Friday, October 17, 2008

Some great comedy.

This absolutely blew me away. During the commercials in last night's Red Sox game, I flipped over to MSNBC to watch John McCain and Barack Obama give their live speeches at the Alfred E. Smith dinner. This is apparently quite an American tradition. Every campaign year, both presidential candidates appear at this dinner, which raises money for charity in conjunction with the Catholic church. I wasn't aware of this event - last election, the two candidates were not invited to participate. The Catholic church was angry with John Kerry for some reason, and they refused to invite him. And they felt if they were going to exclude Kerry, they should exclude Bush as well. But the tradition is back on this year, and the two candidates took the stage for a couple of speeches. The tradition also dictates that those speeches, at this event, are funny. So basically, you're seeing Barack Obama and John McCain doing...standup. And this stunned me. Here is Obama's, which is really well done and very funny:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5SWQJWm6Tg

I expect Obama to come off as affable and friendly, and of course he has the capacity to be humorous. And he was. No big shock. But he followed McCain. And that was a shock. A huge shock, for me. In the third presidential debate, he screwed up his face, cackled softly to himself, squinted, clenched his teeth, twitched, and generally looked uncomfortable. In fact, he reminded me very much of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. And there was nothing funny about it. It was creepy and weird and decidedly off-putting. So when John McCain is called upon to do some stand-up, I'm figuring it will be about the most awkward, painful thing to watch since Joe Namath hit on Suzy Kolber on Monday Night Football. Here's that video, for reference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc65NC44dSk

But then...it wasn't! Not only did John McCain look comfortable speaking for the first time in the entire campaign, at a nothing event, he was actually funny! Like, really funny! Where has this man been the last seven years of this presidential campaign? If he had been this guy at his rallies, instead of the guy who has spent the last six weeks stirring up racial hatred and venomous Obama-is-a-terrorist sentiment, he might actually still be in a close race! Here's McCain, who is actually just as comfortable, and actually funnier, than Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j82lhqiAF-M

Well, that's likely the last time this presidential race will be funny. From now on, the humour will have to be injected from outside sources, by the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, and Katie Couric.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...after the debate, this was rather refreshing. I agree with you Eric, Sen. McCain is really a funny guy. Obama's lack of experience came through while he was onstage, and although he was decent, McCain nailed it.

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