With the national media's insistence of dwelling on the trivial (Who's twittering who, Obama's NCAA brackets, Dick Cheney's opinions about anything) and ignoring the big picture (Civilization as we know it is about to end), I feel it is my duty as a comedy professional to assist David Gregory, John King, Chip Reid and the other corporate stooges with a guide to labeling the major players in DC as the wacky TV figures they desperately want to make them out to be. Since most White House reporters are still struggling to find a way to make fun of President Obama after years of feeding from the horn of plenty that was the Bush Administration, consider the following as a public service:
In comedy and television circles, President Obama is known as a "cool center." That's a sane, intelligent person who is surrounded by bumbling idiots. The television character Obama most closely resembles is Bob Newhart. (His television characters, not his stand-up) Newhart was the epitome of the cool center. Everybody loves Obama/Newhart. He's appealing and doesn't have to yell to be heard. He's not wild or out of control. It's very hard to make fun of him. Obama/Newhart needs to react to the insanity around him. We identify and laugh along with him. Newhart had Larry, Darryl and Darryl. Obama has Boehner, McConnell and Cantor. Newhart had psychotic Mr. Carlin. Obama has Rush. In order to laugh at Obama, we have to laugh with him in the bizarro world known as the Beltway.
On the other hand, branding the Republicans is easy.
Although the press really doesn't want to make fun of John McCain, it's impossible not to. McCain is George Costanza from Seinfeld. He is very pro-active in ways that inevitably blow up in his face. McCain/George acts first without thinking things through. McCain gets a great idea and suspends his campaign to fix the economy, blowing off David Letterman, getting caught with Katie Couric and getting weeks of unrelenting grief. How is that different than George almost losing his job with the Yankees because he got caught stealing money from a tip jar at a pizza place that sells calzones? Remember when George and Jerry pitched their sit-com to the network? George had a brainstorm and told them it was about nothing. He was hailed as a genius until everybody came to their senses and realized what a stupid idea it was. Same with McCain's campaign. What was it about? Change? No, real change! What's real change? Nothing! Always looking for a short cut, George buys cheap invitations to his wedding. McCain decides the easiest way to become president is to put Sarah Palin on the ticket. In both instances, they blow up spectacularly in McCain/George's face. McCain, like George, is easy to laugh at. Nobody really hates McCain/George. He'd be a nice friend to pal around with and make fun of. You would never think of giving the launch codes to George Costanza. Or John McCain.
George W. Bush is Gallagher, the stand-up comedian. Gallagher makes a mess onstage and destroys watermelons. Bush made a mess and destroyed the world. Nobody is on the fence about Gallagher/Bush. There are a small group of fans who are devoted to them. The rest of us don't think they're funny at all. In fact, we think there's something wrong with the people who like them. Like Gallagher, Bush is not popular. But as long as he's got his fans, Gallagher/Bush doesn't care. He's laughing all the way to the bank. We might laugh at Gallagher/Bush, but mostly we cringe.
Sarah Palin is Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy. Like Lucy, who only wanted to get into showbiz, Sarah only wants to be President. All attempts by Lucy/Palin backfire on her. So Sarah, you want to be taken seriously? Okay. Katie Couric wants to ask you some questions. Whaaaaaaaa! Let's look presidential and give a Thanksgiving interview right here in front of this turkey slaughterhouse. Ewwwwww! Lucy was always in over her head. So is Sarah Palin. We like Lucy/Palin and love to laugh at her. Would we want her to be president? Hell no, but we don't want her to go away. Laughing at her is too much fun.
Hope this helps, White House Press Corps. Don't forget to mention me in you Peabody Award speech.