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The Latest Gem From McCain’s Long History Of Horrifying ‘Wisecracks’

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John McCain’s always had a hearty arsenal of “cocktail party jokes,” including several about killing Iranian civilians with either bombs or exported American cancer, and another about Chelsea Clinton being ugly because her father is Janet Reno’s penis. These jokes, however, can’t shake a stick at the latest gem someone has unearthed from a 1986 copy of the Tucson Citizen, one that got him in a tit-bit of trouble at the time. After the jump: McCain’s crack about the gorilla who rapes and murders some gal in the street.

Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’

Oh, we get it! The girl was a slut.

The Comedy Stylings of Shecky McCain [Rum, Romanism and Rebellion via Think Progress]
[1986 Tucson Citizen Article .PDF]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • Truculent

    This one makes the whole warm place to shit and a loose pair of shoes joke seem pretty tame.

  • weirdiowasculpture

    I don’t get it. Was the ape a Negro or something?

  • bhosp

    The Aristocrats!

  • Cicada

    WALNUTS! is the Oscar Wilde of the frat boy set.

  • Truculent

    [re=36859]weirdiowasculpture[/re]: Ape = Negro in all old white man jokes. Check your codebook.

  • weirdiowasculpture

    [re=36864]Truculent[/re]: Oh, thanks. In that case, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

  • bhosp

    [re=36864]Truculent[/re]: Actually McCain might be old enough that he still uses the edition of the codebook where “Ape” = “The Kaiser and/or his Hun Army”.

  • El Bombastico

    Say what you will, but his “Seizure World” crack still gets a chuckle from me. Especially now that he’s a hair’s-breadth away from a massive coronary!

  • Lolo

    You ruined the punch line. She wasn’t a slut. She was a cunt! Now do you get it?

  • KevoTron

    Hee hee hee! Ho ho ho! Ha ha ha!

    Silly Walnuts!- jokes about rape are for KIDS!

    or is that Trix cereal?

  • Makeithurt

    No no — the ape was white. He was marvelous. The girl was a negress. I mean, she was a slut/cunt after all, huh?

  • Indi

    Where’s the New Yorker when you REALLY need it?

  • loquaciousmusic

    “Rape, rape, rape, rape, rape a woman!”

    I don’t know. It just doesn’t have the same punch.

  • Spence

    Once you go Pongidae, you never go back.

  • Larry Fine

    John “Shecky” McCain, has a joke for any occasion.

  • Happy Fun Ball

    Ha! That old saw! Man, a good rape joke gets a crowd going E-V-E-R-Y time!

  • Scarab

    McCain responded that, he can’t remember ever making a joke like that. Seriously he can’t remember, did people laugh?

  • RuperttheBear

    I think the girl is supposed to have Down’s syndrome, because then it’s funny.

  • loquaciousmusic

    [re=36879]Spence[/re]: FTW!

  • Vewol Mevemont


  • Political Addict

    I’m sure there will be more discoveries. That joke, and variations of the joke, were pretty widespread at one time, though, so I’m not sure that much offense will be taken. (Not that that excuses anything.) One variation has the woman crying some time later and when asked what was wrong she replies: “He hasn’t called, he hasn’t written.” Imagine — people were still writing letters then.

  • ColdCupofHope

    Rape, murder, cancer, “mental recessions,” domestic abuse… There’s nothing this man can’t make funny!

  • NoWireHangers


  • NoWireHangers

    He should go on tour with Carlos Mencia.

  • weirdiowasculpture

    You just know John has a whole slew of buttsecks jokes involving some guy dropping the soap in prison, or dropping his wallet on Castro and kicking it all the way over to Noe before picking it up, or about the black contestant on Dating Game who, when asked where the most unusual place he’d ever had sex was, said, “umm, in da butt?” He probably winks first and checks to make sure the caddies aren’t around before he tells a joke at the country club.

