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Obama’s Comedy Hook: How Wonderful He Is?


In The Washington Post Weekend section on Friday, Alex Baldinger highlighted a D.C. visit by Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe, but considering their adopted-Obama-hometown location, they seem especially inept in locating a comedic vein to mock the president:

“Comics try to find these one-dimensional hooks: Bush is dumb, Clinton is dirty, Ross Perot is crazy, and they play on that,” says Marc Warzecha, the director of “Barack Stars,” a revue-style comedy show that Second City Theatricals is bring to Woolly Mammoth Theatre next week. “With Obama…you see a lot of comedy heightening how wonderful Obama is, exaggerating that to a great degree.”

The picture that’s emerging, then, is one in which Obama’s greatest weakness is his own greatness, which doesn’t necessarily sound like the worst thing one could say about the man.

But that doesn’t mean that Obama isn’t giving comedians hooks to latch onto.

“It’s a fact that he’s not an idiot who’s making faux pas on a daily basis,” says Kelly Leonard, the president of Second City’s touring troupe. “However, there’s really rich stuff to delve into with regard to the cult of this figure that is very cool. And both the positive and negative in regards to that.”

And, Leonard adds, “we’ve got Joe Biden. He’s always gonna say something stupid. He’s a gold mine.”


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