious president in quite some time. Comics will have to look to Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Madonna or Amy Winehouse to screw up big time or something if they can't count on the White House to provide them endless sources of new comedy material.

Comics had some faint hope that John McCain might be elected. John McCain's age would have provided plenty of laughs for the comics to exploit, but the voters instead decided to break the hearts of the comics when they elected the most serious man in years when they selected the professorly Barack Obama instead. It is also as though the country has finally realized that a government by Gilligan needs to be replaced by a government by the Professor instead. And it marks the third attempt by Democrats since 2000 to elect a stiff intellectual as president, and the country finally found one they like for a change compared to the colorless Al Gore or John Kerry. Al Gore was so stiff, he seems like he was made from wood. And Kerry seemed less appealing despite great intellectual talent as well. For a while the public simply found the goofy George Bush as more to their liking even if nearly everything he did turned into a Three Stooges mess.

And nearly as bad, the best hopes of electing a goofy senate seems to be dashed as well. Alaska's convicted felon Senator Ted Stevens has lost his bid for re-election, which will kill endless jokes as goofy personality Sarah Palin might have appointed herself to this position and provided a real wealth of comedy material. Just like that, one of the best hopes of the comics turned to dust when the convicted 85 year old felon with a wife nearly young enough to be his grand daughter, who looks like one of the WIZARD OF OZ Munchkins, lost to Democrat Begich when the count of 24,000 absentee ballots continued. There had to be tears throughout the comic community.

Now the last hopes of comics is pinned on the uphill fight of screwy former SNL funnyman Al Franken who is trailing in the Minnesota recount. And once again, hope is again fading that Franken can will his recount unless some disputed absentee ballots are included in the recount. But the fact of the matter is that if Al Franken had been a more serious man, and not so related to humor, he would have probably have been elected to the senate in such a strong year for Democrats. Voters in Minnesota have long trended Democratic and voted heavily for Barack Obama, but Al Franken was probably simply too funny to win even with so much wind in the sails of Democrats this year. And the voter probably decided reluctantly to stick with more serious Republican Senator Norm Coleman.

Comics including the late night comics must be beside themselves with fear and panic where their next joke will be coming from. Where do you find laughs when the voters won't elect ridiculous personalities and instead opt for serious politicians because the current state of problems are so serious? When conditions aren't that funny, then neither are the politicians it seems.


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Comments (6)

Steve:

I'm not sure all the reasons why the comics are so hesitant to take jabs at President-Elect Obama, but I'm guessing that their love for the guy plays a big role. There's nothing like red-hot hate to get the creative humor flowing. They hated Bush with a passion and it lead to some really funny material.

Personally I see all kinds of comic potential in Mr. Obama. Someone who has an ego that big is prime for mocking. (And I hope we can all admit that he has a big ego - have you ever seen a small ego run for President of the United States?) Before the election there was an article about how the comics couldn't find anything funny about Obama and at the same time I was watching the latest jibjab cartoon which was flat out hilarious in its treatment of both candidates. McCain is shown in a hospital gown, pushing his IV on wheels, and eventually he drops over. Obama is prancing through the woods followed by all the little woodland creatures, including a unicorn, as he works the word "change" into a sentence as many times as he can. It's funny stuff.

Leno, Letterman, et alia:

How about jokes about Chicago style politics?

His ability to raise vast amounts of untraceable money?

How "change" looks quite a bit like the Clinton administration players, just 8 years older?

Being able to deliver a speech brilliantly but not really saying anything?

(For example, take a look at a little video on thenoseonyourface.com where Obama's face appears overnight on Mt. Rushmore after "several hippies with chisels" go to work. The other presidents ask him for a quote that proves he's worthy of being there. Lincoln and Jefferson give a couple of their examples: "We hold these truths to be ..." etc. Obama offers up: "We are the ones we've been waiting for." The other presidents are unimpressed.)

I just hope the comics get over their love affair soon and get their comic vision back. We'll see what happens. Every politician in Washington - Democrat and Republican - needs to be deflated now and then.

