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Little Humor
April 21, 2007 10:49 PM   Subscribe

Rich Little was selected (vid link on that page is dead) to headline the White House Correspondents Dinner this year, no doubt to avoid the kind of controversy created last year's headliner, Stephen Colbert. Seems like it was also a way to avoid any type of humor as well! Although no video of the event is yet available online (as far as I can see), an earlier YouTube video accurately predicted the result. An example: 5 minutes to set up this ancient, unfunny, joke. I wish I was kidding.
posted by The Deej (110 comments total)

 
What I love about last year was that they fell for it. The dupes of Colbert's ire honestly thought he'd make a good headliner for their little dinner get together. In other words, none of them got it, OR WORSE! They DID get it, but thought it would make them look HIP to let the jester perform before the king. What a feather in Colbert's cap. He pointed at the Emperor, told him he wore no clothes, and the Emperor was completely clueless. Brilliant!

...

...Rich Little? Isn't he dead?
posted by ZachsMind at 10:54 PM on April 21, 2007


He certainly died on stage.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:54 PM on April 21, 2007


Rich Little can eat a bowl of dicks. He is comedy kryptonite.
posted by basicchannel at 10:56 PM on April 21, 2007


http://jackbobjokes.blogspot.com/

Am I supposed to be bleeding freely from every hole in my head after visiting that site? Is this normal? Please advise if toweling it away is acceptable. Hurry. Vision dimming...
posted by loquacious at 10:59 PM on April 21, 2007


Best of the worst.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 PM on April 21, 2007


The last time I laughed at Rich Little was around the same time you could see Charo as a guest on the Merv Griffin show. And if I recall correctly it was more of a nervous pitty laugh rather than an actual laugh. He's one of those entertainers that actually makes me uncomfortable since I know for a fact he'll make me cringe.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:01 PM on April 21, 2007


gental pressure loquacious, gental pressure.
posted by nola at 11:10 PM on April 21, 2007


I read that and thought "...Rich Little? The guy who's on QI?" But, no, wrong Rich*.


*Who was apparently the inspiration for Moe from the Simpsons? Really?
posted by kosher_jenny at 11:10 PM on April 21, 2007


I just tried to watch part of this on CSPAN. I was bored so I flipped over to fox, and they were playing their own version of Little's performance, though they sweetened their replay with a laugh track.

Reports of a protest at the dinner by freepers is funnier than the event itself.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:14 PM on April 21, 2007


I just saw the Red Dwarf USA pilot that they made over a decade ago on YouTube. I have to admit it was funnier than Rich Little.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:16 PM on April 21, 2007


I first read about the selection after I'd spent close to 16 hours on a plane --- my brain decided to turn 'Rich Little' into 'Little Richard'. It certainly would have taken the whole event into the surreal.
posted by nathan_teske at 11:19 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


What a feather in Colbert's cap.

Yes. He appeared at an event for a republican president, submitted his script beforehand and had it approved by republican handlers, then told exactly the jokes the republicans expected for exactly as long as they told him to.

What a feather in his cap! What a triumph for liberals everywhere!

What I love about last year was that they fell for it.


What the republicans loved about last year was that they co-opted a supposed liberal spokesman. What Colbert loved about last year was that he was a total sellout and did a gig where he did exactly what republicans asked of him, and then passed it off as some kind of edgy satire, and his audience fell for it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:19 PM on April 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Was that satire?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 PM on April 21, 2007


Rich Hall or Little Richard would have been funnier than Rich Little.
posted by The Deej at 11:21 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


genital pressure, loquacious. genital pressure.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:21 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


The triumph for liberals everywhere was the look on the
President's face when he figured out how to feel about Colbert's
performance.
posted by the Real Dan at 11:23 PM on April 21, 2007


drjimmy11, how much weed have you smoked tonight, and can I have some?
posted by nola at 11:24 PM on April 21, 2007


Rich Little was named Comedy Star of the Year in 1974.

Saigon had not yet fallen...
posted by pruner at 11:35 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


drjimmy11, you totally said what I've been quietly thinking for a year.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:40 PM on April 21, 2007


They should have gotten Foghorn Leghorn.