  • anabellum

    im reminded of another joke…something i learned a long time ago…

    ya see, if you use your open palm and thrust it upwards into the nose of a retarded old fat-ass politician…then lots of blood and pain follow…in fact, if you do it hard enough, you can push whats left of his nose up into the brain itself…

    its hilarious…

  • Truculent

    [re=36867]bhosp[/re]: I checked. “Kraut” or “Heinie” is preferred for Germans. The book says you have to stick your front teeth out and convert L’s to R’s if your doing an Asian joke. Jews are always cheap and say “Oy” a lot. Let’s see.. the ape analogy runs clear back to the British Empire version, although they called blacks “wogs.” Pretty sure our hero was talking about a black man. Besides, don’t all white women want to be raped by black men? Says so right here on page 263 of the codebook.

  • beanish

    [re=36864]Truculent[/re]: I thought the N-word is code for Negro in old white man jokes.

    The need to be “sensitive” or “PC” was pretty new back in ’86. Either McCain was pretty progressive for an old white man, blazing the trail on the codes to be used by future generations of racists… or he just meant an ape. I’ll go with the latter.

  • bhosp

    [re=36896]Truculent[/re]: I must have the expurgated version.

  • tonashideska

    That was no slut, it was Cindy

  • Neilist

    [re=36892]weirdiowasculpture[/re]: Actually, I can see Walnuts in a remake of a certain movie, playing a certain judge:

    Tony D’Annunzio: Another Rob Roy, Bishop?
    Bishop: You never ask a navy man if he’ll have another drink, because it’s nobody’s goddamned business how much he’s had already.
    Judge Smails: Wrong, you’re drinking too much your Excellency.
    Bishop: Excellency, fiddlesticks, my name’s Fred and I’m a man, same as you.
    Judge Smails: You’re not a man, you’re a bishop, for God’s sakes.
    Bishop: There is no God…

  • Neilist

    Oh, and:

    Judge Smails: Oh Porterhouse, look at the wax build up on these shoes I want that wax stripped off there, then I want them creamed and buffed with a fine chamois, and I want them now. Chop chop.

    Smoke Porterhouse: Yes judge, right away judge.

  • FunkyPalmettoBug

    I’m offended as a comedian. That joke isn’t funny.

  • FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=36902]Neilist[/re]: It’s easy to grin / When your votes come in / And you’ve got the Mitt Romney beat. / But the man worthwhile, / Is the man who can smile, / When his hilltards are too tight in the seat.

  • SayItWithWookies

    I heard that joke before, only it was about an American POW and a North Vietnamese jailer. Oh, was that not funny? ‘Cause I laughed until my arms were pulled out of their sockets.

  • methuselas baby

    Cindy loved it when I did it to her, John. She said she was tired of Viagra love, and needed a real man. Don’t worry, I won’t tell about when you were “the woman.” I keep that in confidence, Johnny. We all know a man has anal curiosity, so, no harm no foul, right?

    Non Wonkettian words:
    I have been trashing this douchebag at such great sites as Drudge and Wingnuts-R-Us. Proxy server helps, because accounts get deleted regularly. It’s good to line up accounts for things like this.

  • jagorev

    I laughed. Not out loud, but it did get a snicker, at least. Was that wrong? Do I have to take estrogen pills now?

  • NotMyRealName

    Rape is never funny. Unless you’re raping a clown. /some t-shirt I saw

  • shortsshortsshorts

    Anybody have any jokes about euthenizing old people?

  • ManchuCandidate

    Wait till his next comedy set.

    “What’s the deal with Iran? Aren’t they crazy or what?”

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=36922]NotMyRealName[/re]: You have to rape a clown in one of those tiny cars though, now that would be hilarious.

    I hate clowns. HATE.

  • Fata Morgana

    Did you hear the one about the old man who runs for president, is beaten soundly and in a humilating fashion by a man half his age, and then is left with nothing more than a few years of golf, some stinking upscale old folks home, and death to look forward to?

    You will.

    I’m gonna laugh until my sides ache….

  • wheelie

    [re=36929]Fata Morgana[/re]: Ha ha.
    “Don’t tell my heart
    My apey-rapey heart
    I just don’t think he’ll understand . . . “

  • WhatTheHeck

    McCain often used that joke in his Vaudeville act… ‘back in the day.’

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=36929]Fata Morgana[/re]: BooYAH.
    I miss Wonkette WALNUTS is so old jokes.

