A Tale of Two Jokes

All day today, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Bruno Kirby’s classic line in Good Morning Vietnam:

“I understand you’re pretty funny as a dee-jay and, well, comedy is kind of a hobby of mine. Well, actually, it’s a little more than just a hobby, Reader’s Digest is considering publishing two of my jokes.”

When it came to a couple of jokes which surfaced over the weekend, however, there was more to it than an “in my heart, I know I am funny” atmosphere. In truth, I think Wanda Sykes is hilarious–especially in Curb Your Enthusiasm–and, for a guy whose job description does not include “get laughs,” David Feherty actually managed to bring a tear to my eye.

Truth be told, I laugh at just about anything. And, while Sykes’ comment about Rush Limbaugh at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner certainly went a step too far, most of her other material was laugh-worthy. Joke about Limbaugh, if you’d like. Mention that the man probably drones on for an hour-and-a-half when he tries to order pizza. But wishing death upon somebody? Probably a little too far.

Which, I must admit, is a little interesting and very telling of my own political bias. When I read what CBS golf analyst David Feherty wrote in a magazine column about Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, I’m sorry to say, I pretty well laughed my head off. Here’s the comment in question:

“From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this though: Despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Osama bin Laden, there’s a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death.”

Yeah. So much for “it’s not funny when you wish death upon somebody.” At first, I thought by laughing I was showing my true, hypocritical colors when it comes to Pelosi and Reid, a pair of people for whom I’ve never hidden my disdain. After thinking about it, though, I think the two jokes can be distinguished.

First, and most obviously, Pelosi and Reid are elected officials in the United States government, and actively have a hand in bringing our glorious nation to its knees, while Limbaugh is a private citizen with a radio show dedicated to exploring and shedding light upon, well, how Pelosi and Reid, as elected officials, are actively bringing our glorious nation to its knees.

Second, to wish kidney failure upon Limbaugh, undoubtedly another shot at his past prescription drug abuse, is a little different than to joke about how a United States soldier might react to having Pelosi, Reid and Osama Bin Laden in an elevator. Pelosi and Reid, like Bin Laden, have devoted much of the past five years in derailing and undermining efforts of our military overseas, demoralizing our troops, and providing aid and comfort to our sworn enemies. Reid, of course, likely caused mass celebrations in Al Qaeda training camps when he famously said, in April of 2007, that “this war is lost.” Pelosi has been even worse, among other things directly defying foreign policy orders from the White House and visiting the Syrian government, and actively putting our troops’ lives in jeopardy by drudging up decades-old procedural nonsense about the Turkish massacre of Armenians in the early 20th century, a move which angered the Turkish government enough that overflight and supply line agreements–vital to the U.S. effort in Iraq–were within hours of being rescinded. And Sykes said that Limbaugh was treasonous?

So, to review, we have a professional comedian, in scripted remarks, mention that she would like to see a private citizen’s kidneys fail because he dares to expose the lies, malfeasance, hypocrisy and treasonous conduct of our elected government officials, but when a golf announcer mentions in passing that our fighting men and women may not actually like or trust two particular elected government officials who have worked more for our enemies than our own soldiers, the former garners a presidential guffaw while the latter requires an apology. Something there isn’t right.

So, I laughed at Fenerty’s assessment, and shook my head at Sykes’ remarks. If that makes me insensitive or hypocritical, so be it. At least I’m not treasonous.

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Comments

  1. whats_up says:

    At least you are honest Jeff, you should have no problem then with those that laughed at the Limbaugh joke and took offense to the Reid and Pelosi joke, since they are being honest as well.

  2. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Whats_up …

    Last time I checked, Limbaugh has never overtly defied a White House order, nor has he unnecessarily put American lives at stake for purely political reasons.

  3. whats_up says:

    Jeff,

    With all due respect unnecessarily putting American live at stake for purely political reasons is not a factual statement and changes depending on the political lense that you use. Also I wasnt aware that there was a standing order to not visit Syria, perhaps someone should have told the three Republican reps who visited prior to Pelosi going there.

