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September 12, 2011

Turns Out, Obama Is Sort of Mock-Worthy

I don't watch any of the late-night talk show hosts, so I didn't know that they actually are making fun of Obama (or rather, his SCOAMF on the economy/jobs front). Even bitter old lefty Letterman.

Leno has a good one:

Leno: The NFL season kicks off Thursday night right here on NBC. We are all very excited. The game will be on right after the season finale of President Obama.

Some of these jokes aren't even funny. Which is a good sign that Obama's in trouble. Joblessness is so prominent in the public consciousness that they have to mention it, even when they don't have a good joke about it. The jokes are made because they're obligatory, not chosen because they're riotously funny.

Like this Leno line:

Leno: Government statistics show the U.S. economy created zero jobs in August. President Obama now says he's confident this month he can double that.

Not a good joke. But he felt he had to address the top political story, whether he had a good joke about it or not.

Leno: President Obama's jobs speech was tonight: A guy whose job nobody approves of giving a speech about jobs that don't exist to people who don't have any jobs.

Fallon: President Obama's $447-billion spending plan is called the American Jobs Act. It would have had a cooler name, but the name guy was laid off six months ago.

Same thing.

Leno: President Obama named his new $447-billion legislation the American Jobs Act. Better than the original name, the Save My Ass Act.

This isn't even a joke, really. This is just what everyone's thinking. This is less a "joke" and more of a straightforward if cynical analysis of the actual political positioning going on here. He gives it a joke format, but this is really no different than what Charles Krauthammer said about it the same day. It just has a joke-like rhythm and joke-like casual glibness.

These are almost all "clappers" -- "jokes" whose main appeal is not funniness, but simply the pithy expression of what the audience thinks. Such jokes don't get laughs; they get claps of approval. Not chuckles, but nods of assent.

It's one thing if a comic dares to make a truly funny joke at Obama's expense. But offering a series of clappers about him isn't about comedy, it's about genuine frustration, disappointment, and disapproval.



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posted by Ace at 03:02 PM

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