"Ah say, there's Laura Bush in the audience. Gal reminds me of the highway between Ft. Worth and Dallas - no curves.

It's a joke, ah say, a joke, son."


oh, god, it's still relevant. Edgy.
posted by stavrogin at 11:42 PM on April 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


They should have gotten Foghorn Leghorn.
There are dozens of GOP Senators who would have sued if they did. ; >
posted by amberglow at 12:10 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who was apparently the inspiration for Moe from the Simpsons? Really?

The inspiration for moe was Red Deutsch.

posted by milquetoast at 12:11 AM on April 22, 2007


I know we're supposed to cut down on the NewsFilter posts around here, but this was truly an example of NoNewsFilter, except for drjimmy11's New Frontiers in Conspiracy Theorizing. Whether or not Colbert's Grand Performance last year really counts for much in the Grand Scheme of Things (clue: no Jester has ever brought down a King, and in the current Age of Media, that really hasn't changed), that's another issue. But if last year's dinner worked out so well for the White House, why did they reach back to the Nixon Administration for this year's entertainment?
posted by wendell at 12:17 AM on April 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


Editor and Publisher reviews it: ...
Speaking to E&P afterward, probably aware that his routine went over rather poorly, he said, "this is not the easiest audience in the world." But he said Bush told him when it was over, "absolutely perfect." ...

posted by amberglow at 12:18 AM on April 22, 2007


Gentile pressure, loquacious, gentile pressure.
posted by Dizzy at 12:22 AM on April 22, 2007


Bush is lowering expectations in preparation for next year when he embarks on his post presidency career by premiering his comedy act at the next dinner.

From there, it's straight to Hollywood! Rush Hour 4: Baghdad Express - Starring the high kicking Jackie Chan and wild motormouth Dubya Bush! Their particular brand of comedy and action will have you jumping out of your seat and applauding!
posted by stavrogin at 12:26 AM on April 22, 2007


So let me get this straight ..... Colbert was somehow co-opted by the GOP last year at the correspondents' dinner? Does that mean that the "Fuck yourself" that Laura Bush mouthed when Colbert came up to her after the performance was scripted too?
posted by blucevalo at 12:32 AM on April 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


You guys don't understand. The Republicans are the enemy! For Stephen Colbert to stand on that stage and not plunge his bat'leth deep into the enemy overlord's heart was a revolting act of betrayal and cowardice! He has sold out the glorious empire of Liberalism, and is no better than any other conservative swine! Death take him, and all his infidel brothers! Glory to the blood gods!
posted by Simon! at 12:43 AM on April 22, 2007


Didn't we have this fight last year?
posted by Dizzy at 12:50 AM on April 22, 2007


You know who else co-opted Colbert? That's right, Clinton.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Orgy of truthiness!
posted by homunculus at 1:14 AM on April 22, 2007


I'm confused. I thought Colbert was very good last year, but that it wasn't anything that unusual for the White House Press Corps dinner. Every year they have a comedian take shots at the president, sometimes pretty good shots. Colbert is a very good performer, but I didn't think he exactly savaged Bush last year.
posted by django_z at 1:28 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm just kind of surprised that Rich Little is still around... But I haven't watched TV in more than 15 years or thereabouts, so, what would I know? Does he still appear on TV in the states? I guess he still has some kind of career going...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:09 AM on April 22, 2007


He in fact does not, flapjax. This is the first I've heard about Rich Little in many, many, many years.
posted by Justinian at 2:12 AM on April 22, 2007


django_z (these are paraphrasing, but are very close):
- Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
- He stands for things. Not just for things, he stands on things, like aircraft carriers. He sent a clear message to the terrorists that the America will respond with the most powerfully-staged photo-ops in the world.
- He thinks the same thing Wednesday that he thought on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday.

Colbert also compared Bush's vaunted base to backwash.

These are excellent jokes, and cutting ones in my mind. (And they were not all at the administration's expense: the remark to McCain was awesome, and he said to the Ambassador from China "Your great country makes our Happy Meals possible")

wendell:
It is true that comedians do not directly bring down politicians... but they can aid in bringing them down indirectly. People's minds, if they can be changed at all, get changed gradually. Colbert may not, all by himself, cause a single person to change his mind about Bush, but he does help to set Bush's administration in relief in the public mind, and it makes the excesses of the Republicans memorable for the years to come. (Example: it is a year later, and I was able to recollect the above jokes without running to YouTube to refresh my memory.)

