Republicans Can’t Take A Joke – Unless It’s Racist

Much of the political press is buzzing today over the appearance of an Obama impersonator at the Republican Leadership Conference yesterday.

Reggie Brown took the stage and immediately endeared himself to the audience by taking a shot at Al Gore. This was followed by a long string of “self”-deprecating jokes aimed at President Obama, many of which straddled a racially precarious line.

The audience was unfazed by most of it, laughing heartily at jokes that portrayed the President as Fred Sanford or noted that he only celebrated half of Black History Month. The act was well received by the predominantly white audience with only scattered groans arising when Anthony Weiner’s groin was displayed on the big screen.

Eventually, however, Brown’s act was cut short by an official of the RLC and he was escorted off stage. For the most part the press has uniformly misinterpreted this as being the result of his “racially-tinged” material. But as I noted above, the audience was enjoying the race-based jokes. The boos began when Brown turned to the Republican field of presidential candidates. The first sign of trouble was a joke about Newt Gingrich’s faltering campaign. It escalated with references to Mitt Romney and the Mormon practice of polygamy. And the hook actually came in the middle of a bit on Michele Bachmann. See for yourself:

Clearly the act was aborted when the sensitivities of the crowd were challenged by material aimed at their standard bearers. It was not the racial material, which they welcomed with guffaws. Even Charlie Davis, the CEO of the RLC who made the decision to pull the plug, admitted that the beginning of the routine -the racially suspect part – was funny:

“I just thought he had gone too far,” Davis said. “He was funny the first 10 or 15 minutes, but it was inappropriate, it was getting ridiculous.”

What did he expect? If a comedian is going to impersonate Obama wouldn’t the President crack jokes about his opponents? The character demands that he do so. Personally, I wasn’t offended by any of the material, although I think that it may have been more appropriate for a more racially diverse audience. There was something about these jokes being delivered to such a uniformly white crowd that was uncomfortable. But Brown was not the one responsible for the act’s failure. It was the dumbass Republican operatives who thought that hiring Brown would go over well with this crowd.

Republicans are notoriously deficient of the humor gene. They’ve tried on numerous occasions to develop an answer to The Daily Show with zero success. Their comedic heroes are pathetic wannabes like Dennis Miller, Greg Gutfield, or even Glenn Beck. Part of the problem is that they simply can’t laugh at themselves. The most embarrassing thing about this event was not a misfiring Obama impersonator. It is that they yanked the comic for lighthearted pokes at the GOP, but sat through and appreciated borderline racist material.

CORRECTION: The most embarrassing thing about this event were the speeches by the actual Republican candidates and their supporters.

[Update] Reggie Brown tells CNN that he was cut off because he went over his allotted time. At least that’s what the RLC told him. But of course, they lied. The RLC president had already made this statement acknowledging that Brown was yanked for the content of his act:

“I just thought he had gone too far. He was funny the first 10 or 15 minutes, but it was inappropriate, it was getting ridiculous.”

Brown should seek a clarification. They are slandering him and lying about it. But I guess that’s force of habit for Republicans. They do that to Democrats every day.


8 thoughts on “Republicans Can’t Take A Joke – Unless It’s Racist

  1. To be fair, Dennis Miller used to be quite funny, in fact I firmly believe the Daily Show owes a great deal to the way Miller revitalized the SNL newsdesk. That being said, that only moves him from the “wannabe” to the “washed up” category.

    • I thought I remembered Miller as being funny sometime in the distant past. I began doubting the accuracy of my memory over the past few years. He has become a pathetic shadow of a comedian and the memory I thought I had of him.

  2. Remember the show that was on Fox News Network that was a knock off of the Daily Show? I saw it one time. The jokes were terrible and it wasn’t funny. They were downright nasty and mean yet the Daily Show makes fun of all of them and manages to keep it funny by showing their foybles. One thing you can say about the republicans and that is that can’t take the truth. Sure would have loved what he was saying about Michele.

  3. Now the question is: who will have him on to finish the act? Jon? Keith? Rachel?

    • That’s a good question. I’ve been looking for his email address to see if I could get a comment, but I can only find a booking agency.

  4. Right-wingers are the most humorless group you will ever run across, apart from say-Muslim clerics. Every foray they have made into the sphere of comedy has failed dismally. Dennis Miller hasn’t been funny since his political right turn after the start of the Iraq war. Think about it, has Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, O’reilly et al, ever made anyone laugh? I think we all know the answer to that question.

    • Sure they have. I laugh at em all the time!!

      • I meant to state laughing at them in that way as a caveat to my question because I laugh at them for how ridiculous and outrageous they are too.

Comments are closed.