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Whiplash

August 3, 2017

I gave up writing about the horrors of the Trump presidency months ago. It was a mug’s game – especially if one was not being paid to do so. As much as I’d love to be back writing full time for a living, I pity the political writers who’ve spent the past few months trying to keep up with the daily barrage of scandals coming from the White House. No sooner have you written one piece of copy when – bam! – like a supersonic game of whack-a-mole, another scandal has erupted somewhere else. I’m surprised they’re not all wearing neck braces. Why would I subject myself to that without a paycheque?

Then a friend posted this cartoon on Facebook.

cartoonists

Clearly relevant for both cartoonists and comedians.

As disappointed as I suspect many comedians and cartoonists personally were with the election result last November, they also knew in their guts that, as long as President Dickhead remained in the White House, they would never be short of material. I’m not sure any of them realised this was going to be as punishing as Dubya on crack.

Back in March, acknowledging the breakneck pace of Trump era news, The Daily Show introduced an ongoing segment, Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That.

Last Monday I watched Stephen Colbert’s monologue. In it he began what he clearly thought was going to be a long and satisfying love affair with Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci, Trump’s potty-mouthed pick to be the new White House communications director. By Thursday, when news had broken of the Mooch’s profanity-laced conversation with New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, Colbert could not wipe the glee from his face. By this Monday the Mooch was gone and Colbert had to bid a sad farewell to a man he’d come to love in the week since he’d first heard his name. (It really is worth watching the monologues in order.)

Who will Melissa McCarthy spoof on the next season of Saturday Night Live now that her favoured target Sean Spicer is in the rear view mirror? Will Kellyanne Conway still be around for Kate McKinnon to portray so hilariously? (SNL itself, long on life support, will continue to be must watch television as long Trump remains in the White House, because Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of the President will continue to be the best thing the show has offered since Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin.)

Yes, it’s all comedy gold, but at what price?

In 1973 the then famous social satirist Mort Sahl announced he was retiring from performing, because, as he said, “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissenger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”

A Google check reveals that Sahl is alive and possibly still kicking at the age of 90. I wonder what he makes of Trumpland?

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