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View Full Version : Obama imitator is taken seriously


Ron_Tomkins
20th June 2011, 10:59 AM
Not too long ago I opened a thread about Conservative Comedians, asking about them, where they are, and arguing that I don't think we can just flat out say "Well, Republicans don't have a sense of humor"

However, it does seem it's harder for Republicans to make fun of themselves than it is of Democrats. Just now I was watching an episode of the Jon Stewart show where he mocks Obama's attempt to sympathize with Puerto Ricans on his 4 hour stay at Puerto Rico. That is, Stewart will occasionally mock democrats (such as Anthony Weiner) and you will never hear the audience booing because he's mocking their side.

That is, however, exactly what you will expect from a Republican audience;
Comedian Reggie Brown, an incredible Obama impersonator who gets it as close as possible, was jeered at this hilarious speech he gave at a Republican Convention, when his jokes began to take a turn against the Conservatives themselves:

-hfIrag8eXI

Audience sense of humor = FAIL

elbe
20th June 2011, 11:41 AM
I mentioned it in another thread, but I have the impression that the right views dissent as weakness and will always try to defend and never criticize their own, at least not publicly. But that's just how it looks to me.

JoeTheJuggler
20th June 2011, 11:51 AM
And at the same time at least a couple of people on the right are urging them to be more politically expedient than insist on ideological purity. (I don't mean to Godwin the thread, but that notion of "purity" really smacks of Nazism or Bolshevekism.)

But then you've got the Tea Party side of the GOP that seems to view compromise (much less self-criticism) as weakness.

Biscuit
20th June 2011, 12:08 PM
Any particular point I should be watching for? I don't have 18 minutes to sit through that.

Ron_Tomkins
20th June 2011, 12:37 PM
Any particular point I should be watching for? I don't have 18 minutes to sit through that.

Not really. His routine does have some hilarious moments that made me literally laugh out loud at centimeters from the screen. But that's just me. The only "relevant" part is near the end, when you start witnessing the audience's disapproval with the comedian. And then someone kind of escorts him out of the stage.

marksman
20th June 2011, 12:44 PM
You don't mock your audience. And when you mock someone from your own party, you make fun of them for not being sufficiently in line with party ideals.

Jon Stewart can make fun of Obama, particularly when Obama falls short of Democratic ideals (like when his short PR trip indicated a non-genuine cynical interest in Puerto Rico). But Jon Stewart generally doesn't make fun of his audience (unless he will imply they smoke pot or drink to excess, which his audience isn't going to take as an insult).

Similarly, the Obama impersonator can make fun of Obama. And he could have thanked Romney for his help in getting Obamacare passed. Even though that was making fun of a Republican, you'd be making fun of him for not being sufficiently GOP.

Similarly, Jon Stewart can make Obama jokes at the DNC. But if he begins mocking the DNC for not, say, not defending Wiener and acting like a bunch of moralistic Republicans, you can bet that people will be offended. But Jon Stewart's smart enough to know better than to make such a joke at the DNC; this comedian was not.

elbe
20th June 2011, 12:51 PM
You don't mock your audience. And when you mock someone from your own party, you make fun of them for not being sufficiently in line with party ideals.

Are you joking or do you not watch a lot of comedy?

Mr. Purple
20th June 2011, 12:56 PM
That impression was scary good. Wow.
I am not sure there was much humor though. And the humor I did recognize was weird and uncomfortable.

A Laughing Baby
20th June 2011, 01:02 PM
Man, I sure did love the Sanford and Son joke, and the one where the whole joke was "Obama is half black lol." Really insightful, hard-hitting comedy there.

hgc
20th June 2011, 01:03 PM
That impression was scary good. Wow.
I am not sure there was much humor though. And the humor I did recognize was weird and uncomfortable.

Yeah, he's a got a lot more going for him as an impersonator than as a comedian. If they had a good joke writer, it may have worked out better, but then I don't think he has much in the way of comic timing. He'd be better off as a Romney impersonator (if he looked like Romney).

Skewing the inside crowd would have worked better if the jokes were funny. Or maybe the last thing that crowd would have wanted was a near-Obama making them laugh at themselves.

Snide
20th June 2011, 01:17 PM
Yeah, he's a got a lot more going for him as an impersonator than as a comedian. If they had a good joke writer, it may have worked out better, but then I don't think he has much in the way of comic timing. He'd be better off as a Romney impersonator (if he looked like Romney).

Skewing the inside crowd would have worked better if the jokes were funny. Or maybe the last thing that crowd would have wanted was a near-Obama making them laugh at themselves.I agree. What I found funny (strange) was how heartily some people laughed at the really lame, "I celebrated half the month (Feb)" joke. It was worth a mild chuckle at best. It would rank on the bottom of a typical Leno monologue, yet some just howled. Odd.

A Laughing Baby
20th June 2011, 01:20 PM
I agree. What I found funny (strange) was how heartily some people laughed at the really lame, "I celebrated half the month (Feb)" joke. It was worth a mild chuckle at best. It would rank on the bottom of a typical Leno monologue, yet some just howled. Odd.

