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Obama at the WHCD
April 28, 2012 8:39 PM   Subscribe

A little grayer, a little wiser, a little funnier. Here's the full remarks of the president, including some "open mic" moments, and a short video about freedom vs socialism.
posted by TreeRooster (132 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some highlights, from the AP:
The president walked off stage just before he took the podium with an alleged "hot mic," making fun of getting caught last month on an open microphone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"What am I doing here," he asks off stage. "I'm opening for Jimmy Kimmel and telling knock-knock jokes to Kim Kardashian."

Once on stage, the president revisited last year's dinner.

"Last year at this time, this very weekend, we finally delivered justice to one of the world's most notorious individuals," Obama said, a seeming reference to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.

Instead, a picture of Trump appeared on the room's television monitors. Obama last year delivered a scathing roast of Donald Trump, the real estate mogul who flirted with running for the Republican nomination and claimed he has solved the "mystery" of Obama's birth certificate.
He took a shot at the Republican congressional leadership, whom he thanked "for taking time from their exhausting schedule of not passing any laws" to attend the dinner.

Four years ago, he recalled, he was locked in a tough primary fight with Hillary Clinton, now his secretary of state. "She can't stop drunk texting me from Cartagena," he said, referring to their recent trip to the Summit of the Americas in Columbia.

This year, Obama is the incumbent, but the dinner was far from a campaign-free zone. The president pointed out his similarities with the presumed nominee, Mitt Romney.

"We both think of our wives as our better halves, and the American people agree to an insulting extent," the president said.

"We both have degrees from Harvard. I have one, he has two. What a snob."

The crack drew a thumbs up from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the presidential primary campaign earlier this month. Santorum had called Obama a snob for encouraging young Americans to attend college.

But Obama touched on serious themes as well, remembering The New York Times' Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London who died while covering the uprising in Syria.

"Never forget that our country depends on you to help protect our freedom, our democracy and our way of life," Obama said.

Then he returned to the lighter side: "I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew."
posted by Rhaomi at 8:46 PM on April 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


Funny, my girlfriend and I were discussing how he's looking a lot less grayer these days, a Just For Men 'after' picture.
posted by item at 8:47 PM on April 28, 2012


"Dog Socialism", solid.
posted by Chekhovian at 8:59 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel's monologue follows Obama's, starting with an "unnecessary censorship video" and a few other possibly NSFW jokes. His other jokes however are pretty good.
posted by TreeRooster at 9:03 PM on April 28, 2012


He did well, hope he can bring it while stumping this summer.
posted by arcticseal at 9:03 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Dogs can't afford 4 more years of Obama. For them, that's 28 years."
posted by Corduroy at 9:42 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I still can't believe the GOP is going on so much about the Obama Ate Dog When He Was A Child In Indonesia. It's in his book, which he wrote, and which was published in 1995. Real crack research team you guys have going there.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:10 PM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


They can't stop talking about it! The political cartoons are about why won't the Evil Lamestream Media address all s rampant Islamic Commie Dogophagey
posted by The Whelk at 10:13 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Paid for by the Woofpac"

In the circles in which I roll, the "woof pack" has a completely different meaning.
posted by hippybear at 10:18 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, his TWO jokes about it tonight won't put it to rest. IMO, they were his most cringeworthy moments - at least the fake political ad didn't reference it. So, you might say the Dog Days of the Campaign Season have already begun.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:18 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the best thing Romney has to throw at Obama all campaign long is 'Other cultures eat different foods!' then I am okay with that.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:25 PM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


In the circles in which I roll, the "woof pac" has a completely different meaning.


holograms of dogs!?
posted by mannequito at 10:41 PM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


You don't understand, Romney enjoyed his time in France! He wasn't instantly repulsed by all the godless papist anti-americanness! On one hand it's easy to feel sorry for the big hunk of rich Corinthian carbonate cause he's fucked either way and he seems to be trying but he's so bad at trying. To the point where it's not funny anymore it's actually a bit worrying. Like politicians are supposed to be glib and charming and two faced and that's why we hate them but they should at least be good at that. There are co-op board members with better speechifying skills. There are box turtles with a better feel for a room. I hated Bush but you could kinda see the appeal, in how he was marketed, etc. No one wants to vote for a 60s-era IBM mainframe you know, no matter how desperately and quickly it flashes its diodes and tractor feed printer.
posted by The Whelk at 10:46 PM on April 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


it's not about the dog (mostly, i mean, there's kneejerk about MY PUPPY BABIES HOW DARE YOU?? but that's a small part). it's about his blackness and ties to muslims. of course the right is harping on about it, that's what they've got. he's correct to make a joke about how silly it is on its face to hopefully goad the dumber people at fox to come right out and say what they mean.
posted by nadawi at 10:48 PM on April 28, 2012


Oneswellfoop, I think hands-down the most cringeworthy moment was his weird Palin joke:
What's the difference between hockey moms and pit bulls?
Pit bulls taste good.

