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Comedy in the Obama Age: The Joking Gets Hard (Making Fun of Obama is Racist, Impossible)
Time ^ | Richard Zoglin

Posted on 09/02/2009 11:06:40 AM PDT by nickcarraway

The crowd sitting elbow to elbow in the basement performance space at New York City's Comedy Cellar on a recent Wednesday night had pretty much had its fill of sex jokes, gay jokes, rants about New York cabdrivers and time-filling banter with the couple in the front row who had just gotten married a week ago. Then, a few minutes after midnight, James Smith, a lanky Australian stand-up who has appeared on HBO's Flight of the Conchords, bounded onto the stage for a 15-minute set to do something a little different. He talked politics.

Some of his targets were old reliables like Bill Clinton, fresh from his diplomatic jaunt to North Korea. ("We need to bring two hot Asian chicks back from North Korea in a private jet," said Smith, imagining the genesis of Clinton's recent mission. "Who should we get?") He delved into the economic crisis, pinpointing the bitter irony of banks' having to declare bankruptcy ("How do you f___ up your only job?"). And he waded fearlessly into perhaps the most treacherous satiric waters of all: the new resident of the White House. (See TIME's history of stand-up comedy.)

Making jokes about Barack Obama is the big test for political comedians these days, and like many, Smith did it mostly by talking around him. Obama could never get away with the kind of sexual shenanigans that Clinton did, he mused, because Michelle wouldn't stand for it: "She would impeach him herself!" Obama's election victory was inevitable the minute Oprah Winfrey endorsed him: "There's nothing bigger than Oprah. Oprah can do anything. 'Betcha can't make a black man President.' 'Watch me!' " The joke isn't Obama himself; it's the cultural shift — and the country's reaction to it — that he represents.

(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: comedy; obama; race

1 posted on 09/02/2009 11:06:41 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Let’s face it. Comedians know they will get slammed for going after Obama and nearly all of them are cowards at heart.


2 posted on 09/02/2009 11:10:14 AM PDT by Antoninus (Sarah Palin will soon have more fans on Facebook than most major newspapers have readers.)
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To: nickcarraway

They wish.

Hussein IS a joke...


3 posted on 09/02/2009 11:11:04 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: nickcarraway
What do you get when you cross a pathological narcissist with a domineering radical?

Sasha and Malia.

4 posted on 09/02/2009 11:12:26 AM PDT by OB1kNOb (Extreme right-winged mob terrorist astroturfing bitter clinging racist birther evilmongering wingnut)
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To: nickcarraway

“But Obama, with his obvious smarts, low-key style and (most important) ability to catch the prevailing tone of irony and laugh at himself, has left the comics with little to hang their punch lines on.”

If he could laugh at himself, comedians wouldn’t be so worried being called racists!


5 posted on 09/02/2009 11:12:32 AM PDT by MNDude (The Republican Congress Economy--1995-2007)
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To: nickcarraway
Obama could never get away with the kind of sexual shenanigans that Clinton did, he mused, because Michelle wouldn't stand for it: "She would impeach him herself!"

Soooooooooooo lame. Did anyone even laugh at that?

6 posted on 09/02/2009 11:13:47 AM PDT by kevao (DISSENT: It's no longer patriotic.)
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To: nickcarraway

You couldn’t get away with jokes about Hitler in Germany, either.


7 posted on 09/02/2009 11:14:19 AM PDT by counterpunch (In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.)
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To: nickcarraway
Sorry but I stopped reading at this slop:

"What the heck were political comedians going to do? For eight years they had enjoyed a comedic gift from the gods in George W. Bush, whose bumbling presidency provided even richer material than the cartoonish excesses of the Clinton years. But Obama, with his obvious smarts, low-key style and..."

8 posted on 09/02/2009 11:14:20 AM PDT by Artemis Webb
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To: nickcarraway

“acting stupidly”

“I won”

“I am the President”

flag@whitehouse.com

“rising oceans stopped”

Add to those morsels his narcissist complex and megalomania, and there is a bottomless pit of ammo for humor. But most of the popular comedians today are commies too so why would they ridicule their master?


9 posted on 09/02/2009 11:15:06 AM PDT by HerrBlucher
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To: Antoninus
Let’s face it. Comedians know they will get slammed for going after Obama and nearly all of them are cowards at heart.

George Carlin once said that in order to survive high school you either had to be Fierce, Fast or Funny. So if someone is funny you can probably rule out the other two.
10 posted on 09/02/2009 11:15:22 AM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world, and they are all out to get me.)
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To: nickcarraway

11 posted on 09/02/2009 11:16:16 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle (http://www.conservatives4palin.com/)
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To: nickcarraway

Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, FNC, 3AM ET to see exactly how Obama can be made fun of nightly.


12 posted on 09/02/2009 11:18:28 AM PDT by franklog
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To: nickcarraway

13 posted on 09/02/2009 11:20:46 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: nickcarraway
There are mountains of material that could be used to make jokes about Obama. It's amazing to me that comedians just refuse to go there.

I've long maintained that the entertainment and news businesses are not about entertainment or news. They are just propaganda arms. Profits are not the point. Hearts and minds are the point.

14 posted on 09/02/2009 11:22:23 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: nickcarraway

...Time dances all around the elephant in the living room....you can’t poke fun at a black man in America....BUT....turn on BET and every standup comic there is ridiculing Whitey


15 posted on 09/02/2009 11:24:17 AM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: nickcarraway

No need to be racist. Declare Obama to be white!!

16 posted on 09/02/2009 11:26:58 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . fasl el-khital)
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To: OB1kNOb

LOL!


