Brothers, Sisters, and Transgendered Comedists Everywhere,
This weekend I write disappointed in the junior Senator from Massachusetts. Yes, John Kerry failed us. His words were offensive. Not to the troops -- they weren't the target of his comment. Not to the President -- he better have a thicker skin than that. No, he offended Comedists by committing the sin of blowing a punchline. Instead of apologizing for something he did not do, he whose outchins Leno should instead repent for his wicked action.
He said unto a college crowd in California:
"You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well; if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."One word, brothers and sisters, one little two letter word and the joke and several news cycles would have been saved. If he had said,
"You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well; if you don't, you get US stuck in Iraq,"then none of this would have happened.
One word can make all the difference. If a groom brings his bride around from table to table at the wedding reception and introduces her as "his new wife," everyone thinks how sickeningly sweet, but if he introduces her at the reception as "his first wife," NOW we have a funny line.
To be fair to the Senator, he was attempting one of the more difficult comic maneuvers -- the one-liner. The classic one-liner, the Mona Lisa of comedy comes from the master of one-line comedy, of course, Henny Youngman. Marvel at the elegance of
"Take my wife, please."Saint Henny gets a set up and a punchline in with nothing but four monosyllabic words, a period, and -- the most important part -- a comma (some scholars have contended that it actually ought to be an ellipsis, but that is a debate to be fought another time). One-liners are tough because every word counts, leave out a word and you blow the whole joke. Of course, John Kerry being John Kerry, he leaves out a word and still uses thirty-eight, but that's the Senate for you.
As a tutorial, Senator, please meditate on the following from Saint Henny:
My doctor grabbed me by the wallet and said "Cough!"Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.
A man goes to a psychiatrist "Nobody listen to me!" The doctor says "Next!"
I'm now making a Jewish porno film; 10% Sex, 90% guilt.
There was a girl knocking on my hotel room door all night! Finally, I let her out.
You have a ready wit, tell me when it's ready.
My wife will buy anything marked down; last year she bought an escalator.
Those two are a fastidious couple: she's fast and he's hideous.
She's a big-hearted girl with hips to match.
You have a nice personality, but not for a human being.
The more I think of you, the less I think of you.
Live, love, and laugh