The battle that Colbert fights is not for 2008, or even 2012 or 2016, but 2020 and beyond. He influences the direction our culture takes, and that is of paramount importance.
posted by JHarris at 2:21 AM on April 22, 2007


Does that mean that the "Fuck yourself" that Laura Bush mouthed when Colbert came up to her after the performance was scripted too?

Blucevalo, don't you see? The Republicans have even got to the Bush family now, of all people! Jesus, the sheer devious genius of those guys never ceases to amaze me. Listen to DrJimmy - he speaks the truth. (That's 'truth' as in '9/11 Scholars for Truth'.)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 2:25 AM on April 22, 2007


I wish I was kidding.

This is thinner than thin. What a whiff of a post. There may be news but here it isn't so I'll link to last year's post and throw in a vaguely related youtube link. You might have well just called this an open thread.
posted by srboisvert at 3:23 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's funny cause he's not.

Wait, Bush or Little?
posted by Balisong at 3:43 AM on April 22, 2007


genteel pressure, loquacious, genteel pressure
posted by anatinus at 4:27 AM on April 22, 2007


People in this "Metafilter" thing are really mean.
posted by MarshallPoe at 5:02 AM on April 22, 2007


Ah, Rich Little. When I was a kid, some thirty-ought years ago, I saw him on the TV and wanted to become an impressionist just like him. Problem was, the only impression I could do was Rich Little saying "Hi, I'm Rich Little."

The joke is that actually happened.

Rich Little has pretty much gone the wayside of Mark Russell and (as much as it pains me to say) the Capitol Steps. Oh, they had their moment in the sun long ago, but there's only so many times you can write political satire to the tune of "Some Enchanted Evening" or trot out the ol' Reagan impressions ("Well, there you go again...")

Besides, from what I can remember, Little's repertoire is rather limited. He'll probably do a bit featuring Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan being interviewed by Peter "Just one more question, ma'am" Falk, and maybe John Wayne comes in for good measure.

Now that's some cutting-edge comedy right there.
posted by Spatch at 5:27 AM on April 22, 2007


I'm gonna go ahead and say this is a bad post. First, I thought we were all about not editorializing in FPP content. Second, best of the web? It's a post bashing a comedian about an event that's not even... online.

Seriously, I'm just saying. I'm no fan of Rich Little (at all, even a little), but c'mon, guys.
posted by kbanas at 7:21 AM on April 22, 2007


From the E&P link: "Rich Little, with shockingly dyed hair, said at the outset that he is 'not political' but rather a 'nightclub performer who does a lot of dumb, stupid jokes,' then proved that....Some in the crowd walked out in the middle of the routine -- far more than left during Colbert's performance last year."

The evening was redeemed. Sanjaya was in the audience!
posted by ericb at 7:37 AM on April 22, 2007


you people still watching TV??

i didn't watch TV for months
posted by zouhair at 7:49 AM on April 22, 2007


My TV is highly Metafiltered.
posted by nola at 7:53 AM on April 22, 2007


He appeared at an event for a republican president, submitted his script beforehand and had it approved by republican handlers, then told exactly the jokes the republicans expected for exactly as long as they told him to.

All this means is that they (those vetting the script) were too stupid to realize what the jokes really were. Do you really feel like it was co-opted by the Repubs? That certainly wasn't my impression of the reaction from either the general public (who were buzzing merrily about it for weeks), the media (who quietly swept it under the rug as if it didn't happen at all), or Bush himself, who looked like he was painfully grimacing or ready to take a swing at Colbert.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:15 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


too stupid to realize what the jokes really were

I agree with that statement (even as a Republican-leaning person.) In writing, a lot of Colbert's stuff sounds like typical right-wing ranting. It's somewhat like how This is Spinal Tap was taken at face value by some audience members. Some things are so ridiculous to start with that they are hard to satirize.
posted by The Deej at 8:21 AM on April 22, 2007


cspan:
posted by acro at 8:34 AM on April 22, 2007


drjimmy11: "then passed it off as some kind of edgy satire, and his audience fell for it."

