September 18, 2017

Does Trump have a sense of humor?

1. In the NYT, we have David Litt (a former speechwriter for President Obama), contending that Trump is "a commander in chief without a sense of humor."
[Trump] uses his well-honed sense of timing as a cudgel. He jeers. He mocks. His goal is to insult, rather than to entertain.... President Trump does not possess the sense of nuance a well-told joke requires...

Without the qualities that laughter both demonstrates and fosters — a willingness to find common ground, the respect for agreed-upon norms and the awareness that we are all only human — Mr. Trump’s attitude toward the presidency is defined by the one characteristic that remains: a lust for power....
2. Meanwhile, on Twitter, Scott Adams — who's kind of a humor expert — seems to think Trump has a fabulous sense of humor. He can't stop laughing about "Rocket Man" and the golf-ball-hits-Hillary video:

3. This issue is squarely raised. You decide:

Does Trump have a sense of humor? Pick the answer closest to what you think.
 
pollcode.com free polls

120 comments:

Quaestor said...

Quaestor won't tolerate David Litt's lameosity. His client never, ever cracked a joke at his own expense. If Trump engages in insult comedy, he's not a pioneer in the field by any means. And don't get me started on the subject of Hillary "What with a cloth?" Clinton.

MikeR said...

For some reason, I'm reluctant to accept the unhinged people's views of Donald Trump.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Good God, Progressives really don't understand how endless butt-hurt is self-punking. You may feel it, but you certainly don't show it. It's blood in the water.

Kate said...

Watching Adams crack up is like watching the Carol Burnett show. People trying not to laugh is hilarious.

Earnest Prole said...

Trump has a fantastic sense of humor, except when it comes to laughing at himself.

YoungHegelian said...

Obama had a sense of humor? Well, kinda. Sure as Hell not of the self-deprecating kind. It's interesting that the man Democrats admiringly called "The Vulcan" for his supposed cerebral coolness is also a laff-riot to boot. Poor old Obama really was the blank screen that the Democrats projected their hopes & fears onto.

When the NYT says Trump doesn't have a sense of humor, it means that Trump doesn't tear himself apart for their benefit. He makes fun of them, & that's not funny. I mean, does the Left now have any other form of humor than making fun of the Right? Any at all?

Tank said...

Litt, apparently, never saw any of Trump's rallies. He was hilarious.

Darrell said...

Litt, slipping on a banana peel would be funny.

Char Char Binks said...

Trump definitely has a sense of humor, and a pretty good one, but he's not actually a comedian, as some have claimed.

Howard said...

Trump is bigly funny

Angel-Dyne said...

Without the qualities that laughter both demonstrates and fosters — a willingness to find common ground, the respect for agreed-upon norms and the awareness that we are all only human...

A shitlib delivering pious homilies about what humor is or is not, chock full of "malapropriated" conservative tropes and with a giant stick up his butt, is actually pretty funny.

If everybody's laughing and you don't know who the straight man is...it's you.

Rob said...

For a really fun gal, there's Hillary.

gadfly said...

Blogger Quaestor said...
Quaestor won't tolerate David Litt's lameosity. His client never, ever cracked a joke at his own expense. If Trump engages in insult comedy, he's not a pioneer in the field by any means. And don't get me started on the subject of Hillary "What with a cloth?" Clinton.

Why do T-Rumpster's end up hiding behind a Clinton reference? The only question is "Does Donald Trump have a sense of humor?" And the only logical answer is the question is: "If you cannot laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?"

But sadly the incredible Trump ego controls his life and makes him a laughable fool.

Will Cate said...

His sense of humor is perfectly fine. It's the anti-Trumpers who tend to have no sense of humor. To wit: this critique of last night's Emmys, which claims that the show didn't go far enough in castigating Trump:

http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/emmy-awards-2017-hypocritically-progressive.html

Will Cate said...

clickable link for the above

Hypocritically Progressive

Mary Beth said...

Trump is funny. The golf meme he retweeted was amusing because it sums up the campaign - he went out and had fun, Clinton didn't know what hit her. It went from amusing to funny when the TV news pundits wasted time moaning about how horrible it was.

Chuck said...

There's no Althouse answer for me.

The answer that I would have picked would have been something like;
"~ Yes, Trump has a sense of humor, and he has some highly-developed comedic timing. And Trump's humor is like Trump himself; mean-spirited, base and routinely insulting."

