Sunday, February 21, 2010
Pity the poor comedians, Part II
Three posts ago this blog discussed how today's TV funnymen had hamstrung themselves by making Barack Obama off-limits. Every Sunday the NY Times quotes highlights of the various talk show hosts' wit from the previous week. Today they included this gem from Letterman:
"President Obama declared that he's approving construction of two new nuclear reactors. And George Bush immediately stood up and screamed, 'It's nucular'!"
When a comedian must recycle material that old, it makes him seem a bit tired. And out of touch. And lame.
Yes, George Bush did mispronounce the word "nuclear." Seven years ago. And that mispronunciation got plenty of play at the time, as well it should have. But he has been out of office for over a year now, and in the meantime President Obama has given the comedians plenty of material. Yet they refuse to touch it.
President Obama recently mispronounced the word "corpsman" three times in one speech. He pronounced it "corpse-man," when it should be pronounced "cores-man," (as in "Marine Corps").
Imagine what Letterman or Leno could have done with this: "President Obama paid tribute to a soldier today. Only instead of calling him a Navy corpsman, he referred to him as a 'Navy corpse-man' -- as if he's already dead. Does Obama know something we don't? Is this one of the soldiers he plans to send to Afghanistan? You know, I just don't think this is the best way to raise morale among the troops."
We shouldn't hold it against Obama that he mispronounced a word. We all make mistakes. It's just a little dismaying to see the hypocrisy -- and fearfulness -- of our comedians. They seem to consider any jokes about Obama as radioactive as those nuclear plants he just approved.