Ok, so I don’t want to get too into the President’s inevitable success after months (Months!) of attempts to impale himself on the Spear of COVID by running head long at it like the obese functionally illiterate imbecile that he is.
Congratulations Mr. President, you played yourself.
It’s really a bad idea as a comic to even delve into that topic at the moment, as there’s so much hate, and hypocrisy, and idiocy, and irony at play that it creates a singularity in the mind so dense that neither light nor comic thought can escape.
There’s one perfect joke out there somewhere, that deftly, and hilariously, and poignantly sums up the entire topic, but the cost of finding it? I mean, when you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you…and any serious thought about the current social, economic, or political state of this country right now is that abyss. To find that perfect joke, you’d have to go there, and visit each of those topics, in-depth. Repeatedly.
To find that perfect joke you’d have to consider that a Professional Wrestling hall of fame member is somehow causing The Apocalypse.
The President Of The United States
To find that perfect joke you’d have to find the minimum number of words possible to remind people that the President Of The United States probably raped a girl that his close friend Jeffery Epstein was human trafficking.
To find that perfect joke you’d need to find the most bipartisan way to attack the QAnon believers, and white power groups, and the President’s transparent support of said and equally transparent willingness to use them as his own personal army to murder American citizens. And then you’d have to wonder if you might get shot for telling it…if the clubs ever re-open.
To write that perfect joke you’d have to consider if imagery of a ghostly Herman Cain in a grim reaper outfit haunting Air Force one is in bad taste.
To write that perfect joke you’d want to include a bit that pointed out that the First Gold Digger was just caught on tape saying she doesn’t give a shit about Christmas or other people’s children. Steady now, there’s an easy branching path there but both of them lead back to hack writing.
“I say she’s half right”
Option 1: “I say we get rid of the kids and keep Christmas.” Bad joke, bad joke, bad joke.
Option 2: “I say we get rid of Christmas and keep the kids!” Bad joke, cheap joke, bad joke
No, to write that perfect joke you want to really drive home that the first lady is an elitist, soulless, child hating bitch, but you know…keep it light. Maybe present it in the form of a fairy tale people will tell there kids in the future.
“And then Hansel and Grettle and threw the rich bitch in the oven and closed the door!”
“And she burned and she screamed and her eyes popped and her skin boiled off and she screamed some more…broke off all her finger nails trying to claw her way out…anyway she screamed one last time, reciting something Michelle Obama once said, and then her lungs exploded, and she died and the world was a better place”
“And that’s the story of the rich white lady who did give a fuck about the human rights of other people’s children.”
You’d also half to consider writing your way around to a reason to recite that last line in a child’s voice.
That might be a winner if you can get away with it, and it’s a quick slide into the whole inevitable war against the rich which is obviously coming.
Yeah, to write that perfect joke you’d have to go there too. You’d have to look at the growing wealth inequality, and what letting the rich make all the money and all the rules about who gets the money is inevitably leading too. Violence. Hell, we’re already there.
Kyle Rittenhouse. Trump Supporter (And Murderer)
That perfect joke…it wouldn’t end there. You want to drive home in some fashion how ridiculous is is that greed and hate put in power a soon to be four times bankrupt real estate conartist at a moment unique in the history of the species to enable him to destroy basically every real estate market in the country for the second time in 12 years. Got to remember to throw “and who was in charge last time?” In there some where, if you want to get that political.
To write that perfect joke you’d have to consider just how political you want to be. There’s basically two routes you could go here. There’s the basic “so much stupidity so what are the odds” setup, and then a quick and hard to argue with out that references how much pain and suffering this man has needlessly wrought for no other reason than to feed his own ego, but that’s an easy sell and an easy out. At this point it might even be immoral. We are in crisis here and there needs to be an intervention.
No, to write that perfect joke and live with yourself you’d have to shine a light on the fact that the President is broke, doesn’t pay his taxes, and is receiving free government healthcare. Something he’s been fighting to abolish for every person who’s not him since the day he assumed the office.
Healthcare, here’s an easy one:
I’m not saying I want the President to Die, all I’m saying is if he needs any medicine, mail it to him.
Oh, my. Now you’ve got a problem. That perfect joke is going to have to include voter suppression, which inevitably leads to white supremacists, which rides right back into his incitement of violence…and you’ve already written that, and if it’s not a call back now you’ve written yourself into a loop, which could easily become a knot. Better go back and check.
Yeah, that needs to stay where it is for now, but it reminds you that to write that perfect joke your going to have to bring up that National Embarrassment of a debate. Trumps naked cruelness, the stutter…that’s dangerous territory though because you might get honest and cast a little shade on Biden, and now you’ve got just one more thing, right or wrong, to deftly articulate and defend, because if you’re going to introduce ambiguity, you’d better understand your position, believe in it, an be-able to articulate it.
“You know who won that debate? Satan. Satan won that debate. If you watch you can actually see Satans spirit leave his body write before his child hating wife takes his hand, because Satan can’t be alone with a woman”
Voice change “Don’t you mean Mike Pence.”
My voice: “That what I said? What did you hear?”
There, if you play it right you just might have solved three problems at once. Move that up and into the segment that touches on the debate. Wait, was that ahead or behind the bit about the first lady?
Oh god, you’ve hit the event horizon. Now to write that perfect joke you’re going to need to sketch the idea you have as an outline, identify important phrasing, identify key ideas, and start moving things around. I mean you wouldn’t need to if the clubs were open, you could just find a mic and kind of let the thing work itself into whatever shape it needs to be. But you can’t do that because the clubs are closed because the Orange Imbecile destroyed our society, which is reason damned joke!
I have no mouth and I must scream.
There’s certainly enough of the perfect joke in your head now that two things are apparent:
- You’re writing a segment, not a joke.
