FUNNY SPEECHES  9:48 am October 17, 2008

Presidential Candidates Roast Each Other At Alfred E. Smith Dinner

by Sara K. Smith

So sure, he was dreadfully awkward and only vaguely humanoid on the David Letterman, but that’s because the pampered plutocrat John McCain feels weird around people who fly coach. Later on yesterday he went to a fancy white-tie dinner and had a rip-snorter of an evening, indeed!

Here he is at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner, a fundraiser in honor of the very first papist to almost be elected president. Presidential candidates go to this dinner every four years — except in 2004, when nobody wanted to invite the Catholic abortionist John Kerry so they didn’t invite George Bush either — and they make funny jokes about the other guy.

John McCain was actually funny, for reals! He did way better than Barack Obama, probably because he’s used to reading a speech off a sheet of paper, whereas Obama is more comfortable with a “next generation” $3 million pork teleprompter. Barry looks way more at ease chuckling over his dinner plate than standing up at the podium making various jokes about how vain and self-regarding he is. Looky, compare and contrast:

John McCain Brings Down The House – Al Smith Dinner Part 1 [YouTube]
Obama Roasts McCain @ Alfred E. Smith Dinner Part 1 [YouTube]

Related video

Hola wonkerados.

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bitchincamaro October 17, 2008 at 9:59 am

Walnuts certainly has his “Penguin” impersonation down pat, I’ll give that to him.

Uncle Al October 17, 2008 at 9:59 am

McCain was excellent roasting Hillz and Bill for all their lame excuses about not having time to help Obama–and when they do say anything, it’s about how they like McCain.

And Hillz just laughs and laughs, instead of slinking out a side door and throwing herself in front of a bus….

Mr Blifil October 17, 2008 at 10:02 am

I don’t see why people are so jazzed by Obama’s comedy stylings. He clearly just took what Colbert wrote for him and simply spoke the words with a casual attitude. I mean, middle name “Steve?” If that’s not a tell, I don’t know what is…

nurple October 17, 2008 at 10:06 am

I also found Mr. McCain to be a sterling performer, and Barack a communist. So say you all? Motion passed.

grendel October 17, 2008 at 10:07 am

If Colbert wrote it it would’ve been MUCH more cutting…


queeraselvis v 2.0 October 17, 2008 at 10:10 am

I have to give it to McCain for not coming across quite as cranky and pissy and constipated as per usual. But that could just be the Metamucil finally kicking in.

slappypaddy October 17, 2008 at 10:11 am

They’re doing the Alfred E. Neuman Memorial Food-Fight this coming Saturday night. Tickets are available everywhere, starting at $32,000.00. Get yours now! (Sorry–cash only, no checks or credit cards.)

TGY October 17, 2008 at 10:15 am

Yes, if comedy were political acuity, WALNUTS! would be President of the World. Likewise, Wonkette would have zillions of dollars in ad revenue. And now, back to more ass-fucking!

King of Pants October 17, 2008 at 10:16 am

Yeah, can’t care.

FMA October 17, 2008 at 10:18 am

I learned a long time ago, and some of the funnier comments here prove it out, that the best humor comes from repressed and redirected rage and hostility.
McCain is nothing but weakly repressed and redirected rage and hostility.

HomoPolitico October 17, 2008 at 10:20 am

Kal-El/Biden ’08

Voyou Charmant October 17, 2008 at 10:21 am

I give Obama the comedy gold, I thought his pokes were a little more biting. McCain was likable and pretty funny and didn’t once call his wife a trollop cunt, nor did he tell everyone in the room to get the fuck of away from his azaleas and stay off his lawn, so, the expectations might have been lower which gives the illusion of a win for him.

ph7 October 17, 2008 at 10:23 am

We all perform better when freed of Karl Rove’s puppeteering hand.

bitchincamaro October 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

[re=138107]grendel[/re]: That ‘toon is so Wonkette.

Voyou Charmant October 17, 2008 at 10:27 am

Actually, after watching the extended version, he might have edged out Obama. Damn it all.

ella October 17, 2008 at 10:28 am

Now I can’t wait for next year’s Correspondents’ Dinner.

