Mock Obama? Comedy Writer Says 'He's Like a Smooth Rock Face of Perfect Obsidian'

Friday’s Wall Street Journal tackled the issue of joking about the candidates – especially how hard comedians have found it to mock President Obama. Four years ago, "you couldn't tell jokes about Obama," said the leftist political humorist Will Durst. "You couldn't even see him—the halo was too bright."

"Since I've been doing this, going back to the '70s, I don't remember two contenders for the presidency who had fewer handles for comedy between them," said Saturday Night Live writer Jim Downey, but even now, Obama is too perfect (?) for humorists:

"Obama doesn't give you much to grab onto. He's like a smooth rock face of perfect obsidian with no ledges or toeholds, and your job is to scale 200 feet of it."

Is Downey were less than deeply complimentary, that analogy might be seen as racist, since obsidian is a very black volcanic rock. But Journal writer Don Steinberg goes on to describe how some are joking about Obama, with former SNL star Dana Carvey suggesting he’s been able to get the rhythm of an Obama impression:

He demonstrates: "If you BAKE-a-CAKE, you didn't bake-that-cake. Somebody else baked that cake FOR YOU. If you get BUZZED on FRIDAY NIGHT, that's not-your-buzz. Somebody helped you GET THAT BUZZ. You didn't you didn't brew the beer. You didn't distill the liquor. You didn't…crushthegrapes."

"Pundits are saying that President Obama is starting to lose support among his own party," Mr. Leno joked. "To give you an idea of how bad it's gotten, today Jimmy Carter compared him to Jimmy Carter."

From Jimmy Fallon: "This weekend President Obama's daughter, Sasha, will turn 11 years old. Sasha didn't ask Obama for a present—you know, because she's still waiting for him to deliver the gifts he promised three birthdays ago."

Dennis Miller, one of the few comedians who never had a problem mocking the president, is generous with material in his regular "Miller Time" segments on Fox News's "The O'Reilly Factor." He labels the Obama years "a Kardashian presidency—if you ask anybody why they like it, they don't really know."

...The threat that Hurricane Isaac might have hit Florida during this week's GOP convention inspired Mr. Leno to say: "Florida is ready for it. Thanks to President Obama's economic policies, many businesses down there are already boarded up."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis