Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Future for the Laugh Machine?

Jim Shea, the funnybone tickling guy at the Hartford Courant, spoke for the entire paper when he said in a recent column:

“After shooting fish in a barrel for so long, Obama is going to be tough. Right now, other than the jug ears, I got nothing. Hopefully this will change. In the meantime ... I don't know about the economy, but right now, people in my business are about to enter a depression. We're going to have a hard time trying to put food on our families.”

That little prepositional confusion was a black tribute to outgoing President George Bush, who tended to slur his ideas.

But really, this comedy stuff is serious business. Asked by some tortured politician in the golden age of Greek comedy whether he “took anything seriously,” Aristophanes responded, “Of course, I take comedy seriously.”

Twenty percent of voters this year followed the election through the rose colored glasses of comics, usually liberal ones like Gary Trudeau, the star studded cast of Comedy Central and Vice President elect Joe Biden.

With Obama at the helm, what will they say? Probably not much. And not much is not very funny.

Editorialists in the state will be in a black mood too when presented with the humorous side of their hero.

In the age of Obama, there will be no room in the editorial inn for such as Shea. We’ll miss them as much as they will miss Bush and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Bill Curry already has jumped off board the Courant. The purpose of column writing being to reprove and correct the idiocies of the powerful and comfortable, what would Curry have to say of an Obama administration full of sycophants?

The silence will be unbearable.

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