That is just creepy and awful, bad judgment keeping that one in there.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:53 PM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Though I think pretty much all his other jokes were right on, and enjoyed the Dog Socialism ad.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:57 PM on April 28, 2012


michelle's shocked confused face at that made it worth the misstep for me. but yeah, he was trying to joke on another joke but it totally fell flat.
posted by nadawi at 10:57 PM on April 28, 2012


I love this guy.
posted by Ratio at 11:06 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, I wish Hillary Clinton would drunk text me. That would be awesome!
posted by Garm at 11:12 PM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oneswellfoop, I think hands-down the most cringeworthy moment was his weird Palin joke:
What's the difference between hockey moms and pit bulls?
Pit bulls taste good.

That is just creepy and awful, bad judgment keeping that one in there.


Yes, that was quite a bit iffy; quite awkward on so many levels. You never know about these things - hell, Slate was actually calling the dog meat attack from the Romney campaign as 'genius'! - but Michelle Obama's shocked face just might have saved the campaign some further embarrassment.

This one misstep apart, thought his set has been improving year on year. Perhaps that's the ultimate test of being a Washington insider, whether you get your timing right in humorous speeches.
posted by the cydonian at 11:22 PM on April 28, 2012


That is just creepy and awful, bad judgment keeping that one in there.

It may have been creepy and awful, but what's been way creepier and awfuller has been the GOP (including Sarah Palin, with her fucking ridiculous "I hope his wife sends him [the Secret Service agent who posted about checking Palin out] to the doghouse -- as long as he's not eating the dog, along with his former boss" comment) bringing up this subject in the first place. So yeah, Obama was a little acerbic and mean. Who wouldn't be after putting up with what he's had to put up with?
posted by blucevalo at 11:29 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this event so much. It's great to see him with some swagger, getting a chance to say "fuck you."
posted by Occula at 11:34 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


That is just creepy and awful, bad judgment keeping that one in there.

Why was that so bad? I thought that was one of the funniest jokes.
posted by Alex404 at 11:38 PM on April 28, 2012


Because of the implied "I've eaten hockey mom, and it doesn't taste good". Creepy.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:40 PM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


what's been way creepier and awfuller has been the GOP

Sure. I don't want Obama to get into a contest of "who can be worse" with the GOP.

Just saying, the rest of the jokes: funny, not awful. The hockey mom joke, kind of creepy and I think bad judgment to keep it in the routine.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:41 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


...pit bulls are delicious. Classic!

It was the delivery that really made it, though.
posted by wierdo at 11:50 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


On not-preview: LobsterMitten, would you like some soy sauce for your plate of beans?
posted by wierdo at 11:51 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


yeah - i don't think he meant it like that, but - what's the difference between X and Y? Y is tasty - that joke implies that X is not tasty. in his formulation he basically said sarah palin doesn't taste good and that's either gonna go to a violence against women or sex, either of those interpretations aren't awesome.

i try to sometimes see things through the lens of the "other side" and if that joke had been about hillary or michelle obama or nancy pelosi, i would have thought it sexist or weird, or, yeah, creepy. i give him the benefit of the doubt but i understand why others, especially those who think he's the second coming of satan, see it differently.
posted by nadawi at 11:52 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Was I the only one who read the linked words as "a little GAYER, a little wiser, a little funnier.."?

Because at first I got really excited and thought that he had finally officially come out in support of marriage equality.
posted by sendai sleep master at 11:58 PM on April 28, 2012


The whole playing out the dog gag angle is pretty smart, I think, as shakespeherian points out. The people to whom it matters aren't gonna vote for him anyway, and it doesn't affect his base an iota. Moderates, of course, are generally pragmatic voters, not knee-jerk issue voters. So he may as well goad the right into pushing the dog stuff a while longer, as it distracts from other things on which he might not look quite as good to moderates, like health care reform or the economy.
posted by dhartung at 11:59 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would the joke work better (less ambiguously?) if the punch line was something like "You can eat a pit bull"?
posted by adamt at 12:00 AM on April 29, 2012


i don't know that there's a way to do the difference between x and y where x is a woman and the difference is anything approaching "you can eat the other" where it doesn't come out bad. eat+woman is too entrenched as a euphemism.
posted by nadawi at 12:05 AM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: Would the joke have worked better if....
posted by Corduroy at 12:06 AM on April 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think people underestimate how much dog-eating is seen as foreign, thus bad, in the eyes of a large portion of the US.

I doubt this will be a dominant theme come fall, but I wouldn't be surprised to find a depressingly large number of people staying home or voting for Romney over it.

Remember, this is a country that turned on Dukakis because he didn't look good riding a tank.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:16 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is just creepy and awful, bad judgment keeping that one in there.

I thought it was pretty fucking awesome, actually, along with essentially comparing Trump to a KO'd OBL.

