Political Pundit Punch Lines

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When harmless conversations become tense debates, and eight-foot birds have to worry about their jobs, you know it’s an election year. With less than a month away from the presidential election, and a couple of heated debates to go, it is safe to say that politics will only become more relevant in the weeks to come. While I generally hate talking politics, as it tends to lead to never ending arguments with friends and potential girlfriends, I happen to love election years. Unlike any other time, election years bring out some of the best comedic material across all networks. Giving endless jokes to TV writers, election time is not just lol time, it’s more like ROFLMAO time. This past summer, and especially these past few weeks, has had its share of serious comedic moments – here are a few of my favorites. 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium”

After years of verbal sparring, this past Saturday night, Jon Stewart faced off against his arch nemesis Bill O’Reilly in a heated political debate. Staged at George Washington University and coined as “The Rumble in the Air Conditioned Auditorium,” (a clever play off of the famous boxing match, “The Rumble in the Jungle”) the highly anticipated dispute was a perfect example of why political comedy is so great during elections. Unlike a normal time of year when politics lives on the back burner, every topic the moderator brought up was well known and interesting to listen to.  The two fought over issues ranging from Medicare to the Constitution and both debaters came well prepared.  Moderated by E.D Hill, who failed even worse than poor Jim Lehrer, the debate was a perfect blend of legitimately heated words and good-natured fun. At one point, after Jon Stewart had finished dancing across the stage, he sat on Bill O’Reilly’s lap and the two answered audience questions. While unfortunately millions of viewers were blocked off from seeing the debate live due to a server crash the night of the show (myself included!!!) the show is available for download for $4.95 at www.therumble2012.com. If you have not seen it yet, don’t just wait till they do recaps on the Daily Show – you have to watch the whole performance. I guarantee you will laugh, and unlike last week’s presidential debate about bills no one has ever heard of, you will actually learn a ton about politics.


“Black Face” Web Redemption

            The expert of analyzing YouTube videos did it again this past week. After a young boy was suspended for giving Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream speech” in black face, Daniel Tosh brought him out to LA to give him one shot at redemption. After verbally assaulting him and his mother, Tosh staged a mock elementary school speech where students had to come dressed up as famous historical figures. Of course, ensuring that no one was offended, Tosh dresses the young boy up as Osama Bin Laden and has him get shot on stage. While the bit doesn’t sound too funny when I type it, it was intelligently done and well worth a watch.

The piece also acted as a perfect lead-in to the finale of the show, where Tosh himself paints half of his face black. He then proceeds to try to impersonate Obama by saying his name louder and louder as Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele  (Comedy Central’s resident Obama impersonators) stand by his side yelling at him.  The shtick is short but sweet.

FYI: For those of you who may not have ever seen the show, please watch with an open mind, he offends everyone.


Big Bird joins Seth Meyers at the Weekend Update desk.

Slightly overshadowing the host, Daniel Craig, Big Bird got a few healthy laughs this past week as he answered a couple of questions about job security and twitter popularity.  I for one am not a big SNL fan, so the bit didn’t really work for me, but a lot of people found it funny so it’s worth mentioning.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart           

Stephen Colbert preps Jon Stewart for the debate

Before watching the rumble you need to watch the Daily Show episode last week. Stephen Colbert returns to the show and teaches his long time pal the proper way to win a debate: Always be attacking! And if you can catch and eat a live chicken, you will always win a debate.  The bit is pure genius and I whole-heartedly hope you watch it.

For today’s poll, tell us which political satirists is your favorite. You never know, some of these nominees may be up for a People’s Choice Award so stay tuned.

Bill Maher

Jon Stewart

Stephen Colbert

Lewis Black

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