Thursday, February 19, 2009

LATE-NIGHT COMEDIANS AVOID OBAMA

In the short span between my last review and today, we’ve seen the President sign a stimulus package so full of pork that Obama’s father would have been forbidden to touch it, along with a bump on the head, a scripted and sputtering press conference, and a contradiction from someone who actually understands how business works. Obama also appeared onstage in the theatre where Lincoln was shot, alongside a Lincoln impersonator (ouch).

Certainly there’s some topics ripe for ridicule. So what are the Late Nights talking about? I thought it was time for another review, so I fired up the DVR Tuesday night and watched David Letterman, Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel. (Jon Stewart, and Stephen Cobert both have the week off.)

Alex Rodriguez (Letterman, Leno, Kimmel), the recession (Letterman, Leno, Ferguson) and the octuplets (Letterman, Leno, Kimmel) are the most popular topics right now. Meanwhile, the shows still struggle to find a handle from which to grab the new administration.

Jon Stewart did a piece last week which blamed Republicans for destroying “The Hope.” By now we’ve all seen the Dan Akroyd ”Saturday Night Live” clip (so devoid of laughter you wonder whether it was taped in front of an audience), where Republicans are mocked for not recognizing the intellect and eloquence of the new President. (I was reminded of an old Dan Akroyd bit where the “comedy” arises from Jimmy Carter being so brilliant, and an expert on absolutely everything.) Leno also told a “joke” about how well the President speaks. (He uses descriptions like: from the windy plains of the Dakotas, to the sunny skies of Arizona; rather than: from the sleazeball criminals of Wall Street to the broke-ass beaches of California.)

What's wrong here? I think they have made the classic high school dating mistake by projecting every positive attribute onto the cute girl they barely know. At some point the girl lets you down as will Obama, and if they can't joke about it then, they may just have a nervous breakdown.

In a related story, Sam Donaldson seems to support the Obama plan for the govt. to pay mortgages and he made the most lame defense of the thing via a long-winded joke and circular logic. You should watch it just because it borders on SNL parody.

1 comment:

Sir Saunders said...

Yeah, I watched Leno a few nights before the inauguration of Obama, trot out a man with a Bush mask on to interview him. The audience was equally quite and it was rather flat. It goes to the Juan Williams piece on how it's racist in and of itself not to make fun, challenge, or treat Obama like any other President. So far they don't know how to do that. Your analogy is a good one Tom.

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