The Right is allowed to say pretty much anything about Obama, so a couple of vaguely mean-spirited jokes are perfectly fine.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:24 AM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Eating a pitbull is actually great framing. Red meat republicans gotta respect eating a fighting dog.
posted by vicx at 12:27 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


KokoRyu - can i ask what you took the joke to mean? like, it was obviously some sort of slight at palin - what did you take the actual insult to be?

as to the republicans can say what ever they want - yeah, sure, that sucks. i don't think a race to the bottom is the answer. to me, this isn't about obama being mean or insulting palin, i honestly think both of those are fair - but insult her as a person, not her as a woman.
posted by nadawi at 12:30 AM on April 29, 2012


The intro
posted by timsteil at 12:51 AM on April 29, 2012


There was a second throwaway line Obama did referencing the dog eating; I don't recall what it was but it definitely got another cringe from me.

And at one point in Kimmel's monologue, which was all over the place and hit-or-miss (but at a couple points, he zinged people were present almost as well as Colbert), he turned toward the President and, about the dog-eating, told him 'yes, it was your autobiography, but TMI, man'.

But the highlight of Kimmel was near the end, when he raised the issue of Marijuana, asked the crowd for anybody who NEVER smoked pot to raise their hands - a CSPAN crowd camera caught damned few hands going up - and after a couple more good points, admitted 'I don't really have a joke about this'.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:15 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funny - I remember coming into this thread not long after it was posted, and wanting to say something about the pitbull joke.

But no one had brought it up yet. Now, it's what the thread is about.

Bad joke, Obama. If the demographic that generally favors Obama is slightly put off, then Fox News et. all must really go at it tomorrow, right? Unless there's some (sexual) complication in the dynamic that keeps at attack on it from being effective?
posted by victory_laser at 1:22 AM on April 29, 2012


I found the pitbull joke to be funny, but mostly I respected the fearlessness of making that joke. It was a pretty bold call, and I found myself wondering where we'd be now if only he was that ballsy with regard to domestic policy decisions.
posted by horsemuth at 1:38 AM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


oneswellfoop: "There was a second throwaway line Obama did referencing the dog eating; I don't recall what it was but it definitely got another cringe from me."

"As my step father used to tell me: It's a boy eat dog world out there."

Personally, I think it's brilliant. The longer he keeps the right talking about this the more out of touch and ridiculous they look. Using it as joke fodder makes it very clear what a joke the whole line of argument is. Same with taking on the Secret Service and GSA things in joke form.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but I do understand how it wouldn't be great if it ends up being used by the folks who really do have a problem with women as an excuse to spew their BS.
posted by wierdo at 1:42 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Really, Obama just hasn't had hockey mom that was prepared well. Common problem, there's just not enough chefs who are skilled at this. Any adventurous backyard griller can get pit bull right with barbecue sauce and a hot enough flame. Hockey mom requires aging and seasoning and it's too easy to overdo.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:28 AM on April 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


I'm just happy to see a president who can tell a joke, instead of the previous president, who was one.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:24 AM on April 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


Like that wink after saying "I was born in Hawaii", if you can re-introduce the GOP's less savory criticisms as joke material, I don't see how that could do anything but good for your campaign.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:39 AM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


"even the mind reader didn't know what they were thinking" was my fav.
Love the meta-ness of it, but I felt Kimmel was not on his "A" game. And Obama had great timing, but he proved that last year... after the dinner ! Bazinga!
posted by djrock3k at 3:46 AM on April 29, 2012


I was surprised and grateful about Kimmel's seriousness about marijuana. He made some jokes, yes, but it was also a straight plea to do something different, out of step with the rest of his remarks.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:10 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The sound of the toilet flushing was a great way to end the intro.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:15 AM on April 29, 2012


"Paid for by the Woofpac"

In the circles in which I roll, the "woof pack" has a completely different meaning.

I checked Urban Dictionary and based on the definition of "woof" listed there, I guess Obama's writers didn't. Wouldn't surprise me if the Dittoheads actually started using that term in reference to certain Obama supporters.

That is just creepy and awful, bad judgment keeping that one in there.

Yeah, it was creepy but so is harping about something he was forced to eat when he was a child. I kind of liked the double meaning of it, that is, he'd be comfortable eating Palin for lunch right about now if she were actually still relevant. Anyway, with so many other serious problems this country needs to deal with, why is someone having eaten dog meat when they were a kid the big deal for those nutbags?

But the highlight of Kimmel was near the end, when he raised the issue of Marijuana, asked the crowd for anybody who NEVER smoked pot to raise their hands - a CSPAN crowd camera caught damned few hands going up - and after a couple more good points, admitted 'I don't really have a joke about this'.

I think the "who among us hasn't?" approach is a bad way to try to frame that argument. Plenty of adults--I know one quite personally--have never smoked marijuana but support its medical use if not outright legalization.

