When asked if they'll be watching the Republican Convention this week -- or the Democratic Convention next week -- many Americans demur with the same two excuses: "Nah, they're boring" or "I prefer to watch sitcoms."
But, ironically, that's precisely why we should be tuning in to the festivities. Although politicians are famously buttoned-up and skillfully practiced in the art of careful spin, they have also been the source of some of our best entertainment -- and laughter -- over the past half-century. And it's always by accident. A slip of the tongue, a botched photo op, a vacant-eyed brain-freeze and -- wham! -- suddenly an ordinary speech (or even a simple exit from Air Force One) can become an overnight viral sensation.
Memo to pundits everywhere: politics is not always serious business.
Who can forget President Gerald Ford's unfortunate trips and stumbles, which gave birth to Chevy Chase's famous prat-falling parodies on Saturday Night Live? How can we not laugh again and again at those strange and unexpected eruptions -- Howard Dean's banshee scream, the photo of John McCain's "zombie pose" -- that can turn a mundane moment into an instant Did-I-Just-See-What-I-Thought-I-Saw classic? How did any of us ever keep track of Dan Quayle's endless tongue-challenged speeches, which made us pull closer to our TV screens whenever he stepped up to a podium?
They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but it also makes for some downright hilarious viewing.
So take a look at this collection of pics and clips we've put together for you -- and remember: regardless of who you're voting for, laughter is always bipartisan.
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