    By the way thanks for your site, it is refreshing to simply disagree with people at times, without them attacking your character or family.

  4. cal says:

    There is a difference between the two jokes. Sykes is wishing for someone to die. Feherty is sarcastically saying what he thinks might happen in a circumstance that will never occur. Sykes’s comment is hateful. Feherty’s is funny.

  5. Lilly says:

    Jeff-
    I agree with you 100%. I also like Wanda and think she’s funny. I use to adore her during the football games. But that was going a bit far and the responses from BO was more disturbing.
    I too laughed like crazy at David’s article probably because it was too close to the truth. He’s a huge defender of our troops and they love him

  6. tm says:

    Comedy is dead. Straight across the board. Late night is just bizarre. The Obambi definition for comedy is to either offend or provoke, and attack. It is hateful beyond words. I, for one, miss adults being in charge.

  7. elspeth says:

    Once when I was about to tell a joke, my friend said, “Oh, you’re going to offend me.” I didn’t think I would, and he admitted the joke didn’t offend him, although that particular joke would offend someone, I’m sure.

    The point I’m making is that ANY joke will offend SOMEONE, because that’s what jokes do. Especially if the SOMEONE is looking for a reason to be offended, as so many people seem hell-bent on doing these days.

    BTW, great site!! Appreciate you venting our way!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The difference between the two “jokes” is the one about Pelosi and Reid are of a political nature, not involving anyone other then those two..

    Those who are dealing with kidney failure or the possibility of kidney failure have enough to deal with without some insensitive ass make a joke out of what is a very difficult situation. She should walk a mile in their shoes, she did not hurt Rush she just caused unnecessary pain to many Americans who have to deal with this on a daily basis.

    But I guess in her defense she was speaking to likes of those who seem to make a joke about Special Olympics.

    For the party of political correctness they sure have none.

  9. BRING BACK SEINFELD says:

    Along that line of comedy, Wanda should be shot in the face to qualify for a face transplant. SEE, that kinda comedy SUCKS.

  10. Gail B says:

    Each time I am reminded of the Limbaugh joke, I get a queasy feeling in my stomach. The joke isn’t funny; it is sickening. I mean, to state that she wishes his kidneys would fail? That’s person-to-person.

    However, the joke about Pelosi, Reid, and bin Laden in an elevator with a U.S. Soldier–that’s called justified, reasonable, understandable humor!

    Jeff, it’s good to have you back. Thank you for all you do, and thanks for being kind and appreciative to the veteran in the store.

  11. HUSH HUSH ABOUT THIS says:

    Can we assume there was not even ONE birth certificate, Occidental College or Indonesian passport joke?

  12. QUINCY, M.D. says:

    Or how about a joke on why cremations occur quickly and consistently upon deaths in Obamas parentage????

  13. Gail B says:

    HUSH HUSH ABOUT THIS said…
    “Can we assume there was not even ONE birth certificate, Occidental College or Indonesian passport joke?”

    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Oh, Lordy!
    ROFLMAO!

    It’s a good thing I don’t need to look at the keys while typing; I can’t see for the tears from laughing!

  14. goddessdivine says:

    Thanks for sharing that joke (the one about Pelosi, that is….)! Love it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What I find interesting is there was a request for the sports writer to apologize yet nothing requested for Wanda to apologize…things that make you go hummm.

    Lisa

  16. Anonymous says:

    The joke Wanda Sykes used is really not a joke. It is disgusting because she said it to win the attention of the great guy, her idol, her messiah. She is another one fawning at the altar of Obama. She said it to appease the left and to continue an attack on one man who happens to tell it like it is instead of moaning and fainting at the sight of this man who the left elected President.