Bill Peschel said...

What is the point of this? Shouldn't we look at the effectiveness of what a man does instead of whether or not he's capable of telling "The Aristocrats" joke?

Cal Coolidge was notorious for not having a sense of humor, but it appears he's capable of a witty riposte.

During a party, a woman came up to him and said, "Mr. President, I bet my husband that I could make you say three words."

He said, "Fuck you."

Charlotte Allen said...

Trump is a scream. I watched that golf-ball gif about ten times. And calling Kim Jung-un "Rocket Man" was hilarious. That's exactly what he is.

whitney said...

They are just upset he didn't tweet about the Emmys. They feel ignored. And they are ignored

buwaya said...

Adams has his own take on humor.

It IS humor, but it is also cruel, or of that variety that has much cruelty in it.
His characters are funny because they are in hell, hell Adams made for them.
They may deserve what they get, like those victims in Dante's hell, but even so.

There is no gentle humor in Dilbert.

rhhardin said...

Dilbert is American humor.

rhhardin said...

Humor is a greenhouse gas.

mccullough said...

The "agreed upon norms" is a give away. Trump doesn't "agree on the norms" of people like this guy and he knows they only pretend to follow those norms. Let the norms go, and Trump is funny. A big part of his humor is knowingly disregarding the norms.

rcocean said...

Adams is funny
Trump is funny
Colbert used to be funny
Hillary can be funny but only unintentionally

rcocean said...

Lets face it, if you think Trump is sending out invisible pro-KKK death rays, you probably don't know if Trump is funny.

Cause you're a left-wing nut.

rcocean said...

The Golf Ball thing was hilarious.

And the MSM Left-wing reaction was even funnier.

Mary Beth said...

He said, "Fuck you."

9/18/17, 6:14 PM


I thought it was, "You lose."

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Good God, Progressives really don't understand how endless butt-hurt is self-punking.


It's an endless butthurt party.

Big Mike said...

At this point 282 people have voted. 12 are certifiably nuts.

Michael K said...

"But sadly the incredible Trump ego controls his life and makes him a laughable fool."

No, he resides in your head 24/7 and makes you a laughable fool.

Big Mike said...

One thing about the golf gif. When Gerald Ford, one of the most athletic presidents ever, missed his footing coming down the stairs from Air Force 1, it was replayed over and over. Hillary Clinton face planted getting on an airplane and this is the first I've seen of it. Wonder why that was the case?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

This is just getting noticed?

Trump is congenitally incapable of smiling, let alone laughing.

But he seemed to understand that self-deprecation was a good thing in a powerful man, much as he lacked it. So he had them do a Comedy Central roast of His Humorless Highness, and every time they landed a zinger on him, he made a strange face - somewhere between cringing and and constipation - that showed just how much distress he was trying to mask as fake enjoyment.

That's your president, Republicans.

tim in vermont said...

The bastard just won't do what they want and "that's not funny!"

tim in vermont said...

He's funny TTR, you just can't see past the fact that your partisan panties are all knotted up.

pious agnostic said...

Mary Beth said...
He said, "Fuck you."

9/18/17, 6:14 PM

I thought it was, "You lose."

9/18/17, 6:47 PM


Yup

tcrosse said...

Sense of humor ? Not in the job description.

Rabel said...

Beginning to look like he wasn't joking when he said Obama tapped his phones.

Big Mike said...

Monty Python's take on how the New York Times views Donald Trump.

FullMoon said...

Trump has a sense of humor. Witness Pelosi and Schumer thinking they had a deal. WSJ saying Trump not pulling out of accords.
Trump set them up, and laughed afterwards.

Chuck said...

I gotta and it to Althouse; a poll like this (she keeps doing them, and I rather like it that she does) tells us nothing about Trump. Only a real poll would do that. And a poll of a self-segregated and ideologically-tilted (is Trumpism an ideology?) weblog is not a real poll.

What a poll like this does, is to define the weblog's audience. We'd see highly individualized and disparate results if we polled an NPR program, or the New Yorker's readership, or a Hannity audience. Those results would define those audiences, and not the subject of the poll.

And I find that sort of information useful. It shows how programming serves to self-segregate people. Indeed, you really don't see NPR doing listenership polls. Because they know what the results will inevitably be, and how those results would be compared to real polling, and how the net result will be, "Geeze, public radio really plays to a liberal audience! They are four standard deviations to the left of the general public!"