It's a race-based joke while being milquetoast enough to say that it wasn't a racist joke. It's a chance to make "the President is black! LOL!" jokes without being called out on it. See also: the reaction to the Sanford and Sons joke (which was, as far as I can tell, a joke that was literally just "The president is black!").

TraneWreck
20th June 2011, 01:26 PM
You don't mock your audience. And when you mock someone from your own party, you make fun of them for not being sufficiently in line with party ideals.

[...]

Similarly, Jon Stewart can make Obama jokes at the DNC. But if he begins mocking the DNC for not, say, not defending Wiener and acting like a bunch of moralistic Republicans, you can bet that people will be offended. But Jon Stewart's smart enough to know better than to make such a joke at the DNC; this comedian was not.

I believe you need to familiarize yourself with the concept of a "roast."

Ron_Tomkins
20th June 2011, 01:34 PM
You don't mock your audience. And when you mock someone from your own party, you make fun of them for not being sufficiently in line with party ideals.

There is no such rule and as matter of fact a lot of comedians do mock their audiences efficiently. You just have to do it "with style" so to speak. In other words, no matter how harsh you may mock your audience, if the jokes are in fact funny, the audience can laugh at themselves.

At the Comedy Cellar in new York, this is almost a motto. In fact, prior to the beginning of the show, they warn the audience not to take it seriously when the comedians mock them.

Jon Stewart can make fun of Obama, particularly when Obama falls short of Democratic ideals (like when his short PR trip indicated a non-genuine cynical interest in Puerto Rico). But Jon Stewart generally doesn't make fun of his audience (unless he will imply they smoke pot or drink to excess, which his audience isn't going to take as an insult).

Stephen Colbert, on the other hand, will in fact mock his audience from time to time and again, as long as everyone understands that nothing that comes out of the comedian's mouth is to be taken seriously, there's no reason to get offended.

Similarly, Jon Stewart can make Obama jokes at the DNC. But if he begins mocking the DNC for not, say, not defending Wiener and acting like a bunch of moralistic Republicans, you can bet that people will be offended. But Jon Stewart's smart enough to know better than to make such a joke at the DNC; this comedian was not.

I wouldn't "bet" on it. I think we would have to see what would actually happen. People aren't always emotionally reactive. It all depends on how the comedian delivers the joke. As George Carlin said "I believe you can joke about anything. It's all about how you construct the joke".

And again, your analogy isn't quite accurate. You said Jon Stewart never mocks his audience, but that analogy is invalid because Reggie Brown wasn't mocking his audience. He was mocking the Republican candidates. So it actually is exactly as the analogy I originally presented:

* Stewart mocks Obama (which his audience supports) and his audience laughs
* Reggie Brown mocks Republican candidates (which his audience supports) and his audience jeers him and takes it seriously


Same exact scenario. Two different outcomes. So my point does rest.

marksman
20th June 2011, 01:43 PM
I believe you need to familiarize yourself with the concept of a "roast."Was this at a roast? If so, i retract my comments.

marksman
20th June 2011, 01:44 PM
* Reggie Brown mocks Republican candidates (which his audience supports) and his audience jeers him and takes it seriously
I thought it was said he was mocking the GOP, not the candidates. My apologies if I misunderstood.

TraneWreck
20th June 2011, 01:56 PM
Was this at a roast? If so, i retract my comments.

He was clearly roasting the candidates, making fun of them. The Roast format has become popular in political circles. The Whitehouse Correspondents' dinner has essentially become a roast.

johnny karate
20th June 2011, 02:09 PM
"John King served [Pawlenty] up a ball softer than Barney Frank's backside."

queerz r teh funny lolz

A Laughing Baby
20th June 2011, 02:18 PM
I think that's more of a "Barney Frank is fat! LOL!" joke than a "Barney Frank is gay! LOL!" joke. Though it probably has some implications of that second one in there.

elbe
20th June 2011, 02:26 PM
Random related followup: I've seen Stewart lightly mock his audience on the Daily Show, usually in a self deprecating style.

Quinn
20th June 2011, 03:00 PM
You don't mock your audience.

In the span of about 15 minutes, Stephen Colbert elevated his status from "that guy with a show on after Jon Stewart" to a serious force to be reckoned with, specifically by mocking his audience. (Though this could be disputed based on one's view of who "his audience" really was.)

marksman
20th June 2011, 03:08 PM
In the span of about 15 minutes, Stephen Colbert elevated his status from "that guy with a show on after Jon Stewart" to a serious force to be reckoned with, specifically by mocking his audience. (Though this could be disputed based on one's view of who "his audience" really was.)

I don't think right-wingers are Colbert's intended audience. I'd be surpried to find out they were.

