The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Entertainment

August 5, 2013

Comics look to Obama, Democrats for humor

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama, the joke's on you.

A study of gags by late-night comics during the first half of the year found an abrupt change from 2012. Now Obama and Democrats are providing the lion's share of punchlines.

Obama was the target of 288 monologue jokes made by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel, according to an analysis released Monday by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.

The next most joked-about individual was New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, at 120. His numbers are likely to jump fast, since the study period was before the second round of Weiner's sexting scandal.

In 2012, Mitt Romney was the butt of more than twice as many jokes as Obama, and Republicans were similarly the target of more than double the jokes that were made on Democrats.

The findings don't illustrate any political change of heart among late-night comics, said Robert Lichter, the center's president. The jokes follow the news, and with Republicans receding after an election campaign, Obama presented more opportunities, he said.

"They're going after the most visible and powerful people that they can," Lichter said.

Even Letterman, who is generally harder on Republicans, couldn't resist joining in this time.

"People always say to me, they say, 'Hey, Letterman,' they say. 'Why don't you make jokes about Obama?' And I say, 'All right, I'll tell you why. I don't make jokes about him because I don't want the FBI tapping my phone,'" he said.

Leno tapped into the same idea with a different story: "I was going to start off tonight with an Obama joke, but I don't want to get audited by the IRS, so forget that."

Obama plans to make his own appearance on Leno's "Tonight" show on Tuesday.

Democrats were the target of 713 jokes between January and June 2013, compared to 417 gags about Republicans, the study said. The only Republicans among the top 10 joke targets were former President George W. Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the CMPA said.

Fallon was the toughest comic on Democrats, targeting them 240 times compared to 76 for Republicans. Letterman had 139 jokes about Republicans and 102 about Democrats, the CMPA found.

1
Text Only
Entertainment
  • Miss America: Rethink suspension over prom query

    Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a high school senior who asked her to prom during the question-and-answer portion of an assembly.

    April 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0421 - easter sunday4 - sh Mounds State Park at Easter part of long family tradition

    Many Madison County residents woke early on Sunday to attend Easter services. David Long was among them, only his sanctuary was the Woodland Shelter at Mounds State Park.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • FEA HB0421 Silent Movie 1 Acting without words Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mounds State Park hosts birding weekend featuring live hawk Mounds State Park will go to the birds April 25-27 as the park hosts “Bird the Mounds.”

    April 19, 2014

  • 14th annual dog walkathon at Shadyside Park The Madison County Humane Society will host its 14th annual dog walkathon on Saturday, May 3. The walk will be at Shadyside Park between 8 a.m. and noon (rain or shine.

    April 19, 2014

  • Liberty Christian makes changes to annual auction Liberty Christian School is upping the ante for its upcoming Duck-Tacular event. The school’s annual benefit auction is steering away from past forest themes to “Duck-Tacular,” a nod to the popular A&E show “Duck Dynasty.”

    April 18, 2014

  • FEA HB0418 LITTLE BIG TOWN Kathy Griffin to perform at Hoosier Park Emmy and Grammy winner Kathy Griffin will dish about her latest run-ins with celebrities and observations about Hollywood’s elite and popular culture in the Terrace Showroom when she brings her stand-up act to Anderson on April 26.

    April 17, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jazz night comes to Paramount Hopkins and Miller’s Sunset Stomp Jazz Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Paramount. The performance is one of the first events for the 27th Annual City of Anderson Little 500 Festival schedule.

    April 17, 2014

  • Weekend Calendar: April 18 Entertainment scheduled at area venues for April 18-20.

    April 17, 2014

  • Live music: April 18 The following listings for live music and other entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 17, 2014