17 posted on 09/02/2009 11:27:01 AM PDT by NRA2BFree (We knew a revolution was coming, but who knew it would be started by rowdy senior citizens! lol...)
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To: nickcarraway

The best part of this is that they do not have to make jokes about “Mack Daddy the Zebra” because the entire world know that he already is a joke by himself.


18 posted on 09/02/2009 11:30:03 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: nickcarraway

If making jokes is bad because it’s somehow “racist”, then it’s just as “Racist” making jokes about a white president.


19 posted on 09/02/2009 11:30:08 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: OB1kNOb

Normally, I wouldn’t think that your joke was funny, but gee whiz, that is extremely mild vis a vis statement about Palin’s kids.


20 posted on 09/02/2009 11:32:08 AM PDT by mel
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To: nickcarraway
"N-Word Please!


21 posted on 09/02/2009 11:33:51 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: HerrBlucher

The Charlton Heston as Moses with the rising oceans ads during the elections were good, especially the one showing the lame bodysurfing attempt.


22 posted on 09/02/2009 11:34:24 AM PDT by SueRae
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To: nickcarraway

Here is one they can use:

The post office came out with an obama stamp. People immediately started complaining that they did not stick to envelopes. So the PO commissioned a $2mill study only to find out that people were spitting on the wrong side.


23 posted on 09/02/2009 11:36:38 AM PDT by lovesdogs
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To: nickcarraway

It is amazing what cowards these entertainers are! So rigidly marching to the left’s narrow and concrete orders and staying within the fine line of what is allowable.

Tear down families, religion, the US but don’t make fun of blue-lipped president of the 57 States of this muslim nation.

Obama has bummbled more in the first 6 months than Bush.

Cowards supported by cowards.


24 posted on 09/02/2009 11:37:27 AM PDT by Voter62vb
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To: nickcarraway
Making jokes about Barack Obama is the big test for political comedians these days

Rush Limbaugh makes jokes about Obama day in, day out for three hours at a time. But I guess only liberal comedians count.

25 posted on 09/02/2009 11:40:05 AM PDT by Argus (We've gone downtown to Clown Town, and that's where we'll be living from now on..)
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To: nickcarraway
"How can you f*** up your only job?"

Sorry - I thought that was the Obama joke...

26 posted on 09/02/2009 11:40:47 AM PDT by bt_dooftlook (John Adams: Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate)
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To: Artemis Webb


27 posted on 09/02/2009 11:50:29 AM PDT by ari-freedom (Shop at Whole Foods and buy-cott the boycotters!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

28 posted on 09/02/2009 11:52:22 AM PDT by ari-freedom (Shop at Whole Foods and buy-cott the boycotters!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

How many comedians living in venezuela make fun of hugo chaves or in cuba fidel castro?

Exactly. And for the same reason...


29 posted on 09/02/2009 11:57:43 AM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg (Warning: Sarcasm/humor is always engaged. Failure to recognize this may lead to misunderstandings.)
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To: nickcarraway

30 posted on 09/02/2009 12:05:56 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: nickcarraway
But Obama, with his obvious smarts, low-key style and (most important) ability to catch the prevailing tone of irony and laugh at himself, has left the comics with little to hang their punch lines on.

This seems to be the essence of the three page article: For the first time in history, there is a man about whom there is nothing to mock or make fun of. What a waste of time. That should be the new moniker for this useless rag: Waste of Time Magazine.

31 posted on 09/02/2009 12:06:20 PM PDT by giotto
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To: nickcarraway

“A POTUS is having an afternoon rendezvous with a married woman, when her husband unexpectedly pulls up in the driveway...”


32 posted on 09/02/2009 12:13:15 PM PDT by twister881
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To: ari-freedom

It’s Obama in Mom Jeans!


33 posted on 09/02/2009 12:14:31 PM PDT by twister881
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To: counterpunch
You couldn’t get away with jokes about Hitler in Germany, either.

"Haffen zee herd Hitler grosse hund poop essen? HAHAHA"

[dragged off stage.....BLAM]
34 posted on 09/02/2009 12:27:11 PM PDT by Moltke
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To: lovesdogs

Now that’s funny :)


35 posted on 09/02/2009 12:27:59 PM PDT by catbertz
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To: B-Chan

Screw 'im

36 posted on 09/02/2009 12:58:35 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . fasl el-khital)
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To: kevao

.....Obama could never get away with the kind of sexual shenanigans that Clinton did, he mused, because Michelle wouldn’t stand for it: “She would impeach him herself!”.....

Better..... “Because she would beat his bony Beige ass”


37 posted on 09/02/2009 1:02:58 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . fasl el-khital)
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To: bert

Ohhh! I thought the punchline was “because Clinton liked women!”


38 posted on 09/02/2009 1:34:41 PM PDT by Voter62vb
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To: nickcarraway

Well the city folks might not have a problem joking about Obama but I can guarantee you us out here are having no problem with it! Just listening to what goes on in the grocery line should give comediens a clue of what the people think is funny.


39 posted on 09/02/2009 2:34:40 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: nickcarraway

No joke!!!


40 posted on 09/02/2009 2:35:14 PM PDT by Neets (Go Yankees!!!)
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To: nickcarraway
Obama could never get away with the kind of sexual shenanigans that Clinton did, he mused, because Michelle wouldn't stand for it: "She would impeach him herself!"

A four year-old could have come up with a better line that that.

How pathetic.
41 posted on 09/02/2009 2:43:17 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Welcome to the Revolution.)
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