    I can bet there were no jokes about Obama’s parents, his associations with Bill Ayres, his associations with his mentor who was being watched by the FBI and who was known to have and written about his sexual appetite for young boys and girls, or his college records, or his Church in Chicago where three men from Rev. Wright’s congregation were murdered execution style including Obama’s very good friend, the choir director (all of whom were gay), or his many friends who avoided paying taxes, or his own dealings with men who have since been arrested and arraigned for crimes against the taxpayers in the state of Illinois. This is not funny to me and even worse is the adulation given to a man his background.

    The difference between the two jokes is telling…it is alright to laugh at people who attack the messiah, but not alright to laugh at people who are part of his congregation as it is ultimately an affront to him.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Guys and gals, loosen up. Both were funny jokes if you had a sense of humor. Sykes was obviously playing on the word “failure” referencing Rush’s wish that Obama would fail and Rush’s use of drugs, etc. (Rush wishes Obama fails? I wish his kidneys would fail!) And the elevator joke was humorous albeit it an oldie.

    Just laugh at the tightwads on both sides of the issue who can’t laugh at jokes or at least ignore the ones they don’t find funny.

    BTW, love your site Jeff! :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    What has happened to the birth certificate challenge?
    Has it fallen by the wayside for all this other trivia ?

    arice

  19. GOMER PYLE says:

    Anonymous at 11:28, thank you so much for explaining that joke with the word ‘fail’ in it. I was stumped on that one.

  20. PELOSI FOUND IN ELEVATOR says:

    In that Pelosi joke it matters NOT how she ‘expires’ as long as she quits spewing carbon dioxide as a result. (Putting a little lead poisoning into an environmentalist is a nice touch tho)

  21. Ladalang says:

    I like both jokes. Rush Limbaugh is a bloated neocon hack who the world could do without and Pelosi deserves both bullets. Funny stuff yes if you have a sense of humor.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Gomer – yes it’s obvious, but it seems some people looked much deeper into it than necessary. Look at Cal’s post yesterday at 4:39. “Sykes is wishing someone to die.” I think Cal was as stumped as you were.

  23. A WASTE OF LAW SCHOOL says:

    What’s really funny is Michelle O has that high falutin law degree and has done SQUAT with it. What a waste of time and money that woman was. I heard her license was even revoked. Why didn’t Wanda joke on that for a while?

  24. Constantine says:

    The fact that somebody finds “jokes” of an ugly lesbian deceitful Commie – what is more, uttered with a loathsome squeaky voice – funny, says a lot by itself.
    Just to remind those joyful… hmmm… how to call them… individuals: Rush wished the Obama’s Socialist agenda fail. So do I, by the way.
    While that detestable so-called comedian wished a human die. Nobody sees that difference?

  25. Tom Jensen says:

    So Pelosi and Reid "worked more for our enemies than our own soldiers," huh?
    Here's clue, retard: your hero, BUSH is the one who sent the troops into Iraq for reasons that
    turned out to be LIES.

    Pelosi and Reid have tried to end this $3 trillion fiasco of a war based on lies, a war
    that completely and utterly destroyed America's reputation in the world and made us
    LESS SAFE, as it provided an enormous propaganda boost to Al Qaeda. Bush has the blood
    of over 4,300 U.S. soldiers on his hands (as well as the blood of 1.3 million Iraqi
    men, women and children civilians).

    The Abu Ghraib photos ALONE provided an enormous boost to Al Qaeda's recruitment and
    ability to raise support and funding.

    Bush (and his idiotic war on a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11)
    is the best thing that ever happened to Al Qaeda. Those who oppose this fiasco
    are FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS of the troops. The only people who support the Iraq
    war are Dick Cheney's rich allies at Halliburton and other war profiteers, as well
    as the ignorant, knuckle-dragging 23-percenters, who get their news and views spoon-fed
    to them by cowardly chickenhawks like Rush, (Which isn't surprising, as most of these Bush
    supporters are cowardly chickenhawks themselves).

    No wonder the American people turned against this war. They don't like being
    lied to. For the next couple of decades, I expect only the delusional 23-percenters
    will vote for the GOP.

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