Comic Genius

Benziono NapaloniI think I’ll try out the Brad DeLong technique and bring your attention to something by quoting the entire article. Let’s see if I get this right.

In the royal court of the shrill the Third Assistant to the Second Vice Jester innovates new modalities of shrill giggling.

It’s debatable

Now, I had never seen George Bush speak for any length of time before watching the three presidential debates.

I had no idea.

The man is a comic genius.

The sheer breadth of his repertoire, the winks, the allusions, the outright mimics of so many comedy greats, it’s astounding, exhilarating, it’s

Oh, where to begin?

It’s the ongoing homage to the old Mack Sennett zanies: Too Many Highballs, The loud mouth, The bluffer, A close shave, Hubby’s latest alibi, Daddy boy, The beloved bozo, Remember when? the list just goes on and on.

He’s nailed, I mean nail-ed, the Emmett Kelly frown, Harry Langdon’s blank stare, Sam Kinison’s delivery, Judy Holliday’s incredulity, Jack Benny’s shrug, Harold Lloyd’s eye shifts, Jack Oakie’s Benzino Napaloni pout, Don Knott’s indignation, Bill and Ted’s memory lapses, Shirley Temple’s lemon-squeezed determination, Lucy’s look when caught by Desi and that thing, that thing he does when he gets all riled up by something Kerry said and, when given the chance to respond, just freezes.

Man, that’s good television.

As a leitmotif, I sensed a grand homage to Gilda Radner’s Miss Emily Litella character in all those instances where he was asked a question, and responded with a fully off-topic descent into nonsense.

Actually, Mitch McConnell had a minimum wage plan that I supported that would have increased the minimum wage. But let me talk about what’s really important for the worker you’re referring to

And, let’s be frank, who but the most avant-garde comedian would maintain a lump of white spittle on the right-hand corner of their mouth for the entire first half of a “serious debate” if they had no ulterior vision in mind?

(A coincidence that Derrida had just died, and a new era of perception had dawned? I think not. The man knows his audience.)

Gosh, there are so many to choose from, but I really think the defining moment came in the second debate, when discussing the issue of Supreme Court appointments:

That’s not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we’re all-you know, it doesn’t say that. It doesn’t speak to the equality of America.

That, my friends, is comedy gold.

Is he wired?

Well, let me just ask you this: would you expect Letterman or Leno to perform their monologues without cue cards?

Let’s be honest, now.

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