I think Obama did fine but Kimmel, not so much. Maybe next year they can get John Stewart.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:16 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's something about a fat joke that puts me right off. It's the relentlessness of them, I guess. (This is Kimmel I'm talking about here, obviously). You never just hear one, it's always a barrage of them. I hate that shit.
posted by h00py at 6:30 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought Kimmel was pretty funny but not as funny as Obama. Which is odd when you think one is a professional funnyman and the other is kind of busy on other stuff.
posted by ecourbanist at 6:38 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this event so much. It's great to see him with some swagger, getting a chance to say "fuck you."

My favorite part of his Fallon appearance this week was Obama bringing up Key & Peele's "Obama's Anger Translator" sketch and saying how much he enjoyed it. Think Progress got at why it's satisfying to know that he likes it.
I think to have Obama acknowledge that desire, what Peele referred to as “a guiltily orgasmic moment” of watching someone speaking for the president express fierce, funny, frothing impatience with the more insane of his critics, is powerful.
posted by gladly at 7:14 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


After reflecting on it more, I think the dog eating jokes were pretty bad ass, for the reason horsemuth cited. The subtext being "fuck you republicans and your nonsense, I ain't afraid of you." We've grown so used to democrats shrinking away from this shit, but I think it's possible to skillfully call this stuff out and rise above it at the same time. Its refreshing. Along these lines, I thought the biggest zinger of the night was Romney's two degrees from Harvard: "Snob!"

Obama looks confident as fuck and it's working for him. I killed Bin Laden and all you got is dog eating? I passed health care reform and I'll pass it again mother fuckers.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:18 AM on April 29, 2012 [15 favorites]


That grin. I love Obama's smile.
posted by futz at 7:19 AM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


... and a lot more willing to assassinate/murder anyone he, without accountability to anyone, thinks deserves to be killed.

please keep this in mind the next time he's on jimmy fallon.
posted by cupcake1337 at 7:49 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nah, I'll just enjoy it and support him instead. :)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:22 AM on April 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


The 'we'll just pass health care again' bit was priceless. Great message, great delivery.
posted by sfts2 at 8:33 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was pleasantly surprised at how funny this was. His timing was great. But yeah, the pitbull joke was unfortunate - my feeling was mirrored by Michelle's expression. I was completely confused during that whole bit because I'd completely missed the whole dog-eating thing. Even knowing the joke, it's still pretty iffy.

Also, my favorite part of this dinner is always the strained smiles on the faces of people that are being needled. Eric Cantor was NOT amused.
posted by lunasol at 8:37 AM on April 29, 2012


For me, the pit bull joke doesn't work that well on paper. (I read it here first), but on video it totally cracked me up. For one thing, he goes there, and for another, he's not afraid to go there. He's willing to take risks. Everything lie that can be told about him, will be, and he's not afraid to show it's so much bullshit by doing it first.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:02 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


That picture of Trump and the look on the Bam's face as he gazed at it says all I need to say about the president's aim.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:34 AM on April 29, 2012


The highlight for me, like most of these vents, was the First Lady. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in having a decent-sized crush on her, and just watching her laugh uncontrollably at certain points solidifies how awesome she is.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:43 AM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


[MetaTalk is a great place to go if you want to talk about other aspects of the Obama administration that are not the subject of this thread. Or possibly your own blog, or the letters to the editor section of the newspaper. Not here, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:54 AM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you find a shot of Obama's speech where the twin mics are centered in front of his shrt, tell me that you don't see Groucho Marx's face.
posted by HuronBob at 9:57 AM on April 29, 2012


No one wants to vote for a 60s-era IBM mainframe you know, no matter how desperately and quickly it flashes its diodes and tractor feed printer.

I read that as "flashes its dildos" and was really puzzled. Desperately trying to remember some Romney scandal involving dildoes...
posted by yoink at 10:10 AM on April 29, 2012


(Secret Service agents not amused)
posted by Flunkie at 10:13 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The pitbull joke made me laugh reading it on the page: I haven't seen his delivery of it yet, so can't judge that. But I think suggesting that it implies he's eaten hockey mom is really overreading the joke. It's meant to point fun at the silliness of the whole nontroversy, it's not meant to suggest that he actually knows what pitbull tastes like.
posted by yoink at 10:17 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


If dog was deep fried and advertised on TV, most Americans would eat it without question, just like all the other shit (literal and figurative) that they willingly swallow.
posted by crazylegs at 10:48 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was funny as hell. Witty and cringe-worthy all at once. He left hardly a sacred cow untasted and it was easily the funniest routine I have ever seen from a president. It also topped many a comedian's schtick.

I don't even think the Palin and Clinton jokes were out of line. His pretending Hillary really has a crush on him is pretty funny and, I think, mocks himself more than her. His pit-bull zinger was perfectly timed, outrageously funny and beautifully punctuated by quoting his step-father's advice.
posted by Anitanola at 10:49 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dog meat is fine. It just goes down a little rough.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:52 AM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


..okay...wait...wait....