JML said...

TTR-you know what else funny? Trump is YOUR President too! And Hillary isn't! Now that is LOL funny!

Chuck said...

"I gotta hand it to Althouse..."

tim in vermont said...

Chuck is not my go to guy on judging humor. Isn't Rachael Maddow on LLR?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

He's funny TTR,

Assumes facts not in evidence.

Technically, four-year olds can be "funny."

The question, however, was whether he "has a sense of humor," which is a more age-appropriate question.

Any pic of a time when he actually smiled should resolve this. For a guy in the public eye as much as he is, that shouldn't be hard. Perhaps at times he tries to smile, but the pouting and cringing just gets in the way. It's like the happiness trying to escape from a face chiseled in narcissistic entitlement.

Julia Roberts pouts at least as exaggeratedly as he does and even she can manage a smile from time to time.

Face it, Trump is an honest-to-goodness sour-puss. I will bet you arable land in VT that on his tombstone you will NOT see the epitaph, "Remembered as someone gracious enough to never take himself too seriously." I guarantee it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

TTR-you know what else funny? Trump is YOUR President too!

No, that's just stupid and your own lunatic, maniacal partisan gravedancing doesn't make it funny. He's just the latest in a long-list of sad-faced clowns to run a country. Nothing new here.

I thought this guy was supposed to be a businessman. Don't we get a money-back guarantee with him? Of course not. When has he ever had the integrity to offer a service or good that was guaranteed? He doesn't. Everything is the customer's fault, with Trump.

Time to turn Douchebag Donald in for a refund.

MadisonMan said...

It's hard to judge the humor of someone who plays you very obviously for a fool.

JML said...

I dunno...I still think it is funny...

"...lunatic, maniacal partisan gravedancing..." is pretty fun too though. Even if you didn't mean it to be so.

vanderleun said...

I gotta say that these pick-ups and requotes from the New York Times are getting stale and predictable. Let's try to find other sources that aren't so lazy. It's bloggyboredom.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Check out the angry clown!

They clipped off the end where Colbert said, that he got practice for that from spying on contestants at the Miss Universe Pageant. "Who's NAKED?!?!?!?!!!" LOL.

Donald the pervert.

eddie willers said...

Cal Coolidge was notorious for not having a sense of humor, but it appears he's capable of a witty riposte.

During a party, a woman came up to him and said, "Mr. President, I bet my husband that I could make you say three words."

He said, "Fuck you."


And let us not forget the wit Winston Churchill:

Churchill was given to reading to reading in the bathtub and, while staying at the White House, he became so engrossed in an account of the Battle of Fonteney that he forgot President Roosevelt was due to drop by to discuss the upcoming conference in Yalta. At the appointed hour, the president was wheeled into Churchill’s quarters only to be informed that the prime minister had not finished bathing. Roosevelt was about to apologize for the intrusion and depart when Churchill, puffing his customary cigar, strode into the room stark naked and greeted the nonplussed world leader with a terse, “What are you staring at, homo?” *

*Tip of the hat to Michael O’Donoghue

rcocean said...

"What a poll like this does, is to define the weblog's audience."

Not really. Liberals and the Left always project their own attitudes on everyone else. They judge everything by politics. In their view, no Conservative or Republican can be funny. Only liberals and Democrats have a sense of humor.

Non-liberals don't think like that. We're perfectly willing to say Liberal X or Democrat Y is funny - IF THEY ARE ACTUALLY FUNNY.

For example, Colbert used to be funny. He's satire on Bill O'Reilly Conservatism was often hilarious. But his Trump hating and profanity isn't funny - its just boring.

rcocean said...

The Liberal "Sense of humor":

Colbert: Trump sucks Russian Dick.

Liberal reaction: "ha.ha.ha.ha."

Trump: Hillary hit by Golf Ball.

Liberal Reaction: "OMG, that's prompting violence and beneath the dignity of the POTUS."

tim in vermont said...

Search Trump smiling and you get plenty of pictures. I am still quite happy that Hillary is not president. Maybe that's why I like his smile. Liberals even went after Reagan's sunny smile, calling it a rictus,so forgive me if I seem a bit jaded on this whole subject

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Search Trump smiling and you get plenty of pictures.