Dude, did you even see Colbert's performance in front of the republicans? You must be in an alternate reality from me, cuz what I saw was that he roasted 'em. He was saying what they wanted to hear but how he was saying it was brilliant! Reminded me of Lenny Bruce's airplane glue sketch for Steve Allen's Tonight Show. On paper it got past the censors cuz it looked like an innocent story about a kid building models, but it's all in the delivery.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:42 AM on April 22, 2007


dental pressure, loquacious, dental pressure.
posted by geos at 8:48 AM on April 22, 2007


Yes. He appeared at an event for a republican president, submitted his script beforehand and had it approved by republican handlers, then told exactly the jokes the republicans expected for exactly as long as they told him to
...
What the republicans loved about last year was that they co-opted a supposed liberal spokesman. What Colbert loved about last year was that he was a total sellout and did a gig where he did exactly what republicans asked of him, and then passed it off as some kind of edgy satire, and his audience fell for it.
-- drjimmy11

Do you have any evidence that the Whitehouse vetted his speech? The Correspondents' dinner is put on by the Washington press core and the president is invited. The Republican Party has no control over it, as far as I know. Now the Correspondents' associate may work with the president to avoid embarrassment, after all if the president hates it too much he might stop coming, and validating them. But I don't think that happened with Colbert.

Btw, The Correspondents had Don Imus on during the Clinton years, who proceeded to tell a bunch of Monica lewinsky jokes.
posted by delmoi at 8:58 AM on April 22, 2007


yeah, deej-- I also wanted to clarify that I'm not even trying to paint Republicans as a group as stupid, just that whoever was doing the once-over on the script missed the "point(s)"-- things can be received differently on paper than they are when spoken. And delmoi has a good point-- I wonder whether they even got a chance to read the "script".
posted by exlotuseater at 9:14 AM on April 22, 2007


BTW -- Video of the 2006 dinner. Colbert starts at 51:56.
posted by ericb at 9:17 AM on April 22, 2007


Bottom line: Colbert was able to do more with honey and castor oil in one night, then thousands of protesters relegated to 'free speech zones' have been unable to do for years with their venom.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:18 AM on April 22, 2007


Oh.. And Rich Little's done less since 1974 than those thousands of protestors.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:25 AM on April 22, 2007


Good point about Imus, delmoi. But, from the info I can find, his appearance was in 1996, and the Lewinsky story didn't break until 98. Nonetheless, it seems Imus did tell jokes about Clinton's womanizing in general. And Wikipedia has this about the opening shot at Hillary:

The dinner was attended by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton. The initial line of Imus' speech was considered a direct reference to Hillary Clinton, who was at the time involved in a specific aspect of the Whitewater scandal concerning billing records that were discovered just a few weeks before on a table in the resident section of The White House.

(audience applause) "Thank you very much."

"Um.. this is kind of interesting, these don't appear to be my notes. (picking up papers from the lectern) You still have the folder I gave you? Where did this come from?" (gesturing with the papers)

"Well, nobody just leaves stuff like this just layin' around." (audience laughter, then slowly looks at Hillary, audience laughs)

Later on, Imus commented on the President saying "Go baby!" while doing radio play-by-play at an Orioles game, and added, "I remember commenting at the time, I bet that's not the first time he's said that."

posted by The Deej at 9:26 AM on April 22, 2007


What the republicans loved about last year was that they co-opted a supposed liberal spokesman. What Colbert loved about last year was that he was a total sellout and did a gig where he did exactly what republicans asked of him, and then passed it off as some kind of edgy satire, and his audience fell for it. -- drjimmy11

Well, drjimmy11, I can see you really got your money's worth out of that "Karl Rove Home Lobotomy Kit" you bought from the RNC last summer.