JoeFannyPack October 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

I will now forever be haunted with an image of me watching McCain on TV and actually laughing with him rather than at him. There is nothing left to live for.

nurple October 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

And the flouncy white-tie soup-and-fish definitely does NOT favor the tall ectomorph.

Harmless October 17, 2008 at 10:33 am

It’s funny because nothing they ever say is true!

Jhusifat October 17, 2008 at 10:43 am

Hillary looked strangely MILFy there. Hope she hasn’t started stalking policemen and lynching people.

accidental_tourist October 17, 2008 at 10:52 am

I give best line of the night to Hopey: His middle name is Hussein because nobody ever dreamed he’d run for president.

Kinbote October 17, 2008 at 10:53 am

Yes, McCain is good at telling jokes — even those not involving blondes, gorillas, or Hilary Clinton’s daughter. He’s open and easy when he can play the underdog unopposed with an open mike in front of a sympathetic crowd of colleagues — no facial tics, no throbbing facial tumors, no looming Scanners-style headplosion, no deer-in-the-headlights paralysis in the glare of the unexpected. His comic timing was dead-on. Give him credit, I can’t stand the guy he’s become of late and I enjoyed watching him, as did Obama, who seemed at ease watching him even as he realized that McCain was getting firsts on most of the good campaign references.

But all that changed when Barry took the stage. As Obama worked his way through his lines more tentatively — he’s not a one-liner guy, he’s more the guy who is funnier one-on-one, and he seemed to acknowledge that with the self-conscious, self-effacing smile he gave out after each scripted joke — McCain would briefly laugh and immediately begin to seethe again. Barry didn’t really get his eyes off the page and himself back in the zone until he started talking about old Al Smith and the late Tim Russert (at which point he had the room) and addressed his remarks to the reality of what was going on outside the room last night. Some might interpret that as humorless or pandering or inappropriate to the occassion — some will, and McCain in his passive-aggressive hope-you-don’t-screw-up closer to his routine tried to set him up for it, much like the time Jerry Lee Lewis set his piano ablaze with lighter fluid and taunted Chuck Berry to “Top that, n*****” as he walked off.

Screw that, Obama seemed to say: we’ve had our laughs, now let’s get back to work. Besides that, get me out of this bow tie, I look like fucking Farrakhan.

Barack Like Me October 17, 2008 at 11:07 am

[re=138098]bitchincamaro[/re]: On this one, especially with the Letterman appearance that he taped just prior to the Al Smith dinner, I’d have to say that if anything that McCain was/is channeling his inner Joker, as portrayed by Heath Ledger.

Particularly the part when he was on Letterman and defends his choice of Palin to Dave.

The really scary thing is that it’s not a movie and John’s not joking.

Baldeagle79 October 17, 2008 at 11:10 am

Time out.

I’ll give it to Barack, that he performed admirably. The right touch of self-deprecating humor, coupled with a few good-natured jabs at his opponent and his former opponent were well done. It was good to see a respect between the two candidates. The seasoned veteran and the new prodigy are the epitome of what American politics really should be about. This is a debate over policy, and no matter how pointed it gets, we are still Americans first. I’m pulling hard for McCain in this election for several reasons, but we’ll never let others denigrate a President Obama, either.

Time in! (The paradigm shift has already begun).

monty October 17, 2008 at 11:11 am

[re=138119]ph7[/re]: what do you expect the ONLY time mccain does good is when he doesnt have karls fist up his ass

Gopherit v2.0 October 17, 2008 at 11:16 am

His best line was,”The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Why didn’t he use that one last night, too?

thefrontpage October 17, 2008 at 11:16 am

Just like most print reporters should stay far away from radio and television broadcasting–please–and just like most broadcasters should stay far away from print journalism–please–most politicians, including McCain and Obama and Caribou Barbie, should stay far, far, far, far away from anything approaching attempts at comedy. About 99 percent of politicians are not funny when they try to be funny. That’s just a fact.