I mean a real one. Not one that's forced, where he seems constipated. Psychologists distinguish real from fake smiles by relaxation around the eyes, which is something he's incapable of. He pulls the lips back, and the eyeballs then pop out to reveal that killer psychopath thing. Like Jack Nicholson behind the shower curtain going, "Here's Johnny!"

Oh, and Who's your favorite clown!.

Can someone let me in on this rule where hating Hillary means I have to agree with everything the usually execrable Trump does? I never got the memo on that one.

Jeff Norman said...

"In a recent Salon interview, Camille Paglia suggested Trump’s no holds barred approach is filling a comedic void. She said Trump 'does better comedy than most professional comedians right now, because we’re in this terrible period where the comedians do their tours with canned jokes. They go from place to place, saying the same list of jokes in the same way. But the old vaudevillians had 5,000 jokes stored in their heads. They went out there and responded to that particular audience on that particular night. They had to read the crowd and try out what worked or didn’t work...Our politicians, like our comedians, have been boring us with their canned formulas for way too long. So that’s why Donald Trump has suddenly leapt in the polls. He’s a great stand-up comedian...he’s not afraid to say things that are rude and mean. I think he’s doing a great service for comedy as well as for politics!’”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumps-war-on-political-c_b_8144442.html

chuck said...

Poor Litt, he's missing all the fun. Sad.

FullMoon said...

What a poll like this does, is to define the weblog's audience.

NYT says:
"Ann Althouse, 58, is a law professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison who blogs about politics, law and cultural whatnots in a sharp, occasionally ribald tone. She admires Rush Limbaugh, voted for George Bush in ’04 and Barack Obama in ’08. She attracts derision and applause from 500,000 monthly visitors."


Respondents to AA polls define poll respondents, not entire audience.

mockturtle said...

The Left lacks a sense of humor. It's hard to tell sometimes if a joke goes right over their heads or if they are merely being disingenuous.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Donny likes females = gross!

Bill Clinton likes females, rapes them occasionally = Total acceptable, man, Moveon.

Phil 3:14 said...

I was never a great fan of insult comedy

but I would NEVER suggest that Don Rickles didn't have a sense of humor.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Donny likes females = gross!

You forgot about the groping part, Rene. You cool with that?

Sebastian said...

Trump has a sense of humor. But the only thing he does that makes me laugh is the TDS he causes.

bgates said...

Mel Brooks said, "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

And if you disagree with that, just try to imagine David Litt or the Dickless Revolutionary falling into an open sewer.

Search Trump smiling and you get plenty of pictures.

I mean a real one.


^it's funny because his mother's from Scotland.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Someone's not understanding Mel Brooks. But then, that someone also can't think of a fuckin Blogger profile name that doesn't reimagine himself as a billionaire software developer. (I knew that if I said billionaire philanthropist you'd have felt insulted).

Henry said...

Isn't explaining how someone else lacks a sense of humor the perfect example of someone who doesn't understand humor?

Americans have made themselves schizophrenic about humor. Everything goes and nothing goes. That's normal for class warfare. The schizophrenic thing about America is that the everything goes and nothing goes people are everybody.

HT said...

Dilbert is a stupid comic strip and anyone who believes Dump knows what he's doing is deluded. He's not funny but who cares.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Isn't explaining how someone else lacks a sense of humor the perfect example of someone who doesn't understand humor?

I peed on your head! Haha! Isn't that funny?

Why? Because I said so! Now keep your head where it was so I can pee on it some more!

Yeay!

You people are seriously developmentally challenged. Like a bunch of 4-year olds.

buwaya said...

Dilbert, the comic strip, is the finest management text produced in the last 30 years. It savagely illustrates all that has been going wrong with US firms over that period, summarizing the lessons of Drucker, Peters, and for that matter Schumpeter.

Bureausclerosis, credentialitis, choking regulation and mandates, crushing of creativity. What do you need to do to get a functioning organization? Do the opposite, if you can.

Henry said...

Argh. I just went and read that tediously unimaginative essay by Mr. Litt. There's just one punchline, and it's lousy:

David Litt, a former White House speechwriter, is the author of the memoir “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years.”

Mr. Litt actually points out something important, even if he immediately lowers periscope. The presidential humor he approves of is Dad jokes.

Here's something else about Mr. Litt -- he's 12 years old.

