Obama's Health Care Comedy Tour
George Carlin once said, “I believe you can joke about anything. It just depends how you construct the joke, what the exaggeration is. Every joke needs one exaggeration; every joke needs one thing out of proportion.”
That’s really the key to humor. The exaggeration.
On March 25, President Obama began his American Health Care Comedy Tour in Iowa City, Iowa. In his speech, he spoke about the fears vocalized by those opposed to health care reform:
There's been plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of overheated rhetoric. You turn on the news, you'll see the same folks are still shouting about there's going to be an end of the world because this bill passed. (Laughter.) I'm not exaggerating. Leaders of the Republican Party, they called the passage of this bill "Armageddon." (Laughter.) Armageddon. "End of freedom as we know it."
So after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there any -- (laughter) -- asteroids falling or -- (applause) -- some cracks opening up in the Earth. (Laughter.) It turned out it was a nice day. (Laughter.) Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall. People still have their doctors.
The crowd of Obama myrmidons found this to be hilarious. Obama nailed Carlin’s rule. While Rep. John Boehner did refer to the passage of the health care bill as "Armageddon," clearly he wasn't referring to the total destruction of the Earth. No one was saying that. That’s the exaggeration. He took the concerns of those against the Democrats' “reform” and blew them way out of proportion.