You can pick your pit bull's nose, but you can't eat your friends' hockey moms...

Hmm....maybe I'll just wait and see how McCain spins it....
posted by mule98J at 10:59 AM on April 29, 2012


Thank you! Don't forget to tip your waitress.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:59 AM on April 29, 2012


I didn't get the Pit Bull joke until this thread- Joy and Laugter!

(I've eaten dog- It's OK served up in a decent stew...)
posted by marvin at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2012


People who like the hockey mom joke, do you interpret it as an oral sex joke or a cannibalism joke? Or something else?

(To me, either reading puts it into klunker territory, but maybe I'm missing some other interpretation? I thought the rest of his material was great, funny, pointed but appropriately so. This one just, bluh.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:02 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read it as essentially the same joke as the wink after 'I was born in Hawaii'-- taking the piss out of one of the crazy things the crazies are going crazy about surrounding him, as well as subverting Palin's best and most memorable line from the 2008 campaign as a way of pointing out that he doesn't take himself as seriously as she does, and also he's the president and she's guest-hosting the Today Show. I think the operation of the humor in the joke wasn't in the comparison of X to Y, as it sometimes is in this form of joke, and was more in the surprise left-field punchline. I don't think it was supposed to refer to cannibalism or oral sex, and neither one crossed my mind when I heard it.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:14 PM on April 29, 2012


People who like the hockey mom joke, do you interpret it as an oral sex joke or a cannibalism joke? Or something else?

It's neither. It's a take-down of the right-wing shitfit about a couple of sentences in Obama's book about how he was living in an entirely different culture for a while and ate something which most Americans find repulsive as a concept. There is no hint of oral sex or cannibalism anywhere in the joke, anywhere.

Let me put it another way. "Pit Bull is delicious". Right, but in our culture, you wouldn't eat either a dog OR a hockey mom. So the joke itself is based on a meaning shift, because the concept of eating a pit bull isn't contained within the general milieu in which the joke has been told. So the shock of the punchline is contained within the wrapper of cultural expectations, and is enforced by the brouhaha surrounding all the Faux News bullshit outrage about Obama having eaten dog meat when he wasn't even a teenager.

The humor doesn't come from comparing the taste of pit bull to the taste of a hockey mom. It comes from 1) understanding the background of the current news cycle, and 2) the sudden shift of expectations of what the possible punchline will be. Add into that the background of the original joke, which was told by Sarah Palin and to which the punchline was "lipstick", and you have yourself a joke which is working on a bunch of levels.

Anyone who is reading oral sex into the joke is REALLY overthinking it. Going for the cannibalism angle, that also plays into the cultural expectations, because within the general scope of where the joke was told, we don't eat either dogs or humans, so the absurd nature of the punchline is underscored and contrasted by the right wing outrage.

Seriously, it's just a joke. And a pretty funny one which takes down two or three targets with its telling. Please stop imagining Obama with a plate of dog meat next to him while he's eating out Palin and making notes as to which tastes better. Because that's a complete plate of beans too far.
posted by hippybear at 1:37 PM on April 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


I think the operation of the humor in the joke wasn't in the comparison of X to Y, as it sometimes is in this form of joke, and was more in the surprise left-field punchline. I don't think it was supposed to refer to cannibalism or oral sex, and neither one crossed my mind when I heard it.

Interesting - huh.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2012


Anyone who is reading oral sex into the joke is REALLY overthinking it.

No. It's an obvious available meaning, and one which gives the joke an extra frisson.
posted by tigrefacile at 1:55 PM on April 29, 2012


Also one which I'd bet $20 the joke writers never thought of when they were writing it.
posted by hippybear at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2012


Okay, a group of youngish, straightish men in a room compose a joke about eating Sarah Palin and none of them imagine there might be a handy sexual connotation to it? That doesn't seem credible to me. It was the second thing I thought of. And I fit loosely within those parameters.
posted by tigrefacile at 2:06 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The joke isn't about eating Sarah Palin.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:13 PM on April 29, 2012


saying that a literal reading of the joke is bean plating it while you stack your own plate with beans is sort of hilarious.
posted by nadawi at 2:18 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The WSJ has a transcript, btw.
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on April 29, 2012


What the joke does explicitly is to compare the experience of tasting a dog with tasting a hockey mom, subverting a similar joke made by Sarah Palin. Never mind what the joke's subtext may be, to suggest that 'the joke isn't about eating Sarah Palin' seems a little obtuse.
posted by tigrefacile at 2:25 PM on April 29, 2012


Well, his TWO jokes about it tonight won't put it to rest. IMO, they were his most cringeworthy moments

It could have been worse; at least he didn't joke about drone strikes this time.
posted by homunculus at 2:26 PM on April 29, 2012


What the joke does explicitly is to compare the experience of tasting a dog with tasting a hockey mom

