After a week that will go down in history as the moment Republicans finally stood up for themselves, comics are not laying off John McCain’s former running mate just yet. Bill Maher said that Iran was propped up by oil revenue and run by a religious whacko, just like Alaska. Letterman, despite frequent jokes about the amount of hate mail he has been receiving, couldn’t help mentioning that Gay Pride week was the only time of year when you can see hundreds of men dressed up like Sarah Palin.
The big topics of the week were Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the presidential fly killing:
The election of Mahmoud was compared by the talk show hosts alternately to the 2000 Presidential and the 2008 Minnesota Senate elections. Fallon claimed that now that his opponent lost, he’ll go on to make a documentary about Global Warming. David Letterman actually did a joke almost every single night, changing the punchline from Florida voting machines, to Pat Buchanan, Al Gore, Al Franken and Jeb Bush. Bill Maher used Norm Coleman then criticized his audience for not knowing who he was talking about. The funniest line was Ferguson’s who claimed that Iranian politics have finally gotten as corrupt as Chicago.
Ferguson and Conan get the Writers Over Shoulders Award for making a joke about the fly being eaten like a lizard. Ferguson speculated that it would be done by Cheney, while Conan put a computer animated tongue in the president’s mouth, snapping the fly off his wrist. Kimmel gets an honorable mention for putting a sound effect of flatulence behind the video so it looked like the President was trying to fan the odor away.
The Most Overused Person as a Punchline goes to Thomas Prusik Parkin, the man who dressed up like his dead mother to collect her social security check. David Letterman accused both Elton John and Barry Manilow of dressing like their mothers on alternate nights. The funniest line he said was that he was so good at dressing up like an old woman that Ashton Kutcher wanted to date him. (He told a similar joke the following night, saying if he wanted to look like an old woman he should have dressed up like Madonna.)
John McCain buying a hybrid was another big story of the week getting attention from Conan, Fallon and Letterman who used it for ageist jokes. Letterman claimed that a Hybrid to McCain would be a horse and buggy while Conan claimed that to McCain, hybrid meant an AM/FM radio. Fallon claimed that seven months ago he couldn’t use a computer, but now he’ll have a hybrid and a twitter account; perhaps he’s the new Benjamin Button.
Jimmy Fallon reached all the way back to an administration that predated his talk show career to deliver the Lamest Attempt at an Obama Joke, claiming that George Bush tried to one-up the new President by killing a fly himself, but it took 20 minutes of clumsy two handed swatting. There were also a couple Bill Clinton as a predator jokes during the week. But the Oldest Presidential Reference goes to Stephen Colbert, who ran Richard Nixon’s quote about Bohemian Grove being “faggy.”
Most of the week’s Obama material centered on the fly. One exception was Jon Stewart who derided the President for trying to fix Health Care in the middle of a war on two fronts and trying to keep the nation from looking like it did in the Grapes of Wrath. But the Funniest Obama Line goes to Conan who claimed that while President Obama was on the phone talking to Phil Jackson and Dan Bylsma, Joe Biden got to talk to Tito Jackson and a real penguin.
The Most Interesting Interview of the week was Governor Mike Huckabee on the Jon Stewart Show. Governor Huckabee very clearly laid out the constitutional pro-life position for the Daily Show audience. Stewart, was defenseless against a rational case for the rights of the unborn, especially since Huckabee’s position was not based in religion, zealotry or misogyny–the straw men Stewart usually attacks. His audience also appeared stunned, as they were not able to perform their trademark trained seal-clap more than a couple times during Stewart’s humiliation.
The Angriest White Man is still Bill Maher, who after a brief flirtation with moderateness, struck back at those of us who congratulated his criticism of Obama. In a remarkably unfunny rant, Maher warned Republicans:
And as far as you folks on the right, who think that we’re now somehow in league: we’re not in league. I was criticizing Obama for not being hard enough on the corporate douchebags you live to defend. I don’t want to be on your team, pick another kid.
Gee, all we did was compliment him for being fair.
Besides Letterman, perhaps there might have been another threat issued down to a host last week. It seems David wasn’t the only one, who had to apologize to his “sponsors.”