47 long, dark nights for America: Anti-humor and politicos

by awindram

Forty-seven long, dark nights to go.

Trump’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Spoke with Governor of North Carolina today. He is doing a tremendous job under tough circumstances.”

Clinton’s Daily Twitter Highlight: “Donald Trump is really good at spending other people’s money—on: Legal settlements. Payoffs. Portraits of himself.”

Daily election article of interest: The Facebook Near Billionaire Secretly Funding Trump’s Meme Machine

There was a time when a politician turning up on a comedy show was a rarity, their awkwardness around skilled performers something to be savored. Occasionally, you might come across politician, one of those natural performers, who could even hold their own with comedians – though that raises other questions about whether you can entirely trust a politician who is that good an actor.

Now a campaigning politician has to endure a thousand skits, demonstrate that they are game when their foibles are mocked, laugh in forced bonhomie and be a good sport about it all – for the most part, it is an awkward viewing experience for the audience.

 Hillary’s appearance on Between Two Ferns is the first time any attempt at making her amusing while also including her performing has worked. And why would something a little more edgy work where all the late-night shows have failed? The big advantage is that Between Two Ferns is anti-humor, a comedy genre that politicians and their campaign teams are for the most part likely to shy away from, and yet, perversely, it gives them their best opportunity for being funny. Anti-humor works around awkwardness, anti-climax, the expectation that something amusing is probably going to happen, and then doesn’t. It take the intrinsic unfunniness and stiffness of politicians and uses that to make them amusing. Less prime time NBC, wannabe Presidents, and more midnight appearances on Adult Swim.

I haven’t quite decicded if Alex Jones is anti-humor performer yet. Some days I think, like most conspiracy theorists, probably is.