Litt joined Obama’s 2008 campaign as an undergraduate at Yale and then moved into the White House in 2011 as the lowest man on the speechwriting depth chart, where he wrote short speeches for the president about infrastructure and post office openings.

exiledonmainstreet said...


Cal Coolidge was notorious for not having a sense of humor, but it appears he's capable of a witty riposte.

During a party, a woman came up to him and said, "Mr. President, I bet my husband that I could make you say three words."

He said, "Fuck you."

9/18/17, 6:14 PM

No, He said "You lose."

The word "Fuck" was not bandied about in conversation in polite circles in the 1920's like it is today. Coolidge, no bohemian, would not have said it to a lady at a party.

Babe Ruth once got drunk at a party, stood up on a chair and announced that any woman who didn't want to fuck should leave. But that was Babe Ruth.

buwaya said...

Re peeing on the head, and etc., the Three Stooges probably would have done that in this less-cultured world; but their humor was very much along those lines, and pure genius.
Most of their shorts are on Youtube, highly recommended.
Best are the 1930's ones, "Disorder in the Court" is usually cited as the best of them.
Like or dislike of Three Stooges shorts is a test of character btw.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Calvin Coolidge. You don't say.

Well, everyone knows how the roaring 20s he presided over ended.

I'm sure Trump can do a better job of whatever it was that Coolidge did.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

And by better I mean more spectacular.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I think Trump has a sense of humor, but no, he doesn't seem capable of laughing at himself, at least not publicly. Obama couldn't either. His self-deprecating comments were about his ears or his golf swing, not character traits or weaknesses.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
Calvin Coolidge. You don't say.

Well, everyone knows how the roaring 20s he presided over ended"

So what's your point? I was simply correcting what Bill P. wrote.

Goodness, you're in ill humor tonight. But then you usually are on days ending in "y."

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Obama couldn't either. His self-deprecating comments were about his ears or his golf swing, not character traits or weaknesses.

Good thing Trump can tolerate jokes about his own appearance. He must, given how comical that hair (piece) is.

That was a joke, BTW, conservative sour-pusses.

Henry said...

Does Trump have a sense of humor? I'm not sure. But he does have a strong element of comicality, to steal a phrase from Roy Jenkins.

He is slapstick, not witty, and shameless in the fashion of the great shameless -- Oliver Hardy, W.C. Fields, Jackie Gleason, John Belushi. His is a fat man's humor.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

So what's your point?

My point is that I lived through 2008 and really have no appetite for another 1929. It seems that Republicans are really good at these sorts of things.

How horrible my humor must be to not find the Great Depression funny. If only I were a Republican, then I could lock myself in corporate office suite or board room, light up a cigar, and laugh at all the devastating death and destruction and destitution all around me. Hahahahah! So funny! Poor people starving in my country! I love it! Republicanism RULES! More more more!

Henry said...

I peed on your head! Haha! Isn't that funny?

I'm the human zit!

You really are determined to be square.

exiledonmainstreet said...

That was a joke, BTW, conservative sour-pusses.

9/18/17, 9:36 PM

It's not conservatives who were flipping over a guy saying "boobs" on TV.

As Iowahawk pointed out, the Left is Margaret Dumont to the Right's Groucho Marx. Shrill, constantly offended and in need of safe spaces and puppies.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It's not conservatives who were flipping over a guy saying "boobs" on TV.

Rejoice! The far-left feminist SJW's are your partners in humorlessness!

buwaya said...

Peeing on the head, and (much) worse, is also typical of Filipino humor. There was quite a lot of that sort of thing going back to the vaudeville days, that made it into the movies and TV era. This was of course peasant, village stuff, "earthy" if you like.
We would laugh our heads off at Dolphy and Panchito. They did clean up the acts (in a sense) later on in more sophisticated times.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Rejoice! The far-left feminist SJW's are your partners in humorlessness!

9/18/17, 9:44 PM

Oh really? I thought the boobs thing was ridiculous.

Jake Tapper at CNN and a bunch of leftist males on his Twitter feed reacted like 90 year old Aunt Betsy, falling over themselves to say how OUTRAGED they are and how much they RESPECT women far too much to ever say they like boobs!

The prigs are on your side now.

Henry said...

My point is that I lived through 2008 and really have no appetite for another 1929

1859 was also a tough year.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Sebastian said...
Trump has a sense of humor. But the only thing he does that makes me laugh is the TDS he causes.

