Luther, Obama's Anger Translator
April 25, 2015 10:28 PM   Subscribe

Key & Peele's Luther the Anger Translator juxtaposed Obama's calm demeanor with the stereotypical "angry black man." Not seen as much since the Romney debates, Luther is back. But Obama doesn't need Luther anymore.
posted by justkevin (61 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
Lost it at "Khaleesi is comin' to Westeros!". Lost it hard.
posted by palomar at 10:40 PM on April 25, 2015 [26 favorites]


God damn it, Obama. Stop making me love you.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 10:46 PM on April 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


It was OK. It wasn't as funny as Bush looking for misplaced WMDs in the White House.

hamburger
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:47 PM on April 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


I am very disappointed to find out that "Khaleesi 2016" is a thing but the available bumper sticker's pretty ugly.
posted by Sequence at 10:50 PM on April 25, 2015


Best - in terms of funny AND insightful - thing to happen at the Nerd Prom since the Colbert Shocker. AND it came from the President HIMself. But still, Obama finally gets upset over Climate Change... and it's part of a comedy act? (I just hope he DOESN'T take Luthor's advice to get counseling. Give us more rage, Barry Boy, more!!!)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:59 PM on April 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


I was just talking all night with a major Game of Thrones blog-person, who made a big point about how shocking it would be when Roose Bolton finally lost his cool. That's what this looked like to me.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:03 PM on April 25, 2015


I think I saw some smoke from the crater where Bush sat nine years ago for Colbert's speech.
posted by nom de poop at 11:10 PM on April 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is some sort of first for...I don't know. Acting? Satire? Keegan-Micheal Key must be on the craziest career-cloud right now. I feel like the boundaries of reality just shifted.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 11:10 PM on April 25, 2015 [27 favorites]


Look, reality became TV a while back. it's fine, we just have have to adjust our expectations for a newer, more screenwriter driven universe.
posted by The Whelk at 11:17 PM on April 25, 2015 [26 favorites]


Could have been angrier* but A for effort. Agreed that the Khaleesi line was the best bit. That and "have you noticed none of you have Ebola." It did feel like much of the audience hadn't ever seen Key and Peele, though.

*Actual K&P sketches are harsh.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 11:20 PM on April 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Disappointed this wasn't Idris Elba.
posted by sockpup at 11:24 PM on April 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Seeing Obama straight-up angry was the strangest thing. And I kind of wanted more. It was a rare opportunity for it, anger wrapped in the shroud of satire. You know at this point, with the elections over and the next two years (at least) mired in gridlock, it would have been interesting to really see him lay into the issue of climate change with all the righteous fury he could muster, to the point of making the audience uncomfortable.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:26 PM on April 25, 2015 [57 favorites]


Going places (via)
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:29 PM on April 25, 2015


I wish that demonstration of anger was real instead of shtick and had started six year ago.
posted by twsf at 11:40 PM on April 25, 2015 [21 favorites]


I'll be more impressed if he actually carries through with this and makes it a theme instead of just another Correspondent's Dinner joke.

It's time for an angry president on climate change. It's time for plain language like "stupid" and "irresponsible." Hell, it's past time for that.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:50 PM on April 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


Cut to the girl scratching her eyeball! Cut to her!!
posted by phaedon at 11:53 PM on April 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Cut to the girl scratching her eyeball! Cut to her!!

Russian model Irina Shayk, rumored to be dating Bradley Cooper (Sorry, all I have to offer is useless entertainment gossip!)
posted by bluecore at 12:01 AM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Let's give it up for the Secret Service. I don't want to be too hard on those guys. Y'know, 'cause they're the only law enforcement agency in the country that'll get in trouble if a black man gets shot." --Cecily Strong, also tonight at the WHCD
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:09 AM on April 26, 2015 [126 favorites]


On a K&P tangent, just last night in the course of trying to find a dish to make with some mutton I've bought I discovered to my surprise that ćevapi, which they did a skit about, is actually a real thing eaten in the Balkans. (The only link google is giving me to the skit is this one, embedded from here, which unfortunately is a private link or otherwise requires a login or something like that.)
posted by XMLicious at 12:14 AM on April 26, 2015


bluecore: "Cut to the girl scratching her eyeball! Cut to her!!

Russian model Irina Shayk, rumored to be dating Bradley Cooper (Sorry, all I have to offer is useless entertainment gossip!)
"

Is it bad when I read that, I though "Go, Rocket, it's your birthday! Go, Rocket, it's your birthday!"

okay, I got nothin'
posted by Samizdata at 12:49 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Love this, and would love more Obama (controlled) anger in reality.

But also, I believe that the Colbert thing wasn't just a series of burns, it was one of the most revolutionary comedy performances AND political editorial statements of the last two decades. I remember knowing it was, and downloading the full clip for posterity because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. All the more powerful in the form of a stream of compliments.

