What Now: Humor? It can really get ya’ down

| November 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

by Laura Walcher

If you’ve missed your perfectly every-day sense of humor lately, well, it’s no wonder.

But black humor may be your thing; if so, you’re in hog-humor-heaven with me. My personal favorite was Steven Colbert, who noted the headline, “Cain Hits Home Run with Kimmel.”

“…impressive,” exuded Colbert, “because he was only trying to get to third base.”

Or the anonymous tweet about Rick Perry’s memory lapse: “…I suspect from now on, he’ll be sewing his name tags on his underwear …”

Now, c’mon. Our pols and celebs have provided us irresistible quips.  And, by and large, have no one to blame but themselves, although a few have made defiant attempts to blame their troubles on the left-wing media, the right-wing media, the opposing party, or thrill-seekers looking for exposure (uh-oh. bad word).

Across the pond, in the course of the ongoing interrogations into the News of the World’s phone hacking scandal, James Murdoch somehow didn’t know much about it. Imagine! Denier-blaster and panelist Tom Watson, that frequent Murdoch critic, furiously – or facetiously? – accused the son-in-the-spotlight:  “You must be the first Mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise!”

THAT wasn’t funny, though it did get an initial international chuckle. Mr. Watson might have gotten mixed up between Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi.  At least Berlusconi is Italian.

On our shores, Mr. Perry’s humbling bumble at forgetting his third item for the chopping block earned a national squirm, followed by mass sympathy with the problem.  Post-faux-pas, what else to do?  Mr. Perry wisely opted for … funny.  Desperately needed, anyway, in the course of this parade towards the presidency.

For a minute there, Mr. Cain was the major-domo, but whether he fell to the rear over physical groping, mental groping, or cheerfully describing his mates as ice-creams:  ‘Michelle is tutti-frutti!  Milt Is vanilla!  I’m Hagen-Daas black walnut – substantial!” – our foreheads sunk to our chests.  Especially those of us who know our ice-cream:  Hagen-Dass doesn’t make Black Walnut any more.

Did Lawrence O’Donnell’s theory,  accompanied by video, have gotten it right, when he somehow made the case that the contendors only blow it when they’re wearing red ties?

Of course, the “oops” factor isn’t relegated to the class of eight.

When CBS’ political director, John Dickerson, sent an e-mail to staff reminding them that the campaign front-runners should get the majority of TV time in the “debates,” he accidentally included Mrs. Bachmann’s campaign.  His argument against focusing on her, that she’s “nearly off the charts,” sent her camp into a fury.  Mrs. B shouldn’t worry … just running for president shows she’s got plenty of “chootsbah.”

(This Yiddish word is correctly pronounced “chutzpah,” with a gutteral “ch –.”  It has clearly worked its way into our common vernacular, and means “audacity.” If you don’t believe the danger of slippery fingers, off-the-cuff insults, mis-representing the facts, or issuing your own black humor, go ahead, google “Michele, Chutspah.”  That’s how I know you know what I’m talking about, even if I don’t absolutely reference the context!)

Can we expect a continuation of candidates’ gaffes and goofiness to define the upcoming  “debates” ?   Anyway, according to them, the fault will lie, not in themselves, but in the aggressiveness of the news media, or their interviewers … who, however, are just doin’ their job, folks – and not for laughs!


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