  • columnv

    [re=36864]Truculent[/re]: You have a code book???

  • columnv

    [re=36870]Lolo[/re]: I thought she was a trollop, which, if I understand correctly, is some sort of 3 whore diamond slut.

  • wonk_the_heck

    a look into mccain’s mind
    rape jokes with white perps/victims = not funny
    rape jokes with black/ape perps/victims = hilarious

  • wonk_the_heck

    i’m just less tolerant of sexism after the horror of Obama picking on Hillary.

  • Odd Ass City

    And somebody said, “What a tard” and he heard, “What a card.” Leading him to tell another, no doubt.

  • John McClain

    Gorillas have 1 inch dicks, so I’m guessing this slut was no “size queen,” just appreciated the ferocity and getting gnawed at like a rubber tire. Women! Can’t live with ’em, can’t nominate ’em to run for President.

  • Anita Cocktail

    Hey, I thought “heinie” meant ass.
    I must have the wrong codebook.


    Makes those “I’m a Hillary supporter and I am voting for MxCain” T-shirts all the more ironic, doesn’t it.

  • masterdebater

    But for gods sake, don’t say he is out of touch…that would just be insensitive.

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    3 guys walk into a bar. One is a Jew, one is black and the other is John McCain. The bartender comes over and asks “What can I get for you fine gents today?” the Jew says “I’ll have a beer.” the black guy says “I’ll have a bourbon, straight up.” John McCain yells at the top of his lungs “Have you ever called your wife a cunt?” Everybody in the bar is thoroughly disgusted by the old fart and walk out the bar leaving him to sit all alone.

  • gjdodger

    “Beaten senseless…raped repeatedly…left to die”? Oh, so THAT’s what happened to McCain’s first wife! I never did believe that car accident malarkey.

  • PoliticalGraffiti

    that same joke works even better when the female is McCain and the vag is…well, McCains ass

  • masterdebater

    McCain: “Stop me if you’ve heard this one…
    Everyone else: “Yea, John, we’ve heard it”!

  • itgetter

    Let’s cut the man some slack. McCain was only a half century old at the time. This was one of those silly juvenile jokes that some people tell in the carefree days of their youth.

  • itgetter

    Also, how will the Hilltards spin this?

  • Fear of a Black Reagan

    Sure it was an ape and not a bear? That rapes? Like say a…Rapebear?

  • AnnieGetYourFun

    [re=36904]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]: I’m actually trying to figure out if there COULD possibly be anything funny about that, some sort of in-joke that we’re not getting. But nothing. It sounds like something that could be used to make fun of Ayn Rand fans, though.

  • AxmxZ

    Somewhere, Barry is doing a mental happy dance. (Mental because a physical one would be undignified.)

  • Canmon (the Inadequate)

    [re=36979]itgetter[/re]: In 1986 McCain was cracking jokes and Obama was smoking crack. How’s that?

  • WonkaBee

    Someone really should post that story to the PUMA, Hillaryis41 and all…

  • FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=36990]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: Its a poorly constructed joke, even putting aside the subject matter. There’s no way you could change the who/whats of the joke to something less offensive and it would be funny.

  • FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=36979]itgetter[/re]: The spin will be that it was Obama in white face.

  • Darehead

    her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’
    Grammatically, this could also mean that the woman sighed but the doctor did the feeble asking.

    feeble =
    1 a: markedly lacking in strength b: indicating weakness
    2 a: deficient in qualities or resources that indicate vigor, authority, force, or efficiency

    The doctor was feeble; therefore, he was homosexual. He wants the ape to do it to HIM.

    Come to think of it, Walnuts is kinda feeble too.

  • WonkaBee

    Wai, I’ve got it……

    Did you hear the one about Ayn Rand being attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly ….

  • itgetter

    [re=36998]AxmxZ[/re]: Somebody should have told him that before he went on Ellen.

  • WonkaBee

    Pongo Shrugged

    or: Dabney Taggart gets her Reardon

  • FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=37011]WonkaBee[/re]: Worst. Cato Institute Comic Book. Evah.

  • BexNYC

    As a victim of rape this actually made me physically sick and I have a very thick skin.

