Killing Off American Comedy - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Killing Off American Comedy

There are many maladies to ascribe to the Obama presidency.  One of the most important is to kill off critical media thinking and, perhaps even more seriously, political comedy.  I don’t care of the comedienne at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner makes fun of Rush Limbaugh.  But I do care if she doesn’t make fun of the president.

Explains my Cato Institute colleague Gene Healy:

A lot of folks are upset over comedienne Wanda Sykes’s attack on Rush Limbaugh at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. She called Rush a “traitor,” and said “I hope his kidneys fail.” Limbaugh aside, though, there were deeper problems with Sykes’s routine: it was the work of a courtier comic: embarrassingly sycophantic and unfunny.  

Sykes began her routine by gushing to the president “you’re so likable,” and spent most of her time savaging Obama’s critics. For her grand finale, she took on people who complained that the president didn’t get a rescue dog: “Look, the man has to rescue a country that’s been abused by its previous owner.  Let him have a fresh start with a dog.”  Edgy stuff!  Lenny Bruce would be proud.   

A solitary flop at stand-up is no big deal, but Sykes isn’t the only comic who has trouble making fun of Barack Obama. Jon Stewart’s been a lot less amusing since his guy got elected.  

Tearing into Jim Cramer makes for good TV, but Stewart’s painful earnestness hardly provides the yuks. Comedian Jackie Mason–who summed up Bill Clinton with one razor-sharp line: “at least Nixon had the decency to twitch when he lied”–says that his fellow comics have fallen prey to “hero worship.”

I pray this phase passes quickly.  We’ve just passed the first 100 days and it’s already boring.

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