Did electing Barack Obama as our president destroy comedy for the next four to eight years? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and holding off on writing about it. Then this cartoon was published, stirred up a hornet’s nest, and I confirmed my suspicion. Yes, undoubtedly Obama is killing comedy.
Right off the bat, I want to be clear that the above cartoon is inexcusably racist and should never have been published.
Yet it brings to light the problem with poking fun at President Obama- no one wants to do it and no one wants to hear it. And frankly, its usually racist.
It’s a good problem to have. What better than electing a guy who we as a nation adore? It’s great that most of us get defensive when people poke fun at the guy. Talk about morale!
Also, its inescapable that 90% of the jokes people level at him smack of racism. As the first African American President, he is a symbol of something America got right, and we’re going to continue treating him as delicately as our favorite piece of china.
There’s no way around it- Obama is mostly untouchable from a comedian’s standpoint. Any jokes made about him are either unfunny, lukewarm, or racist.
(more after the jump)
I heard someone making fun of Obama on the radio the other day, and I must admit, I got a tad heated. And I’m sure that’s the reaction from many folks out there who, like me, share a boundless and fervent love for the guy. Its just not funny.
But what is SNL going to do? Where’s the fodder for The Daily Show and Colbert Report? Sure, we might have chuckled good-naturedly when Obama hit his head on the door a few weeks ago, but that’s probably the extent that we’re comfortable laughing at him.
Here’s a fun game to play. Take any political cartoon of Bush, and then substitute Obama in. Seems a bit racist, no?
How dare you depict our first African American president as a drunk?
Lordy- what are you implying here? Another chimp joke?!
Wow, I’m not even going to touch this one.
In any event, you get my point. After we all spent eight years screaming our heads off and laughing our asses off at our favorite village idiot, the tenor of our nation has done a 180, for the better, and there’s a small price we have to pay.
Comedy. R.I.P. until 2012 (or, fingers tightly crossed, 2016).