I perform around the state and the nation at comedy clubs, national and state conferences and for corporations [www.comedyworks.org]. Many times audience members will ask me, “What makes you laugh?”.
Good political comedy makes me laugh. Humor that not only brings down the house….but the Senate, too. And presidents--- ---showing the hypocrisy and the contradictions in their politics, by poking fun at them. Author Richard Delgado in “Storytelling for Oppositionists and Others: A Plea for Narrative”, 87 MICH. L. REV. 2411, 2413-14 (1989) said, “Stories told by underdogs are frequently ironic or satiric; a root word for "humor" is humus-bringing low, down to earth.”
Historically Mark Twain and Will Rogers were both great political humorists. In the 1960s Mort Sahl set the standard for a generation of political comedians to come. Today we have Lewis Black, Jon Stewart, Will Durst, and Jimmy Tingle ---just to name a few. And the road show, "Laughing Liberally" is very popular. We even have President Bush in 2006 debating Governor Bush from 2000, moderated by Jon Stewart.
The use of humor is a great way to hold accountable the powers that be; in this case His Majesty The Decider is great grist for political humor. Making people think and laugh at the same time.
Here are some of the best lines from Late Night TV for this week:
"A report card on Iraq shows progress on only eight of 18 areas. Eight out of 18. And, of course, President Bush is thrilled. That's the best report card he's ever got in his life." --Jay Leno
"Louisiana Senator David Vitter held a press conference this week, where he admitted yes, he was a client of the DC madam, but he said those stories of hookers dressing him in diapers were not true. Boy, what do you do there? Are you supposed to take the word of a politician over a hooker? It's a tough decision for people." --Jay Leno
"This week, President Bush announced he's launching a new campaign to solve the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. When asked why, Bush said, 'It's fun to finally be working on a problem that I didn't cause."--Conan O'Brien
"At his press conference yesterday, where he admitted being involved with prostitutes, Louisiana Senator David Vitter apologized to his longtime supporters -- the working men and the working girls of Louisiana." --Jay Leno
"The DC madam said he sometimes paid $300 an hour just to have the hookers talk to him ... and they didn't have sex. Another example of government waste." --Jay Leno
"In other political news, John McCain's communications director has quit. McCain did not have an immediate comment ... because his communications director quit." --Jay Leno
"Things not looking good for President Bush. His approval rating has dropped so low the only thing he's above now is the law." --Jay Leno
"As you know, we are now entering our fifth year of making very good progress in Iraq. Obviously, the president defining progress now as 'moving forward through time.' ... But this spring, Congress finally asked the president for some specifics about our progress and its level of goodness. They required him to submit regular reports, and our first report card is in [on screen: Bush saying the Iraqis have made progress on eight of 18 benchmarks]. Yes! There you have it -- eight of 18. Otherwise known as a 'Gentleman's F.'" --Jon Stewart
"According to a new AP poll, the most popular presidential candidate among registered Republicans is 'none of the above.' At the moment, Rudy Giuliani is running third, just behind 'Good Lord, not him.'"--Conan O'Brien