Classic Comedy: Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink

Published May 11, 2009 by glaumland

I hadn’t meant to add another blog today, but comedy and comedians have been on my mind since yesterday. And I find it interesting how ‘un-funny’ alot of comedy today really is.

Dear Hubby and I happened to be watching PBS last night (no cable, remember) and we watched an episode about comedians. Some of the comedians I liked, and some I didn’t, but all of them I respected for their ability to take on big issues or institutions and make it funny. Not always easy to hear, but funny. Like Phil Silvers as Sgt. Bilco making fun of the Army after WWII. In no way was he trying to deride the Army, but to poke fun at the little idiosyncrasies that many of the men and women of the Armed Forces had dealt with. Things that you could nudge your spouse or your buddy and say, “Ain’t that the truth!”

They also highlighted the comedy of Eddie Murphy, Paul Lynde, Redd Foxx, Joan Rivers, and others. Although the scenes shown on PBS were pretty clean, I know that wasn’t always the case. These comedians however dealt with issues of race, gender, poverty, sexuality: some pretty powerful topics. Their targets weren’t individuals, but the accepted norms of the day. Nudge, nudge: “Ain’t that the truth!”

Boy have times changed. As I was catching up on on-line news today, I came across this Newsmax.com headline:  ” Golf Analyst Apologizes for Pelosi/Reid Joke.” I do think David Feherty was out-of-line to publish the now infamous joke. Public people have a responsibility about what they say and do in public. And, at the risk of being called a hypocrite,  I will admit that I chuckled about that joke privately. But as much as I dislike Pelosi and Reid, I do think think that it was in poor taste to use it publicly, either in written or oral communication. This joke doesn’t really have any merit except to abuse two public officials and make light of one terrorist. No nudges here.

But what intrigued me more about this topic was the number of people, very angrily I might add, calling for an apology from CBS Sports and Mr. Feherty. And they got one. Fair enough. But not enough for most of the folks over at Huffington Post (and other Lefty sites). I didn’t get through the 18 pages of posts, but enough to know why I don’t spend much time there. There were people calling for CBS to fire Feherty, other people accusing him of falling off of the wagon, saying he should check into a mental institution, be hung by body parts and other disrespectful things.

And it wasn’t enough to just go after Feherty, but they talked a great deal about Mr. Limbaugh (more on this down the page). Also lots of chatter about right-wing conservatives:  hanging on to their guns (the gun-rights people, not the lefties – obviously!), skinning cats, depraved humor about death, pain & suffering, hate-filled rants, golf is a stupid sport, drinking the kool-aid…you see the trend. Very offensive and disgusting.

Now, the other comedy headliner over the weekend was the annual White House Correspondant’s Dinner in DC. It has been billed as a Roast, where reporters and politicians have an opportunity to poke fun at each other. I know what a Roast is…I grew up in the era of the famous Dean Martin Roasts from Vegas. What happened over the weekend was not even worthy of being termed a ‘Roast.’ Those present were the Washington DC ‘elite’ along with some favored Hollywood folks. Here are some of the things that they thought were funny…

Wanda Sykes: “…You know you might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight…Rush Limbaugh — I hope the country fails. I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? “He needs a waterboarding, that’s what he needs.” Obviously, Sykes has never seen anyone suffering from kidney failure – there isn’t anything funny about that. Nor about torture. But she did get uproars from the anti-Limbaugh lefties, and we do know that Mr. Limbaugh is a favorite target of Obama’s, even though RL is a talk-show entertainer and not a politician. t only makes me wonder how insecure these people are. No nudges here.

More from Sykes: “Gov. Palin, she’s not here tonight, she pulled out at the last minute. Somebody should tell her, that’s not really how you practice abstinence.” I don’t know about you, but I think that politician’s kids should be out-of-bounds. No nudges here.

Here are some highlights from Obama’s jokes:

His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, Obama observed, always has a hard time on Mother’s Day. “He’s not used to saying the word ‘day’ after ‘mother.'” I have never found Emanuel’s potty mouth to be funny. No nudge.

“… joked that his children were not present because they were grounded. Obama said, “You can’t just take Air Force One on a joyride to Manhattan, I don’t care who’s kids you are.”” I don’t think poking fun at his own children is very funny either. And it just goes to show that despite the report that Obama was ‘furious’ when the event occured, he and the rest of his administration just don’t get it and feel it is OK to joke about it now. That photo-op stunt was stupid and scary. You can’t tell me that only one lackey knew about it, but he is the one that had to pay with his job. What a bunch of MORONs. This definitely goes in the DUMBASS category! This isn’t a nudge, it’s a mugging..

[Oh, by the way, I guess this morning the WH decided that maybe it wasn’t funny at all. What is funny is that it took a big mouth, a bigger foot, and alot of bad press for them to figure this out!]

The funniest part of the whole evening, in my opinion, was the bragging I saw at Newsmax.com by the dinner officials about the $98K they raised in donations for journalism scholarships and other entities. Think about it…$98K would probably about cover the cost of a couple outfits +/- some jewelry for the Hollywood set. It just shows that they can talk about solving all of the world’s ills, as long as it doesn’t cost them any money. Now, that’s a nudge, nudge, wink, wink: “Ain’t it the truth!”

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