I know it's hard for you to remember stuff now, but please do pass it along to your buddies, OK? No, I don't think you need to worry about sterilizing the scalpels; whatever you've got, they probably got a long time ago.
posted by jamjam at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2007


That certainly wasn't my impression of the reaction from either the general public (who were buzzing merrily about it for weeks), the media (who quietly swept it under the rug as if it didn't happen at all), or Bush himself, who looked like he was painfully grimacing or ready to take a swing at Colbert.

Exactly.

Wikipedia: Colbert at the 2006 Dinner
"Even though Colbert's performance 'landed with a thud' among the live audience,[7] a clip of Colbert at the dinner became an overnight sensation, turning into a viral video that spread across numerous Web sites in various forms, with the sites that offered the video seeing massive increases in their traffic.

According to CNET's News.com site, Colbert's speech became 'one of the Internet's hottest acts.'[6] Searches at Yahoo! on Colbert were up 5,625 percent.[41] During the days after the speech, Google saw twice as many searches for 'C-SPAN' (the television network that broadcast the event) as for actress 'Jennifer Aniston' — an uncommon occurrence—as well as a surge in Colbert-related searches.[42] Clips of Colbert's comic tribute climbed to the #1, #2, and #3 spots atop YouTube's 'Most Viewed' video list. Before YouTube took down the video under pressure from C-SPAN, the various clips of Colbert's speech had been viewed 2.7 million times in less than 48 hours.[43][44] The blog Crooks and Liars, one of the first places to host the video,[45] recorded their busiest day on record.[46] In an unprecedented move for the network, C-SPAN demanded that YouTube and iFilm remove unauthorized copies of the video from their sites. Google Video subsequently purchased the exclusive rights to retransmit the video[43] and it remained at or near the top of Google's most popular videos for the next two weeks.[7]

Both Editor and Publisher and Salon, which published extensive and early coverage of the Colbert speech, drew record and near-record numbers of viewers to their Web sites.[47][48] 70,000 articles were posted to blogs about Colbert's roast of Bush on the Thursday after the event, the most of any topic,[49] and 'Colbert' remained the top search term at Technorati for over a week.[50][51] A website called Thank You Stephen Colbert, created by blogger Greg Felice, logged almost 50,000 'Thank You's' within its first five days of existence.[52] Chicago Sun-Times TV Critic Doug Elfman credited the Internet with promoting an event that would have otherwise been overlooked, stating that 'Internet stables for liberals, like the behemoth dailykos.com, began rumbling as soon as the correspondents' dinner was reported in the mainstream press, with scant word of Colbert's combustive address.'[53]

Three weeks after the dinner, audio of Colbert's performance went on sale at the iTunes Music Store and became the #1 album purchased, outselling new releases by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, and Paul Simon. The CEO of Audible.com, which provided the recording sold at iTunes, explained its success by saying, 'you had to not be there to get it.'[7] It continued to be a top download at iTunes for the next five months.[9]"
posted by ericb at 9:33 AM on April 22, 2007


What the republicans loved about last year was that they co-opted a supposed liberal spokesman.

Mustn't forget that for that one evening Colbert "served at the pleasure of the President."

Just trying to help drjimmy11 with a current talking point from the Republican Playbook.
posted by ericb at 9:39 AM on April 22, 2007


Hey, maybe the popularity of the Colbert speech can be explained by this.
posted by The Deej at 9:39 AM on April 22, 2007


The aforementioned Lenny Bruce airplane sketch.
posted by ericthegardener at 9:40 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


django_z , what made correspondents mad was that he went on and on about they don't do their jobs at all--he was very biting to all of them. It was that more than the Bush pokes that ensured Rich Little was this year's choice.

...Colbert told the media, rather blatantly, that they weren't doing their jobs. They weren't keeping America informed of rather important events, such as Bush's tax cuts to the rich, WMD intelligence and the effects of global warming. He sarcastically said "We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out." He is dead on.

And while Colbert has some of the media criticizing him, such as CNN's Lou Dobbs, who suggested that the liberal media wasn't criticizing Colbert enough, others have been saying (like me) that the media isn't focusing on what Colbert said enough....

posted by amberglow at 9:43 AM on April 22, 2007


Is Jimmy Carter Still President?
posted by amberglow at 9:56 AM on April 22, 2007


Thanks amberglow! Gene Gene the Dancing Machine...