The joke is as much about eating Sarah Palin as Palin's original joke is about putting makeup on your pet.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:02 PM on April 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, in the same way that you wouldn't put lipgloss on your dog, you wouldn't eat Sarah Palin. In fact you wouldn't even want a taste. Am I going insane or are the implications obvious?
posted by tigrefacile at 4:00 PM on April 29, 2012


Great explanation Hippybear. But jokes aren't funny if they have to be explained.
posted by Chekhovian at 4:07 PM on April 29, 2012


Unless its Archer and the explanation is the real joke I guess.
posted by Chekhovian at 4:08 PM on April 29, 2012


And Michelle Obama didn't make the face she did at that joke because she interpreted it as a multilevel meta joke at cultural narratives.
posted by Chekhovian at 4:13 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I happen to be listening to an Amazon MP3 download of 50 children's stories narrated as separate tracks...it is a bit disturbing just how many stories involve the devouring of humans in their entirety. The euphemism is "eat [x] all up" and I guess the "all up" bit cleanly glosses over the whole matter of messily devouring a human being as it dies. Having watched enough HBO my mind won't gloss over any sort of suggestion that someone was eaten. But the Obama joke sounds a little off on paper while I don't really think it hurts him and it was a ballsy thing to say. Will have to watch the whole thing with the wife.exe
posted by aydeejones at 4:13 PM on April 29, 2012


That comment is more hilarious than intended as I omitted the fact that I'm listening to the stories with my 4 year old boy. not just kickin' back myself with a fine cigar, scotch, and creepy stories.
posted by aydeejones at 4:15 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, I wish Hillary Clinton would drunk text me. That would be awesome!

She totally did, Garm!
posted by straight at 4:21 PM on April 29, 2012


If you find a shot of Obama's speech where the twin mics are centered in front of his shrt, tell me that you don't see Groucho Marx's face.

I guess I'm showing my age that I see a Misfits t-shirt.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 4:41 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I also had a WTF moment with the pitbull joke. Not because I thought there was some eating Palin weirdness implied -- I just didn't get the joke, at all. ("...a little soy sauce.") Same with the "boy-eat-dog world" joke.

Minutes later I read about what the joke referenced. And I laughed my ass off. Totally missed that one. And yeah, what's the big fucking deal? Dog meat is consumed in some locations on Earth.

Will have to watch the whole thing with the wife.exe

Oh dude... I hope that was the hilarious part because, hilarious! If a tad creepy :)
posted by wallabear at 4:56 PM on April 29, 2012


The subtle/unspoken "hot mike" joke was that Obama (following the flush) went straight to shaking everyone's hands. (you don't hear him washing them)
posted by Davenhill at 5:02 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


WhackyparseThis: "
I guess I'm showing my age that I see a Misfits t-shirt.
"

Oh good, it wasn't just me.
posted by notsnot at 5:12 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


All jokes need to be explained if you lack the context. Somebody misses every joke ever told. That doesn't mean the joke wasn't funny, just that it wasn't funny to everybody.

"A pitbull is delicious" was hilarious to me. Your mileage may something.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:20 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


The pit bull joke seemed a bit too much to me at first, because I enjoy shows like community and cougartown, and they often have jokes that are meant to be taken at multiple levels, and are risque; but upon some reflection I now think the joke is a fairly straight reference to the Palin's original joke and skewering of "eating dog meat" story -- while a pit bull may be delicious, eating a hockey mom is nonsensical and therefore not delicious; and violent/sexual interpretation is a bridge too far.

By the way, this reminded me of the "can't put lipstick on a pig" joke that made a splash in 2008. I wonder if it's going to be the same exchange again -- indignation from Palin side, "guys you are beanplating it" from Obama side, and then it dies away.
posted by rainy at 5:32 PM on April 29, 2012


The really cool thing about the pitbull joke is that it's so unexpected and takes such a sudden leap. It's a draw between this and the Trump joke for the best joke of the bit.
posted by rainy at 5:39 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


nadawi: "saying that a literal reading of the joke is bean plating it while you stack your own plate with beans is sort of hilarious."

It is precisely the overthinking that leads one to even consider cannibalism or sexuality to be part of the joke. Unfortunately, the owner of a large plate of beans often has trouble noticing they are there. I'm not quite sure how, but they seem to sneak up on people fairly often.
posted by wierdo at 5:52 PM on April 29, 2012


I thought the joke was that when faced with the possibility of performing cunnilingus on Sarah Palin, he'd rather chew on a pitbull.