I think Cheney's heart came as close to bursting its formaldehyde as it ever has during that speech.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:01 AM on April 26, 2015 [36 favorites]


Entertaining stuff. Can anyone in the US name any of the people or organisations at the tables that were Visibly Not Enjoying this?
posted by ominous_paws at 1:24 AM on April 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well, Wolf Blitzer (known as Lobo in my house) looked sour, as did Jane Fonda. Wolf always looks like he downed a bad pickle at theses things, but I was a bit surprised at Jane.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 2:14 AM on April 26, 2015


I don't get the Khaleesi joke :(
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:39 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't get the Khaleesi joke :(

"You think Mars was all that shit? Man, Athena is comin' and she is gonna KICK some ASS in this here capital!!!"

this even works pretty well because, like, we've been all wars and wars and oh hey we need to pay for wars and stuff, which is very Mars, but Athena was also a goddess of wisdom, the arts, industry... Whereas yeah, Khaleesi has a hefty ambivalence, especially after that latest Game of Thrones episode where [no worries, not a spoiler] wisdom was NOT one of her strengths.
posted by fraula at 3:49 AM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


You think Mars was all that shit? Man, Athena is comin'

Mixed metaphor.
posted by snofoam at 3:58 AM on April 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


Is that Carla Gugino at 0:17? Kinda looks like her.
posted by Justinian at 5:07 AM on April 26, 2015


I'm kind of uncomfortable with the president making Angry Black Man jokes, even when they're the right jokes for a black authority figure to make, at the exact moment when there were violent protests happening the next city over about the killing of (yet another) black man by police.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:33 AM on April 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


B-B-But then he'd never be able to make Angry Black Man jokes.

This is the laughing or else you're crying thread right?
posted by fullerine at 6:02 AM on April 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


It did feel like much of the audience hadn't ever seen Key and Peele, though.

Yeah, I'd be surprised if more than 10% of the people in the room had any clue who Key was and truly got the joke.

*Actual K&P sketches are harsh.

And include the kind of profane language that you're not going to hear in a sketch in which the actual sitting POTUS is a performer.

But also, I believe that the Colbert thing wasn't just a series of burns, it was one of the most revolutionary comedy performances AND political editorial statements of the last two decades.

It was definitely stunning to think that someone even loosely aligned with the Bush administration and the GOP was responsible for booking Colbert. Had they not ever seen his show? Similar to last night with the K&P reference, apparently somebody didn't understand Colbert's act at all.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:12 AM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bucket!
posted by jim in austin at 6:14 AM on April 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's kind of surprising what a good entertainer he is. Most of his jokes were way better than Cecily Strong's. (Though she really had a great one on the secret service and black guys getting shot.)

Now I'm sure he gets a lot of material offered to him and he's not writing the jokes, but his selection and delivery are pretty damn good.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:32 AM on April 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Donald Trump is here tonight..... still." had me howling.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:37 AM on April 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


@ fuse theorem - as I half-recall, the Colbert invitation came from a Bush staffer who had just been dissed in some major way, and this was passive-aggressive payback.
posted by mmiddle at 8:12 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Only in real life, when Obama gets really angry, it's at his own party for daring to question his secret trade deal negotiated on behalf of mega-corporations. Constructive anger on behalf of (non-incorporated) American citizens is still the realm of comedy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:19 AM on April 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


my favourite joke of the night from the President: "Some people say I'm arrogant, aloof, condescending. Some people are so dumb."
posted by dogwalker at 8:27 AM on April 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Interesting bit of Democratic Party kremlinology - Obama is all-in on Hillary. The Dems are going to be pretty united behind Clinton, and spend time and resources building their ground game while the Repubs spend months squabbling and making fools of themselves to pursue the radical right wing primary voter.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:31 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm going to unfreeze Calvin Cooledge.
posted by clavdivs at 8:47 AM on April 26, 2015


It was Mark Smith, outgoing president of the WHCA, who invited Colbert. Maybe he had an axe to grind but the official word was that....

This year, Mark Smith, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, invited Colbert to give the main toast. Smith later told the Times he hadn’t seen much of Colbert’s work.
posted by C.A.S. at 8:52 AM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Interesting bit of Democratic Party kremlinology - Obama is all-in on Hillary. The Dems are going to be pretty united behind Clinton, and spend time and resources building their ground game while the Repubs spend months squabbling and making fools of themselves to pursue the radical right wing primary voter.

Note to the Dems: a narrative of Inevitable Ascendency isn't the world's greatest GOTV strategy, particularly for a big tent party.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:55 AM on April 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Obama's full WHCD speech is here.
posted by hangashore at 10:03 AM on April 26, 2015


I have to say, I am very glad that Obama chose this "platform" to talk about the environment...even in a jokey manner is worthy. This video is being shared around a lot more than it would have without the antics in it.
posted by The1andonly at 10:06 AM on April 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm honestly expecting that "Khaleesi is comin' to Westeros" clip to work its way into some PAC's painfully bad anti-Hillary commercial. "Daenerys Targaryen wanted to outlaw the fighting pits in Meereen... what will Khaleesi Clinton try to take away from you?" *cut to montage of MMA fights, Truckasaurus and football* "Jeb Bush wouldn't do that to America. Jeb Bush has the strongest claim to the throne, the bloodline that deposed the Mad King," *blood-red tinted photo of an angry Bill Clinton* "and in return only asks for your loyalty to the Lord of Light, the one true god whose cleansing fire shall purify the land."