I
am
old.
posted by The Deej at 10:05 AM on April 22, 2007


(I burst out laughing at that one, Deej) : >
posted by amberglow at 10:08 AM on April 22, 2007


Yep, perfect punchline for those photos!
posted by The Deej at 10:12 AM on April 22, 2007


To sum up how square Rich Little is and was, he was a Ronald Reagan favorite and this was apparently Reagan's favorite joke:

During a press conference of some sort Reagan had Little walk up to take questions as Ronald Reagan:

Reporter: Mr. President, are we sending jets to Iran?
Rich Little: What would they want with a football team in Iran?

Rich little recounts that this was the hardest he's ever see Reagan laugh.

Sigh.
posted by geoff. at 10:26 AM on April 22, 2007


delmoi:
That's drjimmy's line and he's sticking to it, no matter what.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:50 AM on April 22, 2007


Deej, they should have invited Jaye P. Morgan and Brett Summers and Nipsey Russell to the dinner, too. ; >
posted by amberglow at 11:07 AM on April 22, 2007


Uh-oh, amberglow.... now who is showing her age?

Plus, you left out Jamie Farr, Fannie Flagg, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Rip Taylor.

Come to think of it, what I wouldn't give to see Rip Taylor headline that dinner!
posted by The Deej at 11:12 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gene Rayburn!
posted by Dizzy at 11:16 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wally Cox! Charlie Weaver! Steve Allen!
DEAD!!! DEAD!!! DEAD!!!

There's more to the Secret Square than they are telling us!

Pilfered and paraphrased from Bobcat Goldthwaite.
posted by The Deej at 11:37 AM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Colbert last year vs. Little this year at Kos: Colbert: ... But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.
But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!
...

posted by amberglow at 11:45 AM on April 22, 2007


Uh-oh, amberglow.... now who is showing her age?
his age : >

Speaking of feeling old: Check out the end of the last sentence of the first item here, about tonight's TV Land Awards presenters.
posted by amberglow at 11:47 AM on April 22, 2007


"...what made correspondents mad was that he went on and on about they don't do their jobs at all--he was very biting to all of them."

BUT THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT SO FUNNY! Essentially, Colbert's whole routine is to be a liberal in a conservative's clothing. The antithesis of being a wolf in sheep's clothing, which is what the Bush administration has been all along.

Bush is a wolf. The right-wing conservative base of the republican party being the sheep. This is what happens when you trade your religious shepherd in for a shady politician selling snakeoil on the side. Colbert couldn't have fabricated a better set up for his punchlines.

As a comedian, he had no real choice but to do this. It was his sacred duty as a comedian. Those comedians who do not rise to such occassions when presented them are why ultimately our society is crumbling. Jesters during feudal times danced this crazy dance all the time. It's a time honored tradition to use satire and irony to say to the king what he least wants to hear from those closest to him.

Admittedly, history has reports of jesters doing this and ending up in the stocks - or worse.

Lenny Bruce ended up in the stocks. Stephen Colbert lived to tell about it. History will determine whether that means Colbert is better than Bruce at comedy. For me, that's a really tough call. Bruce paid a higher cost for his venom, but as I said earlier, Colbert got within striking distance of his target using honey and castor oil.

Rich Little is no longer a comedian. He's always been an impersonator, but when he stopped putting biting words into Reagan's mouth, that's when he became a part of the problem. Granted, Little's in a more dynamic position. He can get even closer to the king because he's been using honey without castor oil. If he used this opportunity, he could poison the king with venom, but at his age I doubt he'll take the risk.

Young naive voice: "You're a shameful opportunist! What you don't understand is it is better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees."

Old wise voice: "You have it backwards! It is better to live on your feet, than to die on your knees."

- from Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
posted by ZachsMind at 12:01 PM on April 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


He in fact does not, flapjax. This is the first I've heard about Rich Little in many, many, many years.

$49.50 for tickets to see him at the Orpheum in Vancouver. Tix were $80 when he last played River Rock Casino.

