We are told that these are serious times. Perhaps the most serious. This is the most important election of our life time. Of course, they said that about the last election and they will say that about the next election. If ever there was a need for laughter to break up the tension it would seem to be in these most perilous times. Laughter is the release of stress.
Yet it seems some people can’t take a joke and that is scary and sad. Whether you like Donald Trump or not you must admit that he provides great material for comedians. He is larger than life. From his looks to some of his antics he is cartoon like. Hillary by comparison is boring. She is calculated and she is robot like but she does not provide the big laughs that her opponent or even her husband does. So it is natural that Trump would be the target of jokes.
Trump fans say among the many things they like about him is his willingness to “say it like it is” and “give straight talk.” That is certainly an admirable characteristic especially among politicians. However, I am noticing a decent amount of Trump supporters have no sense of humor about their guy. I don’t think it is the majority but it is a noticeable minority. I have done shows where audience members were laughing at some of the darkest material and having a great time. Switch gears to a Donald Trump jokes and they storm out. They didn’t even stick around for the Hillary jokes. I thought it was the liberals that needed the safe space. Apparently some Trump supporters are taking their entertainer turned politician way too seriously. How insecure are you with your candidate that you can’t sit through a few minutes of jokes?
Amy Schumer just had 200 people walk out during her show in Florida when she went into some anti-Trump material. To be fair, I did not see any jokes. It seemed more like a political statement of hate for him. Not what I would recommend but she is doing an hour and you can’t indulge her until she gets back to the funny? Sure you are at a show to laugh but performers are people and this election touches us all and it raises passions. However, it used to be a well-crafted joke could get everybody to laugh regardless of who the political target was.
More troubling than this was Donald Trump’s reaction to Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live. He felt it was a “hit job” the show was “boring” and should be “cancelled.” Donald baby come back to us. You hosted the show last season. You are just upset because the jokes targeted you. Lashing out and whining about a comedy show is not a good look for a political leader. Saturday Night Live has been lampooning politicians for years. Dana Carvey with George Bush, Darrel Hammond with Bill Clinton, Tina Fey with Sara Palin. Sara went on the show and embraced it and looked great doing it. That is what you do if you simply can’t ignore it. You embrace it and handle it with grace and humor and you come out the winner. Americans like people who can laugh at themselves. This is a trait Donald has never really shown himself to have. Just look at his face during the correspondants dinner when President Obama was making fun of him. He looked like somebody told him his 14 karat gold chair was merely gold filled. It would seem some of his supporters have picked up on Donald’s dourness.
Do we really want to live in a country where comedians can’t make fun of politicians for fear of retribution? Comedians shine an uncomfortable light on the ugly in society and very often that ugly is our politicians. We need that in our society. The ability to all come together and laugh and mock the absurdity of it all. That all goes away when the powerful say don’t you laugh at me. We become North Korea. I promise you, there are no comedians in North Korea walking around telling Kim Jung Un jokes. I mean the material is plentiful from the flobie hair cut to the pudgy body squeezed into a military uniform he never earned. To his obsession with big, long, hard…missiles. Someone needs to project their man hood is all I am saying. But nobody in North Korea says a word. They just bow to the supreme leader. Humor is not an option. Do you want that here? Do you want to be unable to hurt the wittle politicians pwecious, wittle, feelings? Of course not. Satire is as American as monster trucks and fried twinkies. It is our right to stick a thumb in the eye of the powerful. They are not our king. They are just the guy or gal that sleeps in our house for the next few years. If you want a better society then you want a society that can laugh together even if it hits a little close to home. We are Americans and we are going to goof on your silly ass no matter how powerful you think you are. If you go to a comedy show expect to hear things that make you uncomfortable. If you can’t handle that then just stay home and watch you tube videos of comedians you like and don’t expose yourself to anything new. Stay in your safe space but don’t come to us and say you want straight talk because you don’t. You want reaffirmation that you are right and your opinion and sense of humor is the right one. Well that is not a comedian’s job. If you are a politician and you want to succeed, laugh at yourself. We eat that up. We respect you and you come across as human and quite frankly having more important things to worry about then a couple of jokes. Laugh people, because once we stop laughing we shift from living to existing and that just isn’t funny.