So you say you want to go into political theater as a stand-up politician and make gobs of money, while messaging your humongous ego.
You could be forgiven for thinking comedy comes naturally to stand-up politicians, as opposed to stand-up comedians. I’ll not bother to mention that finding a stand-up politician is practically impossible to do.
Sure, some politicians have shown a real flair for stand-up…uh…fall down comedy. Note our gifted late President, Gerald R. Ford. You might say he was a natural.
Whether he was slipping on the stairs while exiting Air Force One, or falling on the slopes, his pratfalls looked accidental. But, what if those falls were no accident? What if he was a klutz by design?
Is it possible President Ford wasn’t clumsy at all, and that all those bumps, slips, and falls were well rehearsed pratfalls?
Someday, researchers may uncover that he actually studied under the likes of Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and the great Charlie Chaplin.
Some have even suggested “Tricky Dick” Richard M. Nixon, never had to work at mugging it for the cameras. So what if the real truth came out, that he actually rehearsed morning, noon, and night in front of a bathroom mirror. Not so hard to believe, is it?
Maybe that could explain why he was able to say with such comic conviction, “I’m not a crook.” I guess he meant it when he said on the TV show “Laugh In, “Sock it to me” because the country sure did.
Some politicians had wit that seemed effortless. For example; Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
Abe Lincoln, once said of his famous opponent, Stephen Douglas, “his argument is about as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death.”
And President Kennedy, “They sank my boat.” to a little boy wanting to know how he became a war hero.
Yet, could it be both were blessed with wit and were the exception, not the rule?
Folks, let us not mix words—as that would require we put letters into a blender leading to an alphabet soup.
Politicians on the campaign trail have to work hard. Unlike elected government officials, who hardly work at all. Campaigning politicians at least have an excuse for not being prepared with solutions to the issues.
Because countless hours of preparation go into the practice of campaign rhetoric. In order to sell an strategically slung insult at an opponent, one has to sound smooth while doing it. This takes timing, proper facial expressions, and dumb luck if you’re a stand-up politician.
Hours of practicing their NATURAL god given wit—yeah whatever.
But, sometimes they pull it off, “Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.” Lloyd Bentsen, devastating Dan Quayle in a 1988 debate.
And sometimes… they don’t, “You want me to go down there with a mop?” Gov. Chris Christie, responding to a woman who asked him why he was campaigning instead of surveying the snow damage in his state.
The stand-up politician has to be aware of his physical image too.
Be it Donald Trump, when it comes to his hair, or Chris Christie, when it comes to his weight. Maybe someone should tell Chris that the Grover Cleveland Alexander, William Howard Taft look is no longer in vogue, if it ever was.
Or what about Ted Cruz and his double chin. Could it be a triple chin? And what about Ben Carson and those droopy eyelids of his?
Still interested in going into stand-up politics? I didn’t think so. Stand-up comedy is much easier.
Besides, stand-up politicians are a great resource for mining laughs. Ask any stand-up comedian.