City Desk

Clinton, Biden, and the Laugh Machine

At the close of her interview with Joe Biden on Wednesday, Diane Sawyer re-aired a clip from the SNL veep debate. The footage, in which Jason Sudeikis plays Biden, left the candidate in stitches. Viz.:

This, to me, is an awkward exchange. First, politicians need to stop making jokes about hair-plugs, even if they've got a few. Second, give me a good belly-laugh any day over the halting, drawn-out, don't-know-whether-he's-laughing-or-crying chuckle that consumes Biden for nearly a minute.

Don't get me wrong: I would take a bullet for Joe Biden. But it sure would be nice to see a politician laugh with the joyful abandon of Bill Clinton back in (say) 1995:

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According to Dep. Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Yeltsin was visibly impaired by a serious cognac buzz at the time of the press conference. Clinton, of course, took the situation in stride, later mollifying a vexed Talbott with, er, a stiff highball of truth:

We can't ever forget that Yeltsin drunk is better than most of the alternatives sober.

Now that's what I call straight talk!

In related non-news, a hard-hitting trend-piece published yesterday in the New York Times heralds the umpteenth resurgence of political humor.

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  • Brian Reed

    I love that clip of Clinton so much. I watch it whenever I'm feeling down. It's hard to remember the last time I laughed that hard at an international press conference.

  • Amanda Hess

    oh so funny

  • Chris

    Is it just me or is SNL getting less funny?

  • Amanda Hess

    I think SNL's biden is even funnier than its Palin.

  • Ted Scheinman

    I'm inclined to agree with Hess.

    "Let me repeat that: time."