DaveD:

You can rationalize anything I guess, but the need for seriousness does not preclude the need for humor. Humor is a stress relieving/coping mechanism. Frankly, I don't think Mr. Obama makes a very good target for humor anyway at this time. Pelosi/Reid/Barney Frank/ Joe Biden can probably take up the needed slack for the time being. As far as Mr. Obama himself goes I am sure he has a sense of humor and knows that with all the problems he will be facing he must show that side appropriately every once in a while. I am sure people would not think any less of him because of that. Comparing him to McCain, I think Mr. Obama's sense of humor has more of an edge. But I'm getting off track here. You were writing about comedians and not the President-elect.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Unlike Bush the blundering jackass, who looked like chimp and had the grammar of a third-grader, Obama is not as easy a target.

Obama doesn't lie us into a phony "war on terror" that is really about securing the oil interests in Iraq and gaining a launching platform for an assault on Iran....

And so far he hasn't suspended a single one of our Constitutional rights, launched illegal wiretaps, or sacrificed any of our personal freedoms...

And let's face it - the guy is geekishly boring...

steve:

"Obama doesn't lie us into a phony "war on terror" that is really about securing the oil interests in Iraq and gaining a launching platform for an assault on Iran....

And so far he hasn't suspended a single one of our Constitutional rights, launched illegal wiretaps, or sacrificed any of our personal freedoms..."

Well, gosh you're right, he hasn't done any of those things yet... Good point! Maybe he's waiting until he ACTUALLY BECOMES PRESIDENT!
Would love to hear more about which of your personal freedoms Bush sacrificed. When Obama does become president, I'll be glad I'm not one of the evil, selfish, unpatriotic rich because I enjoy my freedom of keeping as much of the wealth my hands create as possible rather than having it spread around.

Why is it so important to you guys that we paint the picture of Obama being "geekishly boring" and so utterly responsible that no comedy can touch him? Are you fearing the kind of ridicule and disdain that has been leveled at Bush for 4 years?

By the way, do you remember that time that Bush talked about visiting 57 states and spoke to the crowd in "New Pennsylvania"? Or when he told the guy in the wheelchair to "stand up" and greet the crowd? What a complete blundering jackass!

I can't wait until January, so that folks can start to recover from BDS - but I know it won't be a quick recovery ... I'm prepared to hear for years that every difficulty Obama faces will be the leftovers of that chimpy McBush.

Mike:

Actually, Obama could be the target of all kinds of crass and crude humor, if crude humorists were so inclined.

If they really wanted to, Comedy Central could easily write a multitude of South Park-style "Little Barry" skits. Consider the supporting cast - Little Bill, whose always blowing things up; Little Jeremiah, who hates white people, Little 'Chelle, who has a big crush on Little Barry, but always says something embarrassing at the wrong moment, etc. We even have a villain, Little Zawahiri, who throws rocks at Little Barry. Heck, the show almost writes itself.

And do you really think that "comedians" like Margaret Cho or Sandra Bernhard couldn't launch into hate and profanity-filled screeds against Obama? The only reason why they won't be marching up and down the stage calling him a "jive-ass, lying, half-breed motherf***er" etc. is simply because they don't want to.

No one in the government is stopping them. No one stopped them during the last eight years. This is a voluntary black-out. And when the entertainment industry is so in the tank for a political candidate that they can't bring themselves to criticize him, then we are in trouble, because the next step after the voluntary cessation of criticism is the voluntary production of propaganda.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"And when the entertainment industry is so in the tank for a political candidate that they can't bring themselves to criticize him, then we are in trouble, because the next step after the voluntary cessation of criticism is the voluntary production of propaganda."

It's ass-hatted thinking like that that played a tremendous part in getting Obama elected in the first place.

Keep it up. America's tired of these made-up monsters and make-believe boogeymen that the right wing hate machine keeps raising as a means to terrorize Americans into voting for the "non-Socialist - non-Terrorist loving" evangelical liars.

Oooh, Obama's gonna strip you of your free speech rights and throw you in jail, Mike, for such talk - after he steals your money and has sex with your 5 year old, of course.

Our nation is in yet another Republican-led recession, and this past election is proof that America's learned the only thing oil-loving, rich-licking Republicans can "fix" is elections - and they made sure it didn't happen in 2006 and then again in 2008.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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