Tim Pawlenty

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« September 2012 »


I've been meaning to get to TIMMEH's speech at the RNC for a while. I know, like Pawlenty, the RNC is old news. But I can't help it. Like Pawlenty, it just wasn't that important. But with Mitt Romney dominating the modern-day dumbscape, I need somewhere else to vent my ire, so it's time for Tim Pawlenty to do what he does best. Occupy physical space.

Now, I assume TIMMEH is aware of his image, or at least has someone on his staff who tells him. Assuming he still even has a staff. Maybe the guy that used to do that on his staff still does it out of pity. But anyway, Tim Pawlenty entered the RNC as the primary process's biggest failure, and decided to try his hand at red-meat Republican comedy.

That went about as well as you'd expect.

Basically, he took advice he must have gotten from Toastmasters in 1987, to "open with a joke", ran it through the filter of what conservative talk radio thinks is funny, ran THAT through the natural blandification process that takes place constantly in the Pawlenty brain, and ended up with a turd that couldn't even work up a good head of steam.

"Welcome to Barack Obama's retirement party!

Ha, see, because they're going to win and make Obama "retire", so they're having the party ahead of time, get it! I will give him credit on the analogy, in that like most retirement parties, the RNC is full of people who can't stand the guy who's retiring, and they just showed up for the free food.

"I hear Joe’s particularly interested in tonight’s proceedings. He even thought about coming here to Tampa. And he’s taking notes because when Paul Ryan speaks, Joe will finally get to hear what a real vice president sounds like!"

See, that's way, way too much setup for that punchline. If Biden's gonna take notes, why would he have thought about going to Tampa? And either of those things would show he's interested. That doesn't have to be part of the setup.

So strip out the first two sentences. Just go with "Joe's taking notes tonight..." and hope that nobody calls you on the fact that Paul Ryan's not a real Vice President yet, and also nobody has any idea what a "real Vice President" sounds like.

Although, to be fair to TIMMEH, part of the talking points for everyone at the RNC was "be mean to Joe Biden", I guess because Dick Cheney got them thinking the Vice President is always in charge of everything. So at worst, he only ruined a flawed premise.

"The president takes more vacations than that guy on the Bizarre Foods show. And I’ll give Barack Obama credit for creating jobs these last four years for golf caddies.

This joke is funny. Not the way Pawlenty thinks it's funny, of course, but it is completely hilarious, because "Obama takes too many vacations" isn't a thing people believe. Most people don't even know they're supposed to pretend to believe it. Only some hard-core Republicans are invested in pushing the idea, and it's only because Dubya took so many vacations that it actually became a thing.

In other words, it's a pathetic attempt at Rovian jujitsu in clumsy-ass joke form. Which is hilarious. Oh, and for some reason, Tim Pawlenty thinks nobody pays Andrew Zimmern to go all those places and do all those things for television. They're just vacations that happen to get filmed by accident.

"I’ve come to realize that Barack Obama is the tattoo president. Like a big tattoo, it seemed cool when you were young. But later on, that decision doesn’t look so good, and you wonder: what was I thinking?"

Here's a sign you're telling a shitty joke. Your setup begins with "I've come to realize." Those four words signify one thing - someone else gave you that joke six months ago. Also, Tim Pawlenty is not a particularly... authentic spokesman for tattoo regret.

TIMMEH, modern stand-up comedy is all about opening up to the audience and revealing yourself. I'm sure, speaking at the Republican National Convention where they're nominating Mitt Romney as president, there are some better examples of a deep, abiding regret for something you thought was a really good idea when you were younger.

And, hey, if you couldn't think of one three weeks ago, I bet you've got a new one fresh in your mind you can use on the off chance anyone asks you to speak in public again.

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