He's about as funny as a pit full of dead babies, but I think it's safe to say that his career is going better than either yours or mine.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:21 PM on April 22, 2007


very very related:
'Devastating' Bill Moyers Probe of Press and Iraq Coming This Week

posted by amberglow at 12:50 PM on April 22, 2007


amberglow:
his age : >

Many apologies... I skipped right over "Male (usually)" and then got thrown by you asking how I liked your dress. :) It's lovely by the way.

Jodi and Cissy on the TV Land page... Yep. There would be plenty of rings to count if you cut me in half.

s-o-l... there is much truth in what you say. Heck, Carrot Top is the butt of many insults, but he plays in Vegas for over $100 a ticket. He even came to lil ol Billings, Montana, and the tickets were in the $70 range. I bet if I went, I would have laughed. Probably the same with Rich Little. So much of it is about context. You get with a crowd who expects admittedly dumb humor, then you can have a good time. I used to perform comedy and magic pretty regularly, and would HATE for someone to judge me on some of the shows I did. They were made for the audience to enjoy, which they did, not to be sophisticated or cutting edge. That's really where Little's performance went wrong; not the right act for the audience. And oh so painful to watch. Audience reaction shots generally featured at least one mouth-agape face, staring in disbelief instead of laughing.

Now... if I ever get invited to headline the Correspondents Dinner...
posted by The Deej at 12:54 PM on April 22, 2007


also at the dinner last night: ...Mr. Rove exploded with even more venom. Like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum, Mr. Rove launched into a series of illogical arguments regarding China not doing enough thus neither should we. (Since when do we follow China's lead?)
...
In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, "Don't touch me." ...

posted by amberglow at 1:03 PM on April 22, 2007


(that seems to have been the extent of speaking truth to power---political and media--last night)
posted by amberglow at 1:06 PM on April 22, 2007


CSPAN's rerunning the dinner now--Little has had a ton of work done on his face, and some kind of weird toupee-looking thing or something.
posted by amberglow at 1:43 PM on April 22, 2007


OK... I have to catch a plane soon so oh darn I can't watch it again. Amberglow... be careful in there!
posted by The Deej at 1:48 PM on April 22, 2007


Do you have any evidence that the Whitehouse vetted his speech? The Correspondents' dinner is put on by the Washington press core and the president is invited.

In fact, the guy whose idea it was to get Colbert did so during his last year as president of the White House Press Corps Association.

The White House, as far as I know, has little-to-no say in terms of what gets said (outside the president's segment, of course).

PS: There are people who think Colbert got co-opted?! How? By what reasonable standard could one say that? What were you watching? Colbert tore Bush (among others) to shreds, and this is getting co-opted?

I suppose by such standards, anyone who's behavior doesn't lead to trouble with the Secret Service is 'co-opted'...

posted by sparkletone at 2:06 PM on April 22, 2007


Little is amazingly unfunny, and he can't even do a decent Dubya impression. He's doing Nixon now, and not even doing Nixon complimenting Bush on taking the corruption and crimes to new levels (which is the kind of thing he should have done), or saying hello to Rove (who was head of College Repubs then) and all the other Nixon-era people he knew.
posted by amberglow at 2:11 PM on April 22, 2007


Do you have any evidence that the Whitehouse vetted his speech?

Little said somewhere he had submitted his material. The Association has to be nervous.
posted by amberglow at 2:12 PM on April 22, 2007


(thinking about Little, i've never ever laughed at his impressions)
posted by amberglow at 2:12 PM on April 22, 2007


David Letterman's Top 10 Favorite George W. Bush Moments from last night's dinner.
He didn't have the stones to include My Pet Goat.

Bill Moyers previewing his Buying War special.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2007


5 minute youtube sample
posted by acro at 2:29 PM on April 22, 2007


Rat, protesters grace annual White House Correspondents' Dinner: 'Russert will rat you out'
posted by amberglow at 2:41 PM on April 22, 2007


Wow. Letterman could have put in so many more telling moments into that list.
posted by JHarris at 2:55 PM on April 22, 2007


He's about as funny as a pit full of dead babies

At least the dead babies finally get to leave Limbo for a place in Heaven.
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on April 22, 2007


Also very very related: ... Right now there are a good half a dozen threats to the Constitution, including the wars on Iraq and Iran, the White House firing of US attorneys in an effort to shore up the 2008 election, and deleted White House emails showing just how those firings came about.