Paid for by The PAC That Was Promised
posted by jason_steakums at 10:10 AM on April 26, 2015 [26 favorites]


Inevitable for the primary is what they are going for I imagine, the general is going to be a serious fight.

I've always assumed Colbert's immediate reaction to getting the invitation looked something like this.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:11 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


The WHCA is -- at least nominally -- an association of professional journalists with no official connection to the White House other than their job assignments. Where are you getting this "a Bush staffer"? Smith^ works for the AP. It amazes me that no matter how often this is discussed, people still seem to get this wrong.

By the way, this led me to this dissertation: Was that supposed to be funny? a rhetorical analysis of politics, problems and contradictions in contemporary stand-up comedy

Yeah, I'd be surprised if more than 10% of the people in the room had any clue who Key was and truly got the joke.

Truly GOT the joke, maybe, but I think you're wrong there. I really think it's more about point of view -- inside vs. outside. The dissertation actually goes into a lot of this, so I'll be reading that later.
posted by dhartung at 10:26 AM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just knew that Luther would figure into Obama's last years somehow. Once he invited Key and Peele to the Whitehouse it was just inevitable. Still, it was awesome to finally see it in reality.

Is that Carla Gugino at 0:17? Kinda looks like her.
I think so. At least, I got super excited and was all like "Wooo! Carla G! Hells yeah!" when she came on screen.

I'm a fan.
posted by quin at 10:28 AM on April 26, 2015


Was that Laverne Cox standing up and cheering at 4:13? Because that's awesome.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:42 AM on April 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


YES, mudpuppie - i was just coming in here to squeal about laverne cox getting her whole life to obama getting mad. earlier in the evening she saved her first red carpet interview of the night for janet mock.
posted by nadawi at 10:52 AM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Disappointed this wasn't Idris Elba.

Obama: "And to the Republicans who have opposed my agenda at every turn, I offer my condolences for your failure to repeal Obamacare." (audience laughs)

Stringer: "Motherfucker, I will punk your ass for sayin such shit!"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:53 AM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, being a Washington reporter is kind of like taking notes on a criminal conspiracy.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:14 PM on April 26, 2015


...while the Repubs spend months squabbling and making fools of themselves to pursue the radical right wing primary voter.

I think that's deliberate on their part. Keeps attention off the inevitable Jeb, while placating the ultra-right until it's time to vote.
posted by atchafalaya at 12:19 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I thought that was one of the funniest WHCD segments ever, second only to Colbert. The thing with Colbert was that it wasn't supposed to be funny in the way it wound up being funny. Meanwhile this was perfect for exactly the reason Obama picked him to do this. In the end the people with mud on their face deserved every bit that was slung.
Obama's closing was safe though. If you wanted to see the real angry black man caracature out of him he would have tackled police shootings. And then stuff would have rightly burned.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:22 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm impressed with his delivery... His timing on that bucket list joke that jim in austin linked to above? Impeccable...
posted by Jughead at 1:12 PM on April 26, 2015


The one talking point comment I see in comment section after comment section grin the right is that this seemed "Minstral-show-y." You can tell they felt burned when they pull out the "Obama is the real racist" style comments like that.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:25 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


"From the right." Not grin. Curse you, swype!
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:43 PM on April 26, 2015


Honestly, this mostly gave me a deep appreciation for how much time the President must spend biting their tongue.
posted by joycehealy at 6:08 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


@Stefan_BC: "That's my President, slaughtering those idiot Republicans on climate change like a bunch of Yemeni villagers at Friday Prayers #UniteBlue"
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:19 PM on April 26, 2015


Two of my fave jokes from Cecily:

"Last year's host's Joel McHale proved that the hosting the WHCD can take you from starring in a network show to starring in that same show on Yahoo."

"Now what can I say about Brian Williams? Nothing. I work for NBC."

Also, Pres Obama used McCain for a visual 'get off my lawn' joke. I thought that was pretty well-written.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:21 PM on April 26, 2015


Am I the only one who felt like Key was nervous as shit up there? Especially in the beginning? I don't think it detracted from the performance, really, and in fact it fit in nicely with the just-under-the-surface neuroticism that Key plays that character with, but it amused me.
posted by invitapriore at 7:40 PM on April 26, 2015


The night the news died: "yes, 12 people were arrested and the Baltimore police have tweeted that, you can find that out now, and you can find a live feed if you want to actually want to watch what's going on."
posted by dirigibleman at 7:54 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ezra Klein, vox: The joke was that Obama wasn’t joking
And what Obama believes is that the press is often sensational, trivial, and fearmongering. He thinks they hype negative stories for weeks on end and then refuse to admit their mistake when the horror fizzles. He thinks he gets the blame for catastrophes but little credit for solutions. He thinks the media has a deep bias toward negative stories (which, of course, we do).
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:50 PM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


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