Number Six
20th June 2011, 03:39 PM
For some reason, the left seems to do smart ass political comedy (Stewart, Colbert, etc) way better than the right and the right seems to do strident talk radio (Limbaugh, Hannity) way better than the left. (And by "better" I mean more liked.) I've seen Fox News try to do their version of smart ass political comedy and it just falls flat. And while I don't personally like strident right wing talk radio, IMO strident left wing talk radio comes off even worse.

I thought the Obama impersonator was great. Even the jokes that weren't so funny were good because he is so spot on with his impersonation. I can't believe Obama has been President for 2.5 years and yet we haven't seen more of that impersonator.

I think I've heard the comparison of Michele Obama to Aunt Esther before...from Rush Limbaugh I think. That lets you know though how context affects perception. Everybody knows that Limbaugh main purpose is to tear down Obama and so it comes off at just plain mean (because it is). But when the impersonator made the joke it came off completely differently because he was poking fun at everybody. If the GOP caught heat for that I don't think it's for that impersonator per se but rather for being so strongly associated with the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world.

Piscivore
20th June 2011, 03:54 PM
For some reason, the left seems to do smart ass political comedy (Stewart, Colbert, etc) way better than the right and the right seems to do strident talk radio (Limbaugh, Hannity) way better than the left. (And by "better" I mean more liked.) I've seen Fox News try to do their version of smart ass political comedy and it just falls flat.

They do say humour is related to intelligence... :p

Number Six
20th June 2011, 04:03 PM
They do say humour is related to intelligence... :p

I don't get it.

Tricky
20th June 2011, 04:21 PM
He was clearly roasting the candidates, making fun of them. The Roast format has become popular in political circles. The Whitehouse Correspondents' dinner has essentially become a roast.

Yes, the White House Correspondents' Dinner is a comedy event. Everyone knows it. People get ribbed. It's not really a roast, though, unless the "roastee" is present and allowed to give a rebuttal roast of his roasters.

This was a serious event to discuss policy and the guy was hired to make fun of Obama. If Republicans had any sense of humor, the potential candidates themselves could have made their own jokes, but they had to hire somebody to do it. Then they couldn't take it when the jokes were turned on them. Yeah, the guy says it was because he was "running over his time limit". If you believe that was the reason that he was pulled offstage, then I have some death panels I want to sell you.

A Laughing Baby
20th June 2011, 04:26 PM
Make miscegenation and "Obama is going to be a cranky old black man lol" jokes = big laughs.

Make the joke "Newt Gingrich's campaign is a mess lol" = get escorted off stage by staff.

thaiboxerken
20th June 2011, 04:51 PM
I don't think right-wingers are Colbert's intended audience. I'd be surpried to find out they were.

They aren't, and yet many right-wingers enjoy Colbert's show for "making fun of liberals."

As for the OP. Reggie Brown didn't really make fun of the audience, not much anyway. He was being booed for making fun of GOP candidates for POTUS.

BenBurch
20th June 2011, 04:58 PM
I don't think right-wingers are Colbert's intended audience. I'd be surpried to find out they were.

Many of them watch him regularly. While surveys of The Daily Show's viewers find twice as many Liberals as you find in the general population, that still leaves a lot of room as only 20% of all Americans are Liberals.

TheNooch
20th June 2011, 06:40 PM
I can't believe Obama has been President for 2.5 years and yet we haven't seen more of that impersonator.

So true. The dude is very good, and must be working out on the 'b' list stages.

I saw him today on Cenk's MSNBC show and his natural voice is nothing like his Obama voice.

I would imagine that we will be seeing more of him now that he has gotten all this great attention for getting pulled off the Republican stage. SNL should hire this dude and get rid of their horrible Obama guy (whatever his name is, he sucks).

Dorian Gray
20th June 2011, 07:55 PM
I couldn't watch it all the way. This guy kinda sucked. He packed 2 whole mildly humorous jokes into only a 3 minute segment. I mean, wow. The Bush impersonator blew this guy away. Fred Armison blows this guy away. Will Motherferrelling Ferrell blows this guy away.

Ron_Tomkins
21st June 2011, 11:04 AM
I couldn't watch it all the way. This guy kinda sucked. He packed 2 whole mildly humorous jokes into only a 3 minute segment. I mean, wow. The Bush impersonator blew this guy away. Fred Armison blows this guy away. Will Motherferrelling Ferrell blows this guy away.

Why do you hate America?

Tricky
21st June 2011, 12:47 PM
For good voice imitations and hilarious jokes, you really can't beat The Capitol Steps (http://www.capsteps.com/). However, I have no idea whether or not they look like the people they're imitating. They did a whole routine making fun of Obama's race (like Obama's insurance company that uses a duck mascot: Hafblack).

Ron_Tomkins
21st June 2011, 02:58 PM
For good voice imitations and hilarious jokes, you really can't beat The Capitol Steps (http://www.capsteps.com/). However, I have no idea whether or not they look like the people they're imitating. They did a whole routine making fun of Obama's race (like Obama's insurance company that uses a duck mascot: Hafblack).

I think I prefer this instead:

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