In a reality-based universe, these issues would be all-consuming, receiving the kind of saturation coverage given to the late lamented Anna Nicole. Those deleted White House/RNC emails, in particular, seem like the perfect media scandal, since they could easily lead straight to impeachment-particularly if people got as worked up about it as they are about Don Imus. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:24 PM on April 22, 2007


The entire DC establishment in a nutshell: ...Bush "doesn't have to come to our dinner," Steve Scully, the group's president, told the New York Times. "Clearly, you want to make the dinner enjoyable; you don't want to embarrass anyone."
In a feature article this week on Little, the Times observed that many reporters and politicians attending the White House correspondents' gala "were surprised to learn he was still alive." ...


The wonder is why they even want him there--him or any of the people they're paid to cover, and report on, and investigate.
posted by amberglow at 4:54 PM on April 22, 2007


and from the comments at Wonkette: "Rich Little will entertain", wouldn't that be a lot like Bush will govern? ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:57 PM on April 22, 2007


mental thresher, loquacious, mental thresher.
posted by quonsar at 5:21 PM on April 22, 2007


no Jester has ever brought down a King
See Nast, Tweed and Tammany Hall. Nast may not have brought Tweed down all by himself, but he created such a negative picture with his cartoons that Tweed lost most of his influence. There's also an anecdote that, when Tweed fled to Spain, the police there identified him using one of Nast's cartoons.
posted by forrest at 6:57 PM on April 22, 2007


Where's Torboto when you need him? He could have livened things up.
posted by homunculus at 6:57 PM on April 22, 2007


genial predator, loquacious, genial predator.
posted by wendell at 10:46 PM on April 22, 2007


A Canadian? That's controversial, isn't it?
posted by Pseudonumb at 11:12 PM on April 22, 2007


I for one find it really amusing that every time Stewart or Colbert take every opportunity to pound the shit out of members of the media directly to their faces.

I'd also like to thank amberglow for actually watching Little's 'performance' so the rest of us don't have to. Thanks for taking one for the team!
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:45 AM on April 23, 2007


Metafilter: honey and castor oil

If there’s one guy who screams cutting edge topical humor, it’s Rich Little. I hear folks going on about Howard Cosell all the time, doing 70s black man impressions, etc. Yeah. Hip, man.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:28 PM on April 23, 2007


I'd also like to thank amberglow for actually watching Little's 'performance' so the rest of us don't have to. Thanks for taking one for the team!

You all owe me one now--it was awful. : <
posted by amberglow at 2:30 PM on April 23, 2007


Whoa, AG, I am so glad you are ok. You were quiet for a while there. I was about to recommend gentle pressure! I take full responsibility as the poster. I think my liability insurance may cover it.
posted by The Deej at 3:29 PM on April 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well if you don't like Rich Little the impressionist maybe you'll like Rich Little the artist (p.s. he's not an impressionist).
posted by mazola at 3:34 PM on April 23, 2007


You were quiet for a while there.
I was out late last night, drinking the memory of the horror out of my head : >
posted by amberglow at 4:06 PM on April 23, 2007


Well if you don't like Rich Little the impressionist maybe you'll like Rich Little the artist (p.s. he's not an impressionist).

His comedy, his art and his website -- stunning examples of mediocrity (and the reason Bush prolly likes him).
posted by ericb at 4:07 PM on April 23, 2007


"everyday is a whining Rove..."
posted by amberglow at 6:19 PM on April 23, 2007


Masturbate your penis, loquacious, masturbate your penis.
posted by Balisong at 9:06 PM on April 23, 2007


Looks like even Rich little is admitting it didn't go so well...

At the Bloomberg News after-party, Little admitted to the Daily News' Celeste Katz, "It's a little bit of a hard room. Next year, they may go back to someone a little more biting."
posted by miss lynnster at 12:59 AM on April 24, 2007


"Next year, they may go back to someone a little more biting."

Hey, far as I can tell, Rich definitely bites.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:55 AM on April 24, 2007


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