Big switch from 2012: Comics find humor in Obama
NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama, the joke’s on you.
A study of jokes by late-night comics during the first half of the year found an abrupt change from 2012. Now Obama and Democrats are providing most punchlines.
Obama was the target of 288 monologue jokes made by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel, according to an analysis released Monday by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.
Obama plans to appear on Leno’s “Tonight” show on Tuesday.
The next most joked-about individual was New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, at 120. His numbers are likely to jump, since the study period was before Weiner’s sexting scandal reemerged.
In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the target of more than twice as many jokes as Obama, and Republicans were similarly the target of more than double the jokes that were made on Democrats.
The jokes follow the news, and with Republicans receding after an election campaign, Obama presented more opportunities, said Robert Lichter, the center’s president.
“They’re going after the most visible and powerful people that they can,” Lichter said.
Even Letterman, who is generally harder on Republicans, couldn’t resist joining in this time.
“People always say to me, they say, ‘Hey, Letterman,’ they say, ‘Why don’t you make jokes about Obama?’ And I say, ‘All right, I’ll tell you why. I don’t make jokes about him because I don’t want the FBI tapping my phone,’” he said.