Occupation: Stand-Up Politician


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.

How come?

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.













49 comments on “Occupation: Stand-Up Politician

    • You have that right GP. It’ time for all of them to get themselves busy doing the job they were elected to do. Otherwise, I’m beginning to think that even we, the public, could do a better job of it. Supposedly we’re not trained for it, but I think, working together— because we’re all mad as hell about gridlock—that we would get things accomplished that they wouldn’t even start. Thanks for the comment GP.

  1. Funny stuff, Paul. And now that Sarah Palin has stumbled back into the picture, SNL will have ample material. I can’t figure out why more Republicans have not yet climbed out of that clown car. ☺

    I love the JFK quote on how he became a hero. ❤️ Thanks.

    • More than welcome, Van. JFK had a wonderful self deprecating sense of humor. Seems to me that the Republican candidates would be better suited by arriving in those old Ringling Brothers circus wagons. But that might be an insult to Ringling Brothers so I take it back. I can’t wait for Sarah Palin to put her foot in her mouth again. I think her and the Donald are perfect for each other. Both chase the limelight and that’s what has kept them in the public conscientiousness for so long. But, being in charge of the country? Well maybe…I mean, if Bush could do it? Why not? WHAT AM I SAYING! 😀

  2. This year’s crop of politicians are humorous indeed. Trump and Christie (I love his comments. They are things I would say and very politically incorrect!) head the list but there would be more humor if this wasn’t a run for the presidency. I wonder how Putin feels about humor?

    • I doubt he has a funny bone anywhere in his entire body—which he loves to show off at every available opportunity. As for Trump, I think he says what we all want to say—yes even Christie, sometimes. But like you said Kate, probably politically incorrect to do so. Today, everyone is afraid to offend anyone else by having an opinion. So much for free speech, huh? I think Trump does it for shock value; one because he can; and two because the other candidates are afraid to do so. Initially, I think Trump did it to set himself apart from the other candidates and draw attention to himself, but now he;s expected to say the outlandish—and he has the lead…so. 😀

  3. Maybe I am biased, but I don’t think I’ve ever though of politicians as witty… dumb, yes, but witty, certainly not… take a look at Boris Johnson of the UK, for instance… I laugh just thinking of him!

    US elections… they affect the world. Good luck in voting for a candidate who doesn’t solely think of the US and its future, but also of the US’ own impact on the rest of the world…

    • Very interesting points, Jojo. Politically speaking, they sound dumb as can be, with virtually no personality. They also have a hard time showing empathy for the people—maybe they can’t fake that, probably out of practice. And they sound funny when they TRY to be—it all sounds rehearsed. Plus true to form, the Republican Party plays up American patriotism while displaying barely an understanding of the rest of the world around them—foreign policy, what’s that? Democratic voters have to be coerced to the polls (when are you going to pay us to vote?), and independent voters don’t have a prayer. Tea party? Just another branch of the Republican Party. It’s all pretty humorous when you think about it, not to mention a bit sad too.

      • You hit the nail on the head!! Politics in general is a sticky and messy sphere… made more so by corruption. I reckon the US should spend the 5 million USD on helping people out of poverty across America by providing jobs, or better health care, rather than funding campaigns and in so doing giving corporations more power… it’s the same the world over unfortunately – would love to hear of a country that doesn’t follow suit. Like Iceland or Uruguay…

  4. Christie is getting killed for that “mop” remark in our beloved neighboring state New Jersey, especially when he has tried to milk his “heroic efforts” in dealing with Superstorm “Sandy.” On a side note when this recent blizzard started to take shape I mentioned to my wife straight away I feared for that area all over again because it didn’t take a Meteorologist to ascertain they were going to get slammed all over again. And for those not in our area you should know some of the folks down at the Jersey Shore did in fact get worse damage than during the more-publicized prior event. Anywayyyyy…I have been waiting to dive into political-speak as soon as the whole Donald Trump thing goes away…and now it looks like I may have a long, long wait. Fascinating isn’t it with a population of 320 million or so…well, just look at the folks on these podiums during these stand-ups, um, debates. Bizarre.

    • He definitely appeals to the public’s voice not wanting to be suppressed. Though his motive is to stand out which I believe is helping him to stay above the fray. He knows business—no denying that—but when it comes to the issues, he has his own private agenda. He can’t sustain that position when it comes to appealing to the majority of Americans. The Republican Party knows this and it’s why they’re scared to nominate him as their candidate. Maybe they shouldn’t have trotted out more of the same run of the mill candidates they always do. Avoiding the issues and offering more of the same party line politics—it’s wearing thin on people, too many hurting from that kind of stance.

  5. Good thoughts here. Somewhere in college I had a professor who described Washington as “Hollywood for ugly people.” I’ve never forgotten that, viewing all candidates as actors playing a part that they’ve written for themselves. Pity that this year’s crop of candidates doesn’t seem to understand that they’re all comedic relief, not the star of the show.

  6. If any of the Founding Fathers was alive today, they’d probably write a pamphlet to convey their outrage and disgust.

    And then someone would have to teach them how to use Facebook and Twitter, because no one reads pamphlets in the 21st century.

  7. You’ve been away too long, Paul..:) I never realized all the work it took to come up with those smooth non answers which let us believe for a brief moment that maybe it’s us who doesn’t understand the question that was asked and the answer that never showed up. It does take work, lots of work. So I guess we need to give them credit for the hours spent in front of the mirror practicing their lines and facial expressions.
    Ok….now what?

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