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Erica Heller Headshot

Larry David, Secretary of...Humor?

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Like most of us yesterday morning, I held my breath as I watched Barack Obama's Cavalcade of Stars take their place on stage with him and make history.

I held my breath, I realized later, purely out of habit, since this is what I have been doing for roughly the past 8 years, every time anything remotely presidential was put forth on television.

Well, let us hope that "The horror, the horror!" as Kurtz put it in Heart of Darkness, has only 45+ days to go. Then we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, powerful enough to begin to blow away the cheesy stench of America's rotten reputation -- and unfathomable deeds -- committed around the world in the name of patriotism and freedom.

Just one thing, though? What on earth will we do for laughs?

Sure, Robert Gates sounds more than a little bit like Truman Capote, but even Truman was nothing to laugh at.

Nero may or may not have fiddled while Rome burned but Condoleezza Rice has definitely played piano for the Queen of England. Smell smoke, anyone? Not funny.

Will we ever laugh again?

There is just no way that the eloquent and erudite, brilliant Barack will assault our ears with Quayle-isms such as how we must put "food on our families". He will, in all likelihood, never encourage or inspire anyone to rename the croissant the Chicago Crescent Roll just because France doesn't vote with him to kill people and destroy a culture because his father was a chilly parent or he thinks the whole globe is just one huge OK Corral.

Will Barack think the Prado in Madrid is where people shop for designer handbags and shoes? I think not.

And even though I have not stopped pinching myself since November 4th at roughly 11:00 PM EST, I have wondered, more and more over recent days, what on earth all of us are going to do for humor from now on.

Will Michael Moore start going to the gym every day and work on his tan?

Will Jon Stewart and Bill Maher become The Sunshine Boys? Will Stephen Colbert join them for a brisk weekly game of mahjhong around the pool at the Fontainebleau, in Miami? Oh, say it aint so, Joe!

As I see it, there is only one reasonable reaction to the current state of affairs, the perilous risk of edgy comic drought. Barack Obama must go back on television as soon as he can to fill the one appalling gap in his shining galaxy. He must appoint Larry David Secretary of Humor. There was never a better time and there is certainly not a more appropriate person.

Of course, Mr. David will (perhaps respectfully) decline, but that just makes him our Larry. The truth is, he already has a job. He must, after all, go back to the business of counting the stolen shrimp in his Chinese take-out, beating the batteries out of his smoke detector, whistling Wagner, placating Jeff, disgusting Susie and skyrocketing the blood pressure of Richard Lewis. We cannot begrudge him this.

In fact, word has it that Curb Your Enthusiasm is going to be shooting its next season soon. And with brains and class, compassion and global competency ready to move into the White House, with the world in tatters and our economy in the toilet, all I can say to LD is: "Please, don't be a schmohawk. Work hard. Work fast. Edit quickly." I beg you.

Laughter has never been more precious.