Barack Obama is getting ready for his next career. The other night he was the opening act for comedian Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondents dinner. Soon he could be featuring at Funny Bones across America. It was interesting to watch a room full of allegedly unbiased journalists cheer for the President. It was obvious that their enthusiasm was not for the semi-flat jokes at times but for the underlying left wing politics.
The economy must be worse that the administration is letting on. I saw Warren Buffet and Richard Belzer in the house. Who are they writing for these days? In both the President’s and Wanda’s sets there seemed to be a lack of jokes about the Administration. Since I have a few years of experience at stand-up and teaching comedy writing at undisclosed locations I thought might give a review of his work and offer some suggestions.
Tonight I want to speak from the heart. I’m going to speak off the cuff. (Teleprompters rise.) Good evening. Pause for laughter.
I am not a big fan of prop gags but this one worked alright even though he telegraphed the punch line.
I am Barack Obama. Most of you covered me…
It’s always good to introduce yourself. Don’t assume that everybody is informed! If they were you would still be the junior senator from Illinois.
…All of you voted for me…Apologies to the Fox table…
This is a construction I would deem “true story” comedy. No embellishment needed, just the facts as they happened are funny. This was the first point where I noticed the applause was too strong for the joke. Most of them did vote for him.
I would like to welcome you all to the 10-day anniversary of my first 100 days.
Having a healthy ego and a high sense of self worth is important to stand-up.
I do have to say, though, that this is a tough holiday for Rahm Emanuel because he’s not used to saying the word “day” after “mother.” That’s true.
Again just a nice “true story” gag. Then he broke one of the cardinal rules of stand up and politics which is never admit you are just making it up. By saying “That’s true,” it lets the audience know everything else is a lie.
Now Sasha and Malia aren’t here tonight because they’re grounded. You can’t just take Air Force One on a joy ride to Manhattan. I don’t care whose kids you are. We’ve been setting some ground rules here. They’re starting to get a little carried away.
Hey, lay off the kids! If you don’t want right wing nut jobs like me making fun of them in a few years then don’t use them for public props when it suits your purposes. Besides, making fun of your kids is almost as tricky as props and ethnic jokes. Why not do this as a mother-in-law joke. How about, “Michelle’s mother told us she wanted to take the train up to New York for a day and see the sights. I said, why not just fly? I have to be careful what I say when the Pentagon Liaison is in the room!”
…And he (David Axelrod) said to me the same thing that partners all across America are saying to one another right now: Let’s go to Iowa and make it official.
Gay jokes, really?
Dick Cheney was supposed to be here but he is very busy working on his memoirs, tentatively titled, “How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People.”
This is a good joke, but he fumbled the delivery!
… whirlwind of activity these first hundred days. We’ve enacted a major economic recovery package, we passed a budget, we forged a new path in Iraq, and no President in history has ever named three Commerce Secretaries this quickly.
Not a bad joke but you should have only used two examples in your set up. Remember, set the pattern, reinforce the pattern, and then break the pattern.
… Which reminds me, if Judd Gregg is here; your business cards are ready now.
Not a bad tag, but you fumbled this delivery too.
…Larry Summers asked if he could chair the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Another risky topic for liberal comics, did you hear the groans and small boos from the feminists in the crowd. Barack needs to remember that radical feminist have had their sense of humor surgically removed.
And I do appreciate that Larry is here tonight because it is seven hours past his bedtime.
Gibbs liked that one.
…You know, we (Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama) had been rivals during the campaign, but these days we could not be closer. In fact, the second she got back from Mexico she pulled into a hug and gave me a big kiss.
Would he be making Swine Flu jokes if he really thought it was all that big of a danger?
…So I’d like to talk a little bit about what my administration plans to achieve in the next hundred days.
Hey! Hey! This is my bit from a blog I wrote a week ago! Somebody in the White House writer’s room is reading Big Hollywood!
During the second hundred days, we will design, build and open a library dedicated to my first hundred days. It’s going to be big, folks. In the next hundred days, I will learn to go off the prompter and Joe Biden will learn to stay on the prompter.
Finally some self-deprecation! Here is my theory on comedy about the Obama Administration: Obama, off limits, Biden whipping boy!
I realize that the President didn’t write any of his own material but that is just keeping with his established style.