Watch out P.J. O'Rourke. Make way, Dennis Miller. The Lords of Loud are
going Mort Sahl all over you. And we have Johnny McCain to thank for it.
So you say the right wing doesn't have a sense of humor. Okay, maybe the
listeners don't, but the boys behind the mike spent the last 24 hours
auditioning for a prime spot in case Fox revives their hysterically
clever Half Hour Comedy Hour.
The laid back, Steven Wright humor of Mr. Mark Levin hit the stage with a
monologue threatening to toss his headphones if McCain won the Florida
primary. "I'm not coming back. If talk radio doesn't work, why come back?
If talk radio is weak, ineffective and had no influence... I don't need
this. This might be it tonight."
Levin claimed he had talked to his wife about it. Throwing the wife
reference in always make the humor all the more charming. It means he
doesn't make a decision without first checking with the little woman and
shows us all that he's not the Doberman attack dog he wants us to think
he is. Unfortunately he blew it by revealing his satire naivete when he
told his audience, in his first segment yet, "I'll die at this
microphone." He had given away the joke, which you just don't do unless,
of course, he intended to die that night. That, ladies and gentlemen
would be brilliant.
On the other hand, Sean Hannity went fifty-five Andy Kaufmanish minutes
without letting the Hannityheads in on the gag.
"I was wrong on McCain. He was winning the hearts of Republican Party.
Securing borders just keeps people from feeding their families. It's
heartless...makes us irrelevant! Who needs the Death Tax?!"
Sure, dead people don't need money, but his callers were incensed that
their hero was willing to ignore the needs of the deceased who don't even have three hours a day to listen to Sean. Some callers were ready to boycott. One woman offered her grandson up to pick lettuce to keep Sean from moving left, but the Great American told all who listen that Great Americans should be willing to change to make America and Americans greater.
You just were waiting for Sean to start pulling women from the audience
to wrestle. He was hot. But his callers were hotter.
They tried to talk Sean out of his new progressive conservative stance.
Hannity would have none of it. Never breaking character he used the
classic, "Anyone who doesn't believe me didn't listen to the electorate"
A-material. "We should close Gitmo, talk with terrorists, have no
drilling in ANWR and protect the environment!
Then he closed with the killer.
"Ted Kennedy can be right! I was too harsh on Kennedy, Edwards and
Feingold. Talk radio has been dividing the country"
What was next? George Soros to invest in Fox? MSNBC to offer show to
Hannity? Free Ruth Chris steaks for the poor?
Right-wing bloggers went ABM (Anything But McCain) ballistic...
"(Hannity's) nuts. He's buying into the global warming BS. His goose is
cooked," wrote Wastedyears at Free Republic.com.
"Sean's going soft on McCain," wailed Incorrigible.
But then, Sean let them in on it. He was being facetious. Too bad.
If either Levin or Hannity wanted to truly earn their satire wings, they
would have never let their audience in on the joke. Ever. Number one,
telling a joke, then explaining that it was a joke, is the mark of a
comedy club open-stager who doesn't have confidence in his material.
even more, it is a sign that a comic doesn't trust his audience to be
smart enough to get the joke. And certainly no one would ever claim that
those who listen to talk radio aren't smart enough to think for
Andy Kaufman would have never broken character...ever, because he knew
that his audience got it. A lot of people, even today, think that he
died. But you don't see Andy telling everyone it was a joke.
See, that's what we call genius.