Now the numbers are declining for clowns – beside those holding political office.
Seriously, if possible, the NY Daily News reports: “Membership at the country’s largest trade organizations for the jokesters has plunged over the past decade as declining interest, old age and higher standards among employers align against Krusty, Bozo and their crimson-nosed colleagues.”
For “higher standards” we can translate “political correctness.” Last summer, those fun folks in Missouri, home of Harry S. Truman – who pulled our legs by having only an initial for a middle name– fired a rodeo clown for wearing the mask of a president. Not Nuke-em Harry, but Drone-em Barack.
Comedians still can joke about the president, but only within bounds. Saturday Night Live’s presidential parodies are shadows of what was written back in the 1970s against old Tricky Dick by Al Franken. Nixon was excoriated by the Left for continuing the Vietnam War first perpetrated by those darlings of the Left, JFK and LBJ.
But Alan Stuart Franken himself now has become the joke as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota who pledges, on his very own Website, “Senator Franken supports President Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan and insists on full congressional oversight of the war effort.” That includes droning wedding parties. And, of course, getting 2,313 Americans killed so far, 1,862 under the watch of Obama and Franken. Plus tens of thousands wounded.
Hey, hey, ASF, aren’t the kids you killed enough?
Unless they go into politics and lead the cushy life of Georgetown parties and flunky worship, it’s tough being a clown. Medieval fools, as seen in Shakespeare, were supposed to speak jokes to power. Just before his own demise at the end of the play, King Lear says, “And my poor fool is hanged.”
Modern clowns’ fates also have not been funny, many dying as early as a bad joke in a New York City comedy club after Mayor Bloomberg banned smoking: Fatty Arbuckle was 46, Curly Howard 48, Lou Costello 52, Lenny Bruce 40, John Belushi 33, Gilda Radner 42, John Candy 43, Chris Farley 33 and Phil Hartman 49.
As Steve Martin used to say, “Comedy isn’t pretty.” And real comedy isn’t PC.
John C. Seiler, Jr., writes from California.