9/18/17, 8:37 PM

That's how I feel too. I don't really find Trump to be all that funny. I have found the deranged reactions of liberals to him since last November to be frequently hilarious.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Jake Tapper at CNN and a bunch of leftist males on his Twitter feed reacted like 90 year old Aunt Betsy, falling over themselves to say how OUTRAGED they are and how much they RESPECT women far too much to ever say they like boobs!

What "side?" I'm not a right-winger, so I have no need for lockstep cognitive conformity. Jake Tapper is a journo. Not even much of an editorialist. To the extent that he has any sort of a discernible opinion, I probably agree with about a third of them, figure another third aren't worth agreeing or disagreeing with, and find another third stupid or overwrought. I'm sure that if what you say above was true, that was one of the latter. Good for him, he has an opinion. Again, getting everyone to agree with everything is a right-wing agenda. I assure you that I am not afflicted with this condition. Nor do I feel threatened or pressured because of it.

AllenS said...

You know what would be really funny? If The Toothless Revolutionary actually had one tooth.

Big Mike said...

Kirsten Gillibrand, Joe Biden, and other leading Dumbocrats drop F-bombs, and the media yawn. A guy says "boobs," and the media clutch their pearls. Go figure.

rcocean said...

"You know what would be really funny? If The Toothless Revolutionary actually had one tooth."

I'd be pleased if he had one brain cell. He usually just parrots ABCNBCCBSNBCNPRPBS and a million other MSM Liberals. Polly want a cracker?

rcocean said...

The last POTUS who was truly funny was Reagan. You'll have to go way back to find the previous one. Maybe Coolidge or TR.

JFK was supposed to be some great wit, but looking at his Press Conferences its hard to tell. The Liberal MSM certainly laughed at all his "Quips" but to me they weren't anything special. I guess the 60s were a simpler time.

Big Mike said...

The last POTUS who was truly funny was Reagan.

We came damned close to losing him, but he lived to tell his wife "Honey, I forgot to duck" while being wheeling into the operating room.

Big Mike said...

I'm not a right-winger, so I have no need for lockstep cognitive conformity.

Ideological conformity is a hallmark of the left, absolutely not the right.

Brookzene said...

I did see one picture of Trump in the middle of something like a belly laugh. But no other evidence that I've seen. Certainly never heard him say anything funny or have a good laugh other than that one time (don't know why he was laughing - that would be interesting to know).

I heard someone say that the jiffy meme of his hitting Clinton with a golf ball was just showing his sense of humor. Didn't see the meme yet but it sounds like something stupid, not even up to 3 Stooges level.

Some people know they don't have a sense of humor but I'm also convinced that a lot of people don't know they don't have one. Some people only have very primitive appreciation of humor. Trump is probably in that category. Impervious to anything really funny. Brit humor would just go over his head.

I could be all wrong - I'd like to see some evidence that Trump has a sense of humor. He's too self-important ALL the time to get a good sense of humor. Hard to be a full man or woman without it.

Lucien said...

Trump appeared as himself in Two Weeks Notice, Zoolander and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (among others), all to good comedic effect. He appeared on Jimmy Fallon's late night show and let Fallon mess up his hair, resulting in outraged howls from the Left that Fallon had "humanized" him. Fallon was forced to issue a whimpering apology that he never meant to humanize Trump and he was sorry if anything he did might have helped do so.

So yeah, somebody doesn't have a sense of humor here, but it sure isn't Trump. And somehow the words of a twenty-something pajama boy who happened to be a minor league speechwriter in the Obama administration aren't going to change my views on that.

You did hear that Obama was a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, right? Now that's funny, though I'm laughing at Litt and not with him.

Marty Keller said...

I'll bet Comrade LLR finds comedy gold in "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and "Car Talk." As for TTR, he's just having a bad decade (what happened, big guy?).

Lucien said...

I compare one of Trump's most famous lines - "You're going to win so much, you'll get tired of winning" - with one of Obama's - "This was the day the oceans ceased to rise, this was the day the planet started to heal."

One of these lines show a President who is an egomaniacal nut job with delusions of grandeur, the other shows a President making a self-aware tongue-in-cheek reference to the outrageous promises of politicians while still pushing his agenda. Identifying which is which is an exercise for the reader.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Oh look! A clown car full of unfunny, resentful conservatives!