Like the birther-baiting Hawaiian wink, the idea that he missed the sexual connotation and how much it would push the buttons of both Palin herself and her racist followers is absurd. It seemed obvious to me he knows exactly what he was doing.
posted by fullerine at 6:02 PM on April 29, 2012


rainy, I'll take the Trump joke for the win. Being able to use a fool from last year's Correspondents Dinner -- coupled with the OBL takedown that very day, and the aftermath -- and the mashup effortlessly delivered this year, well. The entire audience was in on the joke and it showed. Trump is a complete and utter joke and the President delivered a savage blow to whatever's left of his credibility. And we laughed and laughed.
posted by wallabear at 6:08 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


wallabear, I thought that joke was great because of the visual element. Just showing a photo of Trump+hair is hilarious in itself, without any context.
posted by rainy at 6:16 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


i feel like we're standing on different sides of this dead horse so this is the last time i'll say it, but i really don't understand why hearing the joke, "the difference between x and y is that y is tasty" as "x isn't tasty" is bean plating anything. it's the absolutely most logical leap for me. i don't think he was even really doing that on purpose. he was likely taking an absurd turn for absurdity sake without fully considering the literal meanings. personally, i think it's just a joke that failed. but comedy is subjective and all of that.

i really like the majority of his act last night. i thought it was well done and i clapped and cheered a few times because i love the way he plays with the absurd shit said about him. i even said upthread that i think the eating dog mentions are a sly way to get the idiots to say idiotic things that just make them look bad. i just think the framing of that one joke was weird.
posted by nadawi at 6:23 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a couple others have already said, the thought of the Palin / pitbull joke having some sort of sexual connotation is just unreal. One, no one would write a joke in that spirit. Two, if they did it wouldn't have made it to the final draft. I mean, come on.

Like I said above, I didn't get the joke and was all WTF?! It never entered my mind that there was some sexual element because that joke would never had been made.

It is a joke with context. I didn't have context when I heard it. I was puzzled but wow, I didn't make that incredible leap.

But yeah, Fox News probably will. Sigh.
posted by wallabear at 6:26 PM on April 29, 2012


i don't think he was even really doing that on purpose. he was likely taking an absurd turn for absurdity sake without fully considering the literal meanings.

I agree completely. Not everyone bats a thousand. On the up side: no jokes ended with "damn near killed 'im!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:30 PM on April 29, 2012


no one would write a joke in that spirit

I don't think they did. I think it was just a fuck-up. That's what Michelle Obama's face said in 100pt font. I'm not particularly bothered by the joke, and I don't think feminists should be bothered by it either. Its a baby step toward equalizing cunnilinguis and fellation in public discourse.

But the people claiming that "only crazy people would interpret the joke about a woman's taste meaning the taste of her pussy"...well they're totally off base.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:33 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


By the way the exact phrasing was "a pit bull is delicious". A hockey mom is not delicious -- doesn't sound sexual to me, it sounds more nonsensical than anything. Or "the opposite of delicious is nasty, ergo Palin is a nasty person".
posted by rainy at 6:43 PM on April 29, 2012


I think it was just a fuck-up. That's what Michelle Obama's face said in 100pt font.
I think you're projecting your feelings about it onto her. She was clearly laughing, and to me it looked like with a faux-surprised "I can't believe he said that!" kind of look.

And I say "faux-surprised" because I find it hard to believe that she didn't essentially know the speech beforehand.

Part of her job is to be charming, down to earth, and take the edge off of sharp things for people who need the edge taken off of sharp things. That's exactly what her laugh-but-gently-admonish look did, and exactly what I think it was intended to do.
posted by Flunkie at 7:01 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


By the way the exact phrasing was "a pit bull is delicious". A hockey mom is not delicious -- doesn't sound sexual to me, it sounds more nonsensical than anything. Or "the opposite of delicious is nasty, ergo Palin is a nasty person".

I'm sure this is what the writers told themselves when they wrote it. I'm going to call Jon Stewart's analysis of this joke the definitive version, assuming he graces us with it on Monday.
posted by Chekhovian at 7:12 PM on April 29, 2012


Chekhovian, you may well be right that the joke was a fuck-up. I don't agree, but that's OK. Like I said once I had context I thought it was hilarious. Either it will fade away or a big deal will be made of it for politics.

Obama was catching shit for eating dog meat, as a boy in Indonesia. A bit of info from his autobiography that I, at least, wasn't aware of until last night. He made a joke based on Palin's "hockey mom / pitbull" schtick from 2007. He diffused the eating-dog-meat thing that was some sudden made-up bullshit crisis.

Where the eating Palin's pussy / discussing oral sex / feminism thing is coming from, I don't know. It was just a joke, and a good one once I got it.
posted by wallabear at 7:13 PM on April 29, 2012


Chekhovian: agreed. If Jon Stewart will say I missed the joke, I'll happily defer to his take on it.

I think the writers thought about both cannibal/sexual thing and decided both interpretations are too far out, and the joke itself is so good it's worth going with it.

