by William Teach | May 4, 2014 7:58 am
SO, apparently, it’s not just late night and other comedians that have trouble goofing on Obama: Obama himself has an issue
Barack Obama laughs at but not with
President Barack Obama is very smart (as he could tell you). He is also very funny (and the first to laugh at his own jokes). He is a master of comic timing, has an appealing sense of the absurdities of his chosen profession and an unerring ear for the withering one-liner.
As long as the subject is someone else.
When it comes to the sine qua non of political humor – devastating self-deprecation – Obama is less skilled or at least less willing to play an A game, as this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner is once again likely to show.
Sure, Obama makes fun of himself: for his big ears, his graying hair, his sagging approval ratings, even his bad bowling (though he stepped on a joke about the last subject with Jay Leno in 2009 by adding an ill-considered ad lib about his Special Olympics-level skill, for which he was forced to apologize). And the president has proved himself a good sport, enduring Zach Galifianakis’ absurdist insults on “Between Two Ferns,” where he went to promote his health care plan.
But Obama is much more likely to reserve his sharpest flashes of wit for his adversaries, antagonists and even (in a kind of throwback Henny Youngmanesque style) for the wife he invariably portrays as hectoring.
Politico also notes that the delivery is somewhat disembodies, like a guy observing his own performance. And the notion of really making fun of others, but not himself, is meshed throughout the article
But those jokes are in fact about others – Obama’s most fervent, starry-eyed supporters, or the virulent “birthers” who questioned his American citizenship – and not really about himself. The most lethal example of Obama’s ripostes to such critics came at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011, with his extended riff on Donald Trump, who was in the room and decidedly not amused.
George Bush and John Kerry really loosened up at the dinner, and made fun of themselves quite a bit. Bush’s 2007 was hilarious.
The essential ingredient of such exercises, Parvin said, “is to be good-natured and likable.”
“That is really the great benefit of these dinners, for the audience, whether in the room or watching at home, is to see a different side of you, where you let your hair down a bit more, and you can say some things with humor that you couldn’t say seriously. You can say to people, ‘I can make fun of these things, so you don’t need to worry about it, because I have the perspective that even I can make fun of it.’ So it allows you to express a certain insight that you can’t say seriously.”
I don’t want to over-sell this meme, Obama just isn’t that warm, and the humor is quite often over-barbed. Here are a few of Obama’s top 10 lines per Politico’s Katie Gluek
But, then, Obama has never really been too into being humble or self-deprecating. Nor about being anything but hardcore on his enemies, or, as other presidents would term them, opponents.
On the bright side for Obama, apparently Joel McHale was much, much worse. And Nancy Pelosi has apparently been infected with Harry Reid’s Koch Derangement Syndrome.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
Source URL: https://rightwingnews.com/barack-obama/politico-you-know-this-obama-guy-has-a-tough-time-making-fun-of-himself/
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