I am really looking forward to Thursday night’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. And it’s not because I expect they will shed any light on the issues separating the presidential candidates. If I need further information on that front, I can check their web sites one more time. I am looking forward to the debate because I expect it to be hilarious. With the economy the way it is, we need some really rib-splitting humor more than anything right now. And Dave Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno and their ilk just don’t do it for me any more. Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart can be funny at times, but they tend to be rather predictable after you’ve watched them for a while.
When I browse for a movie to watch on TV, I used to stop at the ones labeled “Comedy,” but I’ve learned my lesson. So far, with the exception of “Legally Blond,” they’ve turned out to be about as funny as a root canal. I suppose the older I get the harder it is to make me laugh. But Joe Biden made me laugh when he told Katie Couric that after the markets crashed in 1929, “Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’ ” That would have been quite a trick as FDR wasn’t president yet, and television wouldn’t be invented for a couple of decades. But that’s par for the course with Joe Biden. We know Joe, and we expect him to stick his foot in his mouth every so often.
Sarah Palin often makes me laugh out loud – when I’m not weeping at the prospect of her becoming America’s next vice president (or, Heaven forbid, President!). Her CBS interview with Katie Couric was priceless. Who can ever forget such responses as this one to a question on foreign policy:
It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where – where do they go, Katie? It’s Alaska. Those Russian planes leave Russia and where are they? They’re in Alaska. Think about it. It’s just over the border. It’s from Alaska that we send those people of ours to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to – to our state.
The U.S. military brass found it especially funny because, as they said later, there have been no Russian jets in Alaskan airspace during Palin’s time as governor.
I also found it amusing that she believes dinosaurs lived on earth 4,000 years ago and God made them so their bones could turn into oil for Americans to use. And, of course, Tina Fey’s performances on Saturday Night Live are the stuff of which legends are made. What makes these skits so special is that in many cases, Fey uses words straight from Palin’s mouth with no rewriting or editing.
So don’t forget to tune in for tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate. You won’t learn anything useful, but you’re sure to get some laughs. And I won’t be surprised if one of the networks offers them a comedy show of their own – after the politics gig is over.