Befuddling mefites - that's where Obama is a viking!
posted by rainy at 7:17 PM on April 29, 2012


After beanplating a while, I think a less-cringeworthy but still bazinga-ly approach to the joke would've been "pitbull tastes like chicken" or "pitbull goes well with sweet potatoes" (or even, to defuse a whole other attack: "pitbull goes well with arugula"). It was the enthusiasm with which he said "delicious" that was most off-putting. He should've remembered, he was opening for Jimmy Kimmel, not Louis CK.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:55 PM on April 29, 2012


the strawman about feminism can end right here and i'd be pretty happy. i'm not taking a stand on behalf of all womenkind or anything.
posted by nadawi at 7:56 PM on April 29, 2012


"Pitbull tastes like chicken" and so forth seems rather milquetoast to me, which pretty much ruins the point. The simple, cold directness is what sold it, and also what made it more than a joke.
posted by Flunkie at 8:21 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


They don't have anything like this in most other countries - but that's because in other places there is a natural adversarial relationship between the rulers and the journalists, who are trying to expose the weaknesses, flaws, lies and blunders of their governments.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:58 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


oneswellfoop: " It was the enthusiasm with which he said "delicious" that was most off-putting."

Yet, to me, that is exactly what made the joke work. The over the top nature is what marks it as a joke and not him seriously recounting the memory of eating pit bull. Well, that and the context. But it makes it almost unmistakably a joke even in soundbite form.
posted by wierdo at 10:18 PM on April 29, 2012


Oh, I should add that even the local righties seem not to have taken exception with it..yet. We'll see what tomorrow brings after they've had their dose of talk radio, but for now it's kudos for being able to pull off the comedy routine.
posted by wierdo at 10:20 PM on April 29, 2012


I've eaten dog, too. It isn't delicious, but at least it tastes better than it smells. Sarah Palin joke goes here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:22 PM on April 29, 2012


Okay, I totally missed the context of the pit-bull joke. Been led to understand it's a riff on Palin's, ummm, view, that the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick.

Having this in context changes the complexion of the joke quite a bit.
posted by the cydonian at 5:41 AM on April 30, 2012


Here's an article that sums up my feelings about this dinner quite accurately...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:30 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I totally missed the context of the pit-bull joke. Been led to understand it's a riff on Palin's, ummm, view, that the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick.

That was probably the intended context. However, the fact that "eating" is often a euphemism for cunnilingus probably makes this joke too prone to misinterpretation.

Still, it's a damn sight better than pretending to look under your water glass and your dish and quipping, "Hmm, any WMD's here? no..."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:32 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Suddenly It Hits Me: the "Hockey Mom" should have been "Mama Grizzly"

(thank you subconcious)
posted by djrock3k at 10:03 AM on April 30, 2012


Please stop imagining Obama with a plate of dog meat next to him while he's eating out Palin and making notes as to which tastes better

Best. Political. Cartoon. Ever.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:09 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


The misunderstanding here is that Obama is referencing the meaning of the original joke, not it's wording. The neat thing is that it's done in reverse -- republicans are saying, you used to eat dogs! And Obama is all like, remember how you used to say you're as tough, tenacious and relentless as a pit bull? Well, that's funny, because I did eat pit bulls for breakfast, as a ten year old, .... and they were delicious!
posted by rainy at 10:12 AM on April 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


FWIW, the morning radio show on the radio in the warehouse in which I work played a good portion of Obama's jokes this morning, including the pit bull joke.

After the segment was over, I asked the guys who were near the radio working about that joke. NONE of them made any connection between that joke and oral sex. And they're a pretty crude lot in general.

One guy even said "oh, now, I think that's kind of taking it too far. It was just making fun of the whole "he eats dogs" thing, right?"
posted by hippybear at 6:26 PM on April 30, 2012


with that rock hard evidence your impressions must be unequivocally true! congratulations!
posted by nadawi at 6:35 PM on April 30, 2012


Hey, it's the closest thing to a doesn't-overanalyze-things-like-MeFites sample I'm going to get, and I think it probably says something about how the "average joe" heard the joke.

But you don't have to be nasty with your dismissal. Flies with honey not vinegar, and all that.
posted by hippybear at 6:55 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


i just don't understand why you're still harping on it. people hear different things and i still think it's ridiculous for you to keep insisting that the only way to get to the way i heard it is to over think it. take as many polls as you want - it was still my immediate, not over-thought impression. i feel like i've been pretty even handed up until this point but you just won't let that bone go.
posted by nadawi at 7:00 PM on April 30, 2012


Hey, I just spent nearly 24 hours away from this thread while I slept and spent a day at work. Tossing another comment isn't harping on anything. It seemed pertinent to the discussion which has continued in my absence. Sorry if you don't feel I should actually share my exchange with my co-workers today, but I did, and you don't, and there we are.
posted by hippybear at 7:11 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


[You guys? Please leave the bone alone now, or else take the bone to email? Thanks. ]
posted by taz at 3:48 AM on May 1, 2012


Obama in Afghanistan on anniversary of bin Laden's death
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on May 1, 2012


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