How predictable.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Trump has a humor of sense.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Hillary laughing at the child rape victim our courts screwed provides evidence of a certain humor setting programmed into her, but, as Buckley said, the key to comedy is timing, and our Hillary! only had that in a spastic, unnatural mocking-the-disabled-or-abused way, which falls out of fashion frequently on the political trail.

Biden took one of these moments and made it work okay, telling Chuck to "stand up Chuck, let 'em see ya" to a disabled supporter and then humbly apologizing and making a self-depreciating joke, a far far cry from Lying Joe bragging about his non-existent law school achievements.

Trump told one of his ex-wives to look at a homeless guy, then said that guy is $900 million richer than the heavily-indebted Trump at the time portrayed himself to his wife as in losing-bigly comparison to a member of the homeless community.

Yancey Ward said...

How many David Litts does it take to change a light bulb?

jaydub said...

The trouble with Althouse polls is that TTR, alone, accounts for half the 500k monthly pages visits. Which begs the question, why can't numbnuts make their points the first time rather than needing an endless stream of numbnuttery?

Bruce Hayden said...

I too think that Trump is a comedic genius. The elites on the left don't get his humor because it is lowbrow, and don't like it because they are the objects of his humor. As someone pointed out above, almost slapstick, mostly without the physical side. It wasn't just the 3 Stooges, but also the Marx Bros, and others of that generation. Much of their humor was aimed at taking down, through laughter, the rich, the powerful, the elites, who never quite got that they were the butt of the jokes. It is working class humor. It is mean. The working class like that. It shouldn't surprise anyone that maybe the height of this sort of humor was the Depression era 1930s, when the elites got them into the mess, and mostly escaped the ravages of their folly.

I think that the analogy with Dilbert is accurate. Management (the rich and powerful elites) in general, and their pointed headed boss in particular, are the objects of most of the humor in the strip. One of my favorites was when they gave that boss an Etch a Sketch as his computer, then taught him to reboot it by shaking it over his head. The manager over a bunch of engineers. Much of it is laughing at how clueless their management is. Laughing at how management mindlessly follows one fad after another. And at them for doing it mindlessly. Again, the main characters meanly laugh at their betters, because they show their superiority over them by showing how clueless they are.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Dilbert, the comic strip, is the finest management text produced in the last 30 years. It savagely illustrates all that has been going wrong with US firms over that period, summarizing the lessons of Drucker, Peters, and for that matter Schumpeter."

I agree 100%. I wasn't surprised that I loved the comic strip from the start, having an MBA (as does Adams), having started as a programmers, and having spent much of my 40 year career either in a cubicle, or working with engineers and programmers in cubicles. As an aside, maybe a decade or so ago, I turned down a job with one well known tech firm because I would have had to move back into a cubicle - even the senior patent attys there, as well as most of the management, were in cubicles. I had spent too many years working my way out of one to move back in one in my late 50s. A monumental stupid way of organizing engineers and programmers. I did by far my best work as both a software engineer and as a patent attorney behind a closed door in a private office.

But, what surprised me was that my father, who had a business degree, but, as an atty, had had a private office from the day he started work as such, loved the strip too. His business training was 1949s era, so missed Drucker, Peters, etc. And never wrote a line of code in his life. Yet, he got it. He, along with my other brother with an MBA, and I would always get Dilbert calendars for Christmas.

Saint Croix said...

[Trump] uses his well-honed sense of timing as a cudgel. He jeers. He mocks. His goal is to insult, rather than to entertain….

I think this is largely right. You don't want to confuse Trump with a comedian, or an actor, or somebody in the entertainment industry. He's a politician seeking power. He uses his comedic skills to diminish his opponents. I think Trump largely won the Republican nomination because of his debate skills. He went outside the rules, mocking people, jeering at them. He won ugly but he won. And he did that by the use of humor.

President Trump does not possess the sense of nuance a well-told joke requires…

I think everybody and his mother would agree that President Trump does not possess a sense of nuance. He can borrow nuance. He can ask somebody to write some nuance in a speech for him. "Put some nuance in there. I need some damn nuance." It's got to be irritating, to be someplace where you need some nuance and you're not sure if you have any.

The idea that humor requires nuance is idiotic.

Saint Croix said...

