Ovidiu Hrubaru, Ron Adar

That’s What She Said

Photo by Ovidiu Hrubaru, Ron Adar

Republicans in Jail Telling Jokes


Trump and his cronies wanna yuk it up? Ok, fine. But can we move this comedy venue somewhere more appropriate, like, behind bars, forever?



I hate it when Republicans tell jokes.

Call the PC Police if you must, but they just… suck at it. Need proof? How about Rudy Giuliani telling tired Hillary fat jokes and bragging about his 9/11 SNL appearance—still! Or Mike Huckabee, the most dedicated Republican comedian, spends hours intricately crafting the most confusing, humorless swill you will ever read. Jokes so bad they haunt you. I have a legitimate fear of being on my deathbed and remembering this joke, leaving me to die in the midst of an unfinished nightmare:

But these two are not as bad as the hobbling puddle of rancid marmalade that is our president. He did an infuriating standup set at the Gridiron Dinner last week that opened with this joke about his son-in-law, Jared Kushner:

“I wanted to apologize for arriving a little bit late. You know, we were late tonight because Jared could not get through security.”

Oh, right, yes because Jared’s White House security clearance has been downgraded, because he’s a shady-ass CRIMINAL like his whole fucking family.

A few minutes or maybe years later, I don’t know, I’m an exhausted ghost at this point, Trump had a great time joshin’ Mike Pence:

“Mike is doing a fantastic job as our vice president. He really is. … But lately what bothers me, I have to tell you, he’s showing a particularly keen interest in the news these days. He starts out each morning asking everybody, ‘Has he been impeached yet?’ ”

Listen, I know I’m not his demographic and comedy is so subjective, but can there be a show like Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee but it’s Republicans In Prison Telling Jokes? Or if you want to go for more of an abysmal Comedy Central 2009 feel, call it Trump.O. Call it whatever you want, but Trump and his family/co-workers/accomplices should be telling their terrible jokes in prison, on a show no one watches that is streaming in hell.

Also, if you’re going to do half-assed-alluding-to-colluding and impending-impeachment jokes, why not commit and go full-on Andrew Dice Clay? Where were his jokes about paying off pornstars and pissing on girls and presidential beds? Know your brand and sell it, dipshit. He didn’t even tell his best joke, “covfefe.” He could’ve done an abstract, flying by the seat of his toilet, Chris D’Elia set but he didn’t. His set was like if the captain of the Titanic did a tight five, or maybe a meandering, lukewarm, 20-ish. Post-iceberg, pre-everyone drowning, just confidently telling all the passengers how cool the Titanic is and what a blast it’s gonna be to die on or near the boat.

Trump did some of his old stuff—calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” and incoherently rambling about a potential nuclear war with North Korea. He did a new patronizing Oprah bit and a joke about Maxine Waters needing to take an IQ test. These jokes are tough, because you wonder, “Are these racist or sexist? Oh, wait. Both, yep.” I’ll admit he told some jokes that felt like real jokes. Not good jokes but still, they could pass as jokes. I wonder who his comedy writers are? Maybe the rapists that get banished from comedy and turn into Nazi party-boys?

Please, Republicans In Prison Telling Jokes has to happen. Picture it. There’s Kushner reading an upside-down geography book from the prison library, delivering his notorious “Where exactly IS the Middle East?” joke. There’s Ivanka in the corner scribbling her refreshing feminist satire on a soggy roll of toilet paper. There’s Donald Jr., incarcerated but free to be his truest self: the least funny person ever to have been born. There’s Paul Ryan lifting weights in a backward hat, getting a prison tattoo on his back that he thinks will say, “I love yogurt” but will really say “I love yogurt (Pence’s semen)” with the parenthesis and everything, so fun! Look, there’s Steve Bannon dying on the toilet in front of everyone while workshopping an anti-Semitic joke! And there’s 45. Can you imagine him in an orange jumpsuit? Orange is the new orange! There he is, safely starting to pretend trade and nuclear wars with his favorite thing, a wall. It’s perfect.

I know our nation is a nation divided and I’m contributing to the divide, but why do I have to find common ground with eerily damaged people who tell shitty jokes and want me to die? I deal with that enough in regular comedy. I’ve realized fairly recently that I don’t have to respect people who don’t respect me. Like I don’t have to respect Adam Corola. I don’t even have to spell his name right, I would prefer to spell it incorrectly. I can write Adam Toyota if I want to, it’s not even mean, it’s just so nice to not have to care about him. My love for comedy supersedes the awful men who are a part of it. I am inspired by both Jerry Lewis’s physical comedy and physical death. It’s complicated! But the show I am pitching doesn’t have to be. It’s just Republicans telling jokes for no one, for nothing, in prison.

Trump’s Gridiron set was similar to Richard Nixon’s in 1970, in that they each reveled in their glaring corruption. To Nixon’s credit, he did not tell foreshadowing-Watergate jokes at the Gridiron Dinner. He wasn’t like, “Hey, heads up, the urinals are bugged and I’m timing everyone’s pee streams. I’m a lil’ rascal.” He just performed an excruciatingly racist musical comedy bit about successfully suppressing the voting rights of Black people with his vile VP, Spiro Agnew. So, evil, but different? I need to lie down. In a cave.

Maybe no one will ever go to prison. Maybe everyone evil gets a pardon. Maybe we’re all just Becca, heartbroken and confused. But impeachment is possible and the show must go on. There is a little glimmer of hope in me. There is Roger Wilkins sitting through Nixon’s Gridiron set and having the guts to write his groundbreaking essay, “A Black at the Gridiron Dinner.” There is President Barack Obama standing there, in that same room, on that same historically racist stage, 45 years later, telling a solid weed joke with the precision and swagger of a young, bathhouse-era Bette Midler. Barack, do you have that deal with Netflix?? I have a pitch about Repub—actually can you just hold me and tell me everything will be okay?

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