- No matter how hard it is to nail it you will not stop until you do.
And with that we enter round two of what I will still refer to as writing the perfect joke. Why? Because you can’t be making too many changes now that the child has been born. You just have to do your best to make sure it’s as perfect as it can be. Without killing it.
So know you’ve got two documents. The joke long form, which looks like one of Ed Gein’s notebooks. And outline of seemingly random key topics and equally randomly looking phrasing choices.
You get out a ball of red yarn, some tacks, and start arranging things on the walls.
In Your Head:
With these two documents now you’ve got at least three problems. At first you just needed a joke so you wrote one in your notebook. Then it got big enough to need structure so you outlined it to get a birds eye view, and you realize if it’s big enough to need structure it’s going to need a consistent tone and a story structure.
It probably goes further than that even. You’ve got character in there too. A Trump impersonation…anyone can do that so don’t sweat it. The First Lady though, come to think of it I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the President’s evil immigrant wife speak. William Barr, Mitch McConnell, just wobble different parts of your face a lot, no problem…but the main character in the perfect joke is always you, and that’s a problem. To tell this joke properly your going to have to play a version of yourself that comes to the realization of what is happening in this country as he explains what is happening in this country.
You’ve done that several times this year, accidentally, and it’s been an emotional shell-shocking each and every time. Both to you and who was ever on the other end of the phone. Who you may never see again.
This is a good and bad realization in your effort to write the perfect joke. You’ve found the single most important key to pulling it off, and it’s masochism. You can do it and you can sell it, but now more than ever it is no longer a joke. You’re talking about taking yourself an you’re audience on an emotional journey, that happens to include a lot of well structured comedy.
Oh you’re fucked now. Look at how you’re thinking about yourself and your material. Who do you think you are!?
Shut up, my thoughts are valid my craft is solid, I will do this, the only reason I got into comedy was to do this.
Who do you think you are? You think there aren’t 1000000 others doing the same thing right now?
You’ve got to push all that aside though, you’ve got to write that perfect joke, and despite the joke existing, despite the outline, despite the having made concrete descisions about its overall tone and structure, you’ve still got most of your work ahead of you because it’s been hours and at best you have 2/3rds of a broken joke. A joke with no ending.
So now you’re faced with this: after having taken a step back from the abyss with the outline, you’ve now got to start gazing deeper into it. Your perfect jokes doesn’t cover nearly as many topics as it needs to. You might not even be halfway there yet. This thing has to flow and it has to really convey the utter absurdity of where hate and greed has gotten us.
You’re going to have to use the words Concentration Camps, and if challenged on it you need to be able to justify it. Further, if challenged on it by a fascist your going to have to be ready to run them out of the room. So you better consider every argument they might make, and always have “I’m sorry I don’t speak German” at the ready when they come at you with something utterly unpredictable when they come running around the crazy corner. “QAnon say what?” If they keep going. And “Proud Boys indeed” when they finally leave.
So in your quest to write the perfect joke you start writing a series of smaller bits about every inconsistently, every display of sheer ignorance, every hypocrisy, every incident of naked racism and or hate, every incident of graft, every incitement to violence, every attempt to disadvantage the homosexuals, or the blacks or the Mexicans, or women, every dangerous scientific inaccuracy the president promoted, every rallying cry to fascism, every push to return to Jim Crowe Law, every nakedly sell serving pardon, every law broken, every brother and sister murdered in the streets just for saying we should make life a little bit more fair, every corrupt official appointed, colluding, or in jail for one or the other, every person who died needlessly of COVID or because of this mans criminal “lets just funnel money to myself and the rich” response, every person who had to grieve a loved one needlessly because of this man and his supporters, every person who’s been done irrevocable psychological harm while trying to protect their families and their community while this man callously did worse nothing, every child he put in a cage in our name with our money, every person who’s been made to fear for their life or had their life taken by one of Trump’s supporters.
Somewhere in there everything about the joke changes to some extent.
“This gets moved here, and I can tie it back to that, which should relieve the emotional tension we introduce here, but not too much because need to build on it again here, this can go, that can stay I already said that here, so one of these goes…blah blah blah. 30 drafts of everything, to make sure the wording is the rhythmic and hilarious, nothing too cheap at any point, nothing that lets them know what’s happening too early…
Somewhere in that process the closer will present itself, maybe a few of ideas will end up in contention even, and eventually you’ll have your perfect joke.
But that’s a lot to go through, and the clubs aren’t open, and you really could get shot behind that set these days I think, so I’m not going to write the perfect Donald Trump Got COVID Joke.
But I will give you the punchline, which you may have figured out by now has to do with if I want Trump to die of COVID or not.
I do not hope the President Dies.
I hope he almost dies.
I hope this disease brings him right to the edge of death and holds him in that state until late January, when he wakes up broke an unemployed, like the rest of us. And during that time I hope he experiences all of the pain he has caused the rest of us with every incident of naked racism and or hate, every incident of graft, every incitement to violence, every attempt to disadvantage the homosexuals, or the blacks or the Mexicans, or women, every dangerous scientific inaccuracy the president promoted, every rallying cry to fascism, every push to return to Jim Crowe Law, every nakedly sell serving pardon, every law broken, every brother and sister murdered in the streets just for saying we should make life a little bit more fair, every corrupt official appointed, colluding, or in jail for one or the other, every person who died needlessly of COVID or because of this mans criminal “lets just funnel money to myself and the rich” response, every person who had to grieve a loved one needlessly because of this man and his supporters, every person who’s been done irrevocable psychological harm while trying to protect their families and their community while this man callously did worse nothing, every child he put in a cage in our name with our money, every person who’s been made to fear for their life or had their life taken by one of Trump’s supporters.
And then I want him in jail or a courtroom for the rest of his life like the cheap criminal he is.