    WOW! What is wrong with Grampy McBush? Have his meds been updated?

  • shortsshortsshorts

    As an American, I have a Paulstitutional right to rape a Gorilla.

  • AxmxZ

    [re=37013]itgetter[/re]: He did good on Ellen. Swept off the table the last of those pernicious rumors of his negritude.

  • Mr Blifil

    I gotta good one. Guy walks into a harem with a chainsaw and performs mass cliteridectomy…ah, you’ve probably already heard it…

  • Quacker

    There is a minimalist version of this joke:

    Girl: “Rape! Rape! I’m being helped”

    The end.

  • OhFuckThis

    OH please, like none of you hippies have woken up after an evening of drinking, orifice comfortably stretched, wondering, “Where is that marvelous ape?”

  • OhFuckThis

    3 guys walk into a bar. One is a Jew, one is black and the other is John McCain. The bartender comes over and asks “What can I get for you fine gents today?” the Jew says “I’ll have a beer.” the black guy says “I’ll have a bourbon, straight up.” John McCain yells at the top of his lungs “Have you ever called your wife a cunt?” Everybody in the bar is thoroughly disgusted by the old fart and walk out the bar leaving him to sit all alone.

    Not good. 3 guys walk into a bar/ One is Joe Lieberman, one is John McCain, one is a negro in a terrorist suit.
    Bartender says, “What’ll it be?”
    Joe says, “Manischewitz on kosher ice”.
    Bartender beats him to death for being stupid.
    McCain says, “Ethanol, straight up.”
    Bartender beats him to death for being stupid.
    Negro says, “Got anything in an arugula?”
    Bartender sighs and votes him president.

  • gurukalehuru

    Has Jill Isicol seen this? Kristin Breitweiser? Erica Jong? I’d be interested in their reaction.

  • Stones

    Wow! Torie Clarke’s first job before her gig with Andrew Dice Clay!
    The future looks bright.

  • Lazy Media

    I’m sure McCain would agree, when ape rape is inevitable, you might as well relax and enjoy it.

  • itgetter

    [re=37065]Mr Blifil[/re]: [re=37104]Stones[/re]: Made of win. But you know if The New Yorker published either of your comments the libruls would have ananeurysm.

  • BobLoblawLawBlog

    See, libruls? Dem bitches frum Jezebel wuz right. Rape don’t exist…just funny munkey secks.

  • pierce bottoms

    If you see that marvelous ape, say hello, he might be in Tangier
    He left here last early spring, is livin’ there, I hear
    Say for me that I’m all right though things get kind of slow
    He might think that I’ve forgotten him, don’t tell him it isn’t so.

  • Borat

    this is obviously true and not some intertubes rumor. i know its true beacause its in the newspapers and those are reliable souces of good information. newspapers are also offer a far more advanced technology that their precursors the town crier and stone tablets

  • kellygrrrl

    well, she must be a good little ReThuglican – she did take their advice – “if it’s inevitable, just sit back and enjoy it.”
    too bad her insurance wouldn’t cover birth control – Evangelical Ape Babies can be unruly

  • BadNewsJack

    He should join def comedy jam or at least perform at the Apollo theater.

  • Mediahohoho

    Well, to be fair, everyone knows women really enjoy being raped. Right?

  • shortsshortsshorts

    [re=37410]Mediahohoho[/re]: No means yes, and yes means more?

  • Schadenfried

    See, if “Juan Pablo McCain”, as Tom Cunningham calls him, used George Carlin’s routine for a rape joke, (eg, Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd) this would have only gotten a 1/4 column under the ad for Depends.

  • villageatrois

    McCain blew the joke. The victim would not eat, or talk for days, staring blankly out the window. Did not respond to nurses. At length, hospital staff summoned her life-long best friend, who spoon fed soup to the disconsolate lady. The friend told her, “you don’t have to talk if you don’t want, but I’m here”. Much later, the rape victim sighed audibly, and looked at her friend, and said, “he doesn’t write, he doesn’t call….”

  • The Lucky Republican

    [re=36880]Larry Fine[/re]: Correction. He has a rape joke for any occasion.

  • Zach

    Did you know gorillas actually have really small penises?