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Archive for August 5th, 2013

Over the years, I’ve shared lots of political humor from the late-night talk shows. Much of this humor is left leaning, but I can appreciate good jokes even if they’re at my expense.

In recent months, though, I’ve speculated that there’s been a shift away from Obama, especially on the part of Jay Leno (see here, here, and here).

Well, it seems that I was right in sensing a change. Here’s a report from Fox News about a new study.

A study of gags by late-night comics during the first half of the year found an abrupt change from 2012. Now Obama and Democrats are providing the lion’s share of punchlines. Obama was the target of 288 monologue jokes made by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel, according to an analysis released Monday by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. The next most joked-about individual was New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, at 120.

To put it mildly, this is a big change.

In 2012, Mitt Romney was the butt of more than twice as many jokes as Obama, and Republicans were similarly the target of more than double the jokes that were made on Democrats.

But it appears that I shouldn’t have singled out Leno for being a closet libertarian. Jimmy Fallon may deserve that honor.

Fallon was the toughest comic on Democrats, targeting them 240 times compared to 76 for Republicans. Letterman had 139 jokes about Republicans and 102 about Democrats, the CMPA found.

And since we’re on the topic, here’s the latest batch of jokes from the late-night comics, courtesy of NewsMax.com.

Jay Leno

  • Detroit has become the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. What happened was Detroit’s population dropped something like 70 percent, but the government got bigger. The tax base got smaller, but the government got bigger. Thank God that kind of thing could never happen in Washington.
  • According to a new study, lying gets easier over time. People get better at lying the more they do it. See, that’s why you have to have term limits.
  • Anthony Weiner has been caught in yet another sexting scandal. At the beginning of this campaign he said that other texts and photos were likely to come out. Well, they have. Finally, a politician who keeps his promises!
  • The Obama administration has admitted that under Obamacare, you might not be able to keep your doctor. At first the president guaranteed you’d be able to keep your doctor, and now they’re saying you “might” be able to. Today Obama changed his slogan from “Yes we can” to “Perhaps we could try. Can’t promise anything.”
  • I have been learning more about this NSA spying scandal. What are the odds that the only person they weren’t monitoring was Anthony Weiner?
  • The Vatican announced that the late Pope John Paul II will become a saint after they approve a miracle where he cured a woman of severe brain injury, which is pretty impressive. Not as impressive, though, as the miracle of Anthony Weiner still being married, but that’s impressive.
  • Seven women have come forward to say they’ve been sexually harassed by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. The mayor has agreed to intensive rehab therapy. They say it’s a 12-step program. Here’s a simple 12-step program: Just stay 12 steps away from all women.
  • More problems for America’s creepiest mayor, San Diego’s Bob Filner. An eighth woman has now come forward to say that she was sexually harassed by him. She said she would’ve come forward sooner but the line was too long.
  • Mayor Filner now wants the city of San Diego to pay for his sexual harassment lawsuit. He says it’s only fair because he harassed women only on government time, never his own time.

David Letterman

  • The show tonight may run a little longer than usual, and I’ll tell you why. We have about 300 Anthony Weiner jokes to get through.
  • The new blockbuster movie, “The Wolverine,” stars Hugh Jackman, and he’s pumped up. To get all buffed out, he had to consume 6,000 calories a day. Hearing this, the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, said “Oh, yeah? Then what did you have for dinner?”

Conan

  • Experts are predicting that the royal baby could pump $380 million into the British economy. So the question is: How do we get this kid to move to Detroit?
  • President Obama has issued a statement about the royal baby. He told him to hang on to the birth certificate. Those things come in handy.
  • It’s been reported that LeBron James will no longer play Olympic basketball for the United States. LeBron said he won’t play for any country that has less money than he does.

Jimmy Fallon

  • We have former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on the show tonight. He’ll be here only for about five minutes, but we’re charging him for the full hour.
  • Everybody is still talking about the other baby, the royal baby. In fact, I saw that President Obama released a statement congratulating Prince William and Kate Middleton on the birth of their son. Then he said, “And whatever you do — hang on to that birth certificate.”
  • President Obama gave a big speech yesterday on the economy. It was actually longer than his last State of the Union address — though it should be noted that he opened with 20 minutes of Anthony Weiner jokes.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin was on vacation last week, and apparently he caught a giant 46-pound fish. Putin called it a crowning achievement, while the manager of the aquarium said, “What am I supposed to do? He’s president.”

Jimmy Kimmel

  • Anthony Weiner has vowed to continue to fight. He said he is staying in the race because he cares deeply about the people of New York — except for the one he is married to.

Craig Ferguson

  • In a new interview, Republican Senator John McCain implied that he might vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. McCain’s getting old. He also said he’d consider voting for oatmeal.

I’m not surprised to see lots of Weiner jokes (here are some from when he first got in trouble).

But I would have expected more jokes about the one-party kleptocracy of Detroit. Maybe that’s expecting too much.

What I really like to see, by the way, is more jokes targeting government. I don’t particularly care whether the humor is going after Republicans or Democrats.

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