For the last eight years, the President of the United States has had to share the White House living quarters with his mother-in-law … and, as far as I can tell, not one American television comedian dared to make even a meta-joke about it.
Is it any wonder that the electorate grew tired of the Obama Era’s pervasive sanctimony?
From The New Yorker:
HOW JOKES WON THE ELECTION
How do you fight an enemy who’s just kidding?
By Emily Nussbaum
Since November 9th, we’ve heard a lot of talk about unreality, and how what’s normal bends when you’re in a state of incipient autocracy. There’s been a lot written about gaslighting (lies that make you feel crazy) and the rise of fake news (hoaxes that displace facts), and much analysis of Trump as a reality star (an authentic phony). But what killed me last year were the jokes, because I love jokes—dirty jokes, bad jokes, rude jokes, jokes that cut through bullshit and explode pomposity. Growing up a Jewish kid in the nineteen-seventies, in a house full of Holocaust books, giggling at Mel Brooks’s “The Producers,” I had the impression that jokes, like Woody Guthrie’s guitar, were a machine that killed fascists. Comedy might be cruel or stupid, yet, in aggregate, it was the rebel’s stance. Nazis were humorless. The fact that it was mostly men who got to tell the jokes didn’t bother me. Jokes were a superior way to tell the truth—that meant freedom for everyone.
To Ms. Nussbaum, jokes were funny back when they were a tool for her group to rise up by undermining the old ethnic hierarchy. But now that her people have made it to the top of the world, jokes aren’t funny anymore. They’re subversive. And thus comedy is inappropriate. And evil.
Steps must be taken.
But by 2016 the wheel had spun hard the other way: now it was the neo-fascist strongman who held the microphone and an army of anonymous dirty-joke dispensers who helped put him in office.
Personally, my philosophy of comedy has always been that of Looney Tunes mogul Leon Schlesinger, who used to advise his animators (in the voice they borrowed for Daffy Duck): “Put in lottsa joketh, felleth, joketh are funny.”
But as genuine experts on humor, such as V.I. Lenin, have explained, all that really matters is who is allowed to joke about whom.
… In contrast, Trump was a hot comic, a classic Howard Stern guest. He was the insult comic, the stadium act, the ratings-obsessed headliner who shouted down hecklers. His rallies boiled with rage and laughter, which were hard to tell apart. You didn’t have to think that Trump himself was funny to see this effect: I found him repulsive, and yet I could hear those comedy rhythms everywhere, from the Rodney Dangerfield “I don’t get no respect” routine to the gleeful insult-comic slams of Don Rickles (for “hockey puck,” substitute “Pocahontas”) to Andrew Dice Clay, whose lighten-up-it’s-a-joke, it’s-not-him-it’s-a-persona brand of misogyny dominated the late nineteen-eighties. The eighties were Trump’s era, where he still seemed to live.
It’s almost as if Trump is America’s First Jewish President the way Bill Clinton was America’s First Black President. (Trump’s taste in home decor, though, would make him America’s First Baller President.)
But he was also reminiscent of the older comics who once roamed the Catskills, those dark and angry men who provided a cathartic outlet for harsh ideas that both broke and reinforced taboos, about the war between men and women, especially. Trump was that hostile-jaunty guy in the big flappy suit, with the vaudeville hair, the pursed lips, and the glare. There’s always been an audience for that guy.
Like I’ve been saying, a lot of 1969 Era feminism was Jewish vs. Jewish resentments — especially by higher IQ daughters annoyed that their dumber brothers got more help with their education expenses from their parents — that got transmuted into anger at Society in general by that anti-noblesse oblige genius for maintaining ethnic solidarity by blaming gentiles rather than each other.