Can Nobel Satire Assault Help Obama?

It used to be that any mocking of President Obama came from the perpetually outraged right (“Barack the Magic Negro,” anyone?).

But as Matt Frei of BBC News points out in today’s blog post, the comedic assaults on Obama are becoming more mainstream.

Late-night comedians once feared that the man who Oprah anointed “The One” defied their sharp tongues because of an infuriating mixture of talent and race….

But laughter at the expense of the 44th commander-in-chief is alive, kicking and getting as sharp as ripe Cheddar.

Frei argues that while the “vultures had been circling for weeks” around Obama as many of his initiatives have bogged down, the catalyst for satirists was the president’s Nobel Peace Prize.

It has delivered the missing punch-line to every Obama joke. It is a gift to late-night comedians. It creates a prism through which all the other humour can be filtered.

Rather than working against Obama, however, Frei says the satire offensive could work in the president’s favor by “bringing him down to earth.” Hmm. I doubt “down to earth” would be good enough for the conservatives who want Obama run back to whatever country they think he came from, but there’s no doubt that deftly handled satire and a modest dose of self-deprecation never hurts.

Here are a couple of videos of comedians (Conan and Craig Ferguson) having fun with Obama’s Nobel honor:

Publish date: October 15, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT