NBC, ever anxious to capitalize on its connections to the White House, is planning a new sitcom titled 1600 Penn for next season. Written by former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, the show will portray life in the White House, with Bill Pullman as the president, Dharma & Greg’s Jenna Elfman as the First Lady, and The Book of Mormon’s Josh Gad. The show will be directed by Modern Family’s Jason Winer.
Lovett, who started as a stand-up comic, then was hired by the John Kerry campaign before he worked for Hillary Clinton writing a roast speech, claims that the dysfunctional family is not like the Obamas: “The idea is that this is a dysfunctional family, and the First Family today is so far from that, it’s ridiculous.”
Lovett’s brand of comedy was on display in December 2010, at Washington DC’s Funniest Celebrity competition, where he made fun of Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, by calling him gay (interesting how calling a staunch conservative gay is viewed as fodder for laughs while calling a president gay gets you on the cover of Newsweek -- with a halo, no less). He also took a swipe at Catholic priests, saying that the TSA in airports provided a good opportunity for “defrocked priests to get their lives back together, give back to the community, lend a … well, not lend a hand, but you know …”
Lovett, predictably enough, has said that his favorite moments working for Obama were: “Standing in the back when he repealed 'Don't ask, don't tell.' or traveling with the president when he was making his case for health care reform.”
If Lovett’s sitcom employs the same brand of humor he has used in the past, it’s a safe bet we’ll get the same old leftist jokes slamming conservative values. But as the country has tired of the leftist ideologue in the White House, this time those jokes may very well fall flat.