It’s not so much that Barack Obama is so perfect a being that he lacks the sorts of foibles comedians seize upon to mock mercilessly, it’s more that jokemeisters don’t want to navigate a minefield of hypersensitivity that could destroy their careers. The fact that Obama has proven as prickly and prissy as any other earnest do-gooder liberal – columnist Kathleen Parker calls him a “purse-lipped church lady, clucking his tongue in disapproval of the chuckling masses” – makes it all the harder to tweak him without the joke blowing up in your face.    

That said, Los Angeles Times columnist Joes Stein derides “comedians who … whine about how hard it is to make fun of Obama”:  

Really? They have an arsenal of jokes to use against a 71-year-old ex-POW cancer survivor and Obama is too touchy a subject? 

Yeah, well, McCain isn’t black so anything goes – a point driven home by “Simpsons” writer Matt Selman, one of the comedic geniuses Stein turned to for help with thinking up Obama jokes: 

[H]e came up with this: “A lot of people are worried about Obama being assassinated because he’s black. The solution to that is a much blacker vice president. I’m thinking Flavor Flav.” Admittedly, Selman nervously said, “Don’t make me look racist!” about 20 times before and after telling me his joke.  

You don’t need The Stiletto to tell you that joke is not funny at all. Selman is obviously so intimidated by the fear of being labeled a racist, his creative juices dried up. 

Stein does get off one good joke that combines Obama being overly concerned about his weight and wardrobe with his effete eating habits. The Stiletto took the liberty of tweaking the rhythm so the joke can be told verbally, instead of being read: 

Obama is “manorexic,” metrosexual and eats arugula. He may be half-black, but he’s three-quarters gay.


Clearly, comedians will have to overcome their inhibitions before they can start churning out Obama jokes by the boatload. In a column, Jon Sanders, a policy analyst at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C. advises taking baby steps and starting with the tried-and-true basics, like knock-knock jokes. Here’s one of his suggestions: 

Q: How many Barack Obamas does it take to change a light bulb?  

A: Just one. He holds the bulb, thinks the world revolves around him, and calls it change you can believe in. 

In that spirit, here’s one from The Stiletto: 

Q: How do you know Barack Obama has been in your refrigerator? 

A: The lettuce is replaced by arugula. 


BTW: While they’re at it, comedy writers need to put their thinking caps on and come up with something other than McCain’s age to poke fun at. It’s gotten stale by now.

Note: The Stiletto writes about politics and other stuff at The Stiletto Blog, chosen an Official Honoree in the Political Blogs category by the judges of the 12th Annual Webby Awards (the Oscars of the online universe) along with CNN Political Ticker, Swampland (Time magazine) and The Caucus (The New York Times).

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