John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Barack Obama Is Not Funny

Posted on July 15, 2008




TO:  Members of the National Comedy Writers Association

FR:  Comedy Guidelines Committee

RE:  Barack Obama Guidelines


            Given the latest flap from our friends at the New Yorker magazine, we have decided to issue the following advisory guidelines for all of you funny guys out there:  Barack Obama is not funny.  Don’t go there.  Don’t risk it.  Not worth it.


            We say this with a heavy heart, being that we have always found every political candidate in history to be funny in some way.  But Barack Obama is a historic figure and he must be treated with dignity and respect.  We mean it.


            Here are the specific guidelines that we recommend you follow.


  • Do not make fun of his first name.  Although none of us had ever heard of anyone named Barack before, that does not matter.  It isn’t funny in any way.

  • Do not make fun of his middle name.  I don’t care how much historical irony there may be about Americans electing a guy whose middle name is Hussein who may get elected because of an unpopular war against a guy named Hussein.  That is not funny.

  • Do not make fun of his last name.  While Obama is only one letter away from Osama, that too is not funny.  Don’t laugh.

  • Do not make fun of the fact that he says he is from Chicago and he is a political reformer.   There is nothing funny about reform and Chicago.   Chicago is a great city, it is the city that works, the city of big shoulders, the Second City.  There has never been any political corruption in Chicago, at least any that we can speak of in the context of Barack Obama.  Do not write any jokes about it.

  • Do not make fun of Obama’s relationship with convicted lobbyist Tony Rezko or that deal he made with him and his house.  Obama wanted a bigger house and a bigger yard.  End of story.  Not funny.

  • Do not make fun of Obama’s friends, especially his friends that were members of the Weather Underground.  They are not funny.  Off limits.  Don’t go there.

  • Do not make fun of Obama shifting positions on big issues like terrorist surveillance.   This is smart political maneuvering.  It should not be seen as flip-flopping.  Inside baseball.  Not funny.

  • Do not make fun of Obama’s bowling abilities.  Yes, he bowls like a girl.  But that is not funny.  It is sad.  He should be seen as heroic in his epic struggle to conquer his bowling infirmities.  And bowling is not funny, anyway.

  • Any time Obama stumbles or bumbles, or makes a big mistake, do not make fun of him.  It is not funny.  For example, when the teleprompter breaks, and Obama looks completely confused, do not mock him.  He is not somebody to be mocked.  Let’s just look the other way.

  • There is nothing funny about Obama’s previous experience.  Yes, he has only been in the Senate for four years, and before that he only served a short time in the Illinois legislature.  But he was a “community organizer” and that means something to somebody, somewhere.  He decided to not make money on Wall Street, and that is not funny.  (Of course, these days, nobody is making money money on Wall Street, but we digress).  Instead, he decided to move to Chicago, and as we said before, Chicago in the context of Obama is not funny.

  • You can’t make fun of his ex-pastor Rev. Wright or Wright’s great admiration of Louis Farrakhan.  That is not funny.

  • You can’t make fun of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton in the context of Barack Obama.  Sorry, that too is off limits. 

  • Obama’s position on taxes is not funny.  Taxes are not funny.  The rich need to pay more in taxes, and if you have a job you are rich.  This is not a laughing matter. 


These guidelines are not meant to be restrictive in any way, but it is better to be safe than sorry.  Don’t make fun of Barack Obama.  He is not funny and he is not laughing.  We are serious.  Don’t laugh.

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