When MSNBC broadcast live coverage of the Al Smith dinner in New York on Thursday night, Rachel Maddow brought in leftist comedian W. Kamau Bell from the show "Totally Biased" on FX, twice identified by Maddow as "brilliant." Bell quickly turned to bashing Mitt Romney.
"I think he has to learn how to enjoy the joke telling process. He has that look on his face between every joke like he's just been stabbed...It looks like a guy in a movie who`s been stabbed and trying not to show it. The stern Romney face, why are you in so much pain? You`re killing. Enjoy the moment." Then he went back to his analogy that Obama is as multi-skilled as a Swiss Army knife:
BELL: Barack Obama knows how to do this. He, he, I feel like Barack Obama is like a Swiss Army knife, he's got several different settings. Funny Barack is a very easy setting for him. Whereas Romney kinda has awkward Romney and mean Romney. (Maddow laughs). And so funny Romney is not really a setting for him, which is why he looks so awkward when he was actually still being funny.
Maddow admitted Romney "was very funny. He did have very good jokes." But Bell wanted to keep it negative. She asked how you can be both funny and likable, as politicians would want:
BELL: I mean, you don't have to be likable to be funny. A lot of comedians are horrible, horrible people. It`s about how comfortable you are in your own skin....And I think that`s the thing with Romney, like the jokes are professional jokes, comedians wrote them, but he still doesn't seem to be comfortable in his skin.
MADDOW: Yes, authenticity is everything on television and in politics, and in comedy, I think. I think that awkwardness is the thing he`s got to stretch on all of these. W. Kamau Bell from "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" on FX which is a brilliant show, and you're a very smart guy.