Without the qualities that laughter both demonstrates and fosters — a willingness to find common ground, the respect for agreed-upon norms and the awareness that we are all only human — Mr. Trump’s attitude toward the presidency is defined by the one characteristic that remains: a lust for power….

I think Trump has a willingness to find common ground. It's kind of bizarre, with all the agitation Trump causes among Republicans, this idea that he has no willingness to work with Democrats. I think he's far more open to this than Obama, for instance. Far more likely to triangulate like Bill Clinton.

The idea that laughter "demonstrates and fosters" a "respect for agreed-upon norms" is idiotic. Humor undercuts agreed-upon norms. It's famous for doing that. Even nuanced comedians know that much, Litt. You twit. Hopefully Trump won't start tweeting that one.

As for "the awareness that we are all only human," that argument would be more impressive if you knew what a "person" was. Your side nuanced your way into stabbing babies in the neck in the middle of birth.

tim in vermont said...

Oh look! A clown car full of unfunny, resentful conservatives!

And yet here you are again, come slumming I guess.

The Bourgoise conservative calls us resentful because we don't submit to the moral authority of the class of people, his people, who properly rule us, being that we are quite incapable of knowing what is best for ourselves. I never met anybody who called himself a "revolutionary" who was quite so much of a toady to the ruling class.

"Pour some wine, and clink our glasses.
Let's drink a toast to the ruling classes!"

I wonder if TTR wrote that line, and wasn't being ironic?

tim in vermont said...

I think Trump has plenty of nuance, I just think that deranged liberals are blind to it, or perhaps not, perhaps that is what really terrifies them.

tim in vermont said...

And of course, despite the protestations of Chuck, he was proven right again on the wiretapping thing.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

Time for report cards!

A willingness to find common ground

Barack Obama D

Hillary Clinton B

Donald Trump B

Respect for agreed upon norms

Barack Obama B

Hillary Clinton D

Donald Trump F

An awareness that we are all only human

Barack Obama F

Hillary Clinton F

Donald Trump A

Spotting human beings is easy and all politicians should be able to do this.

tim in vermont said...

Ha! Finally saw the golf ball thing. According to the HuffPo, it's zackly the same as the severed Trump head, because Hillary. should be president, dammit!

tim in vermont said...

I still can't figure out why Safari keeps slipping in the extra periods. My theory is that it thinks it knows when I am finished writing a sentence, just like my wife.

Rusty said...

Blogger The Toothless Revolutionary said...
"Oh look! A clown car full of unfunny, resentful conservatives!

How predictable."

Aw, cmon, ritmo, he's at least as funny as you are. Probably even funnier. Because he has, you know, a sense of humor.

tim in vermont said...

I think that his leaving up the portrait of Hillary in the White House, but leaving it crooked was pretty funny. As the saying goes, you would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at that.

Eleanor said...

A visit to Twitter will show you which side of the political spectrum has the best sense of humor. The right has the likes of Iowahawk, and the left has its scolds. It was Trump's sense of humor that convinced me he would be able to withstand all that was going to be thrown at him and still "persist". I want a president who can work with both sides of the aisle, not a die hard anything. In the 1980's I was probably closer to Tip O'Neill's politics, but I admired Ronald Reagan's ability to work with him. I loved how the two of them could profess to be political enemies, but do it with a "wink and a nod". (I lived in O'Neill's district at the time.) Congress has no O'Neill to play against Trump, and I think it's largely because the left has lost its sense of humor across the board. Colbert? Samantha Bee? The Toothless Revolutionary? My friend, Karen? All scolds. The dunking stool was invented to punish scolds. Wouldn't it be funny to dunk some of these folks?

John Nowak said...

It's interesting how a lot of discussions about humor turn into one guy stamping their feet and yelling "Not Funny!!1!" while everyone else laughs at him.

Henry said...

Saint Croix: The idea that humor requires nuance is idiotic.

My point as well, but you've squared it up. Trump is not really funny, but he is often comic.

AllenS: You know what would be really funny? If The Toothless Revolutionary actually had one tooth.

LOL. Funniest remark in the thread.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"[Trump] uses his well-honed sense of timing as a cudgel. He jeers. He mocks. His goal is to insult, rather than to entertain"

Trump, the Insult Comic President.

Char Char Binks said...

Bill Peschel, I love your Coolidge bit! Too bad Mary Beth, EOMS and Pious didn't get the joke.