Just Not Funny: Obama Is Comedy Poison

Why Bill Maher gets boos when he tries to razz the prez
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2009 12:39 PM CDT
In this photo released by CBS, Barack Obama talks with host David Letterman on the set of "The Late Show With David Letterman," Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008.   (AP Photo/CBS, Jeffrey R. Staab)
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(Newser) – Comedians have a big beef with President Obama: he's a humor-killer, writes the LA Times. It's not just that this president lacks a defining target for humor (funny accent, balance problem, wandering eye), but also that the American public may just not be in the mood to make fun of a president during a crisis—or a black president, period.

"You can't do the stereotypical thing," a former Tonight Show writer laments. "Someone who's a Texan or an elite is much easier to attack." Combine that with the liberal leanings of most late-night joke writers, and desires to poke fun at Obama seem to fizzle. But experts think the comics will eventually return to their traditional skewering.