Gurth LongEye October 17, 2008 at 11:19 am

[re=138149]Kinbote[/re]: Thanks, I was wondering why Hopey had me hankerin’ for a bean pie. Heh, Farrakhan.

tunamelt October 17, 2008 at 11:20 am

Ha ha. Yes. I watched this last night and thought McCain was amusing. Then I remembered how a woman’s health is extreme and felt sad and angry again. Bastard.

WadISay October 17, 2008 at 11:23 am

[re=138149]Kinbote[/re]: True this, word. McCain’s whole thing is, he loves being the alpha male in the room. He wants the commander in chief title soooo bad; he loves town hall meetings, where everyone has questions and he’s got all the answers and the serfs clap and fawn all over them, even if their content is nonsense; and he loves where people have to laugh at his jokes, a role which he will make it easy for them to play. He really hates that he can’t play that role when Obama’s around, and he can’t forgive Obama for being naturally eloquent and good looking.

Anonymous Office Zombie October 17, 2008 at 11:28 am

Do you ever think that all the intense partisan two-party fighting is little more than faked theatrical performance put on by a small group of super-rich, super-privileged American aristocrats in order to distract the rest of us from the fact that no matter which side happens to be winning at any given moment, they all win and the rest of us all lose, and that events like this roast are the window into that basic truth being that this is one, big happy crime family hoodwinking and screwing us all?

Nah, me neither.

CreationSchwarzkopfPalin October 17, 2008 at 11:35 am

It’s true, Shecky McCain was way funnier….jessayin!
And Barry needs to quit borrowing Hulk Hogan’s dress shirts. If my collar was that ill fitting, I would have left my lobster bib on for my performance.

Tawmn October 17, 2008 at 11:54 am

Barry surprised me that he was actually a bit of teh funny. I was expecting him to totally bomb and he actually made me laugh. McCain was funniest when he was setting Barry up for high expectations.

sanantonerose October 17, 2008 at 11:56 am

Oh, the pain. Nice Russian Tea Room joke, recycled tho it may be. And the “McCain’s so old he knew the first Al Smith.” Haw!

donner_froh October 17, 2008 at 11:57 am

[re=138187]CreationSchwarzkopfPalin[/re]: Looking at the way that the collar of McCain’s jacket doesn’t lay properly against his shirt maybe he should quite renting from After Six.

NoWireHangers October 17, 2008 at 12:04 pm

That white tie looks like it’s strangling WALNUTS! turkey waddle. I never thought he was capable of looking more awkward than he usually does, but the tie achieves that.

Also, after the primaries I don’t think I can see Hillz laugh and not see it as a cackle. I know it’s not fair, Hillz, but it’s true.

And finally, while this is a roast, after watching Barry’s portion, all the comments seem vaguely passive aggressive. Yes, yuck it up politicians. Eat your fancy meal while I eat my ramen noodles. Get me some damn health care!

slappypaddy October 17, 2008 at 12:06 pm

[re=138181]Anonymous Office Zombie[/re]: Damn, you’ve figured them out, and publicly, too. You can expect a visit soon from large unsmiling men in suits and very dark glasses. Not the Blues Brothers. We’ll miss you.

blader October 17, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Check out the old guy sitting behind the guy who introduced Barry. Right at the beginning. Look at his napkin. It looks like he used it to clean out his colostomy bag.

Miller October 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I’m surprised McCain didn’t bust out any of his “Grade A” ape-rape material. That shit would have killed. Just rolling through the different ways that marvelous ape would have raped various politicians, business leaders, and clergy.

sarcasticusername October 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm

walnuts didn’t point out that barry is a negro so i guess he did good, although barry won the hotness contest hands down. and cindy definitely won the saggy wrinkly boobs contest, check those pictures out i mean seriously, with all the work she’s had done she couldn’t squeeze in a titty lift? no wonder walnuts picked sarah as his next wife, that trollop should have covered up a bit last night.

sarcasticusername October 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm

the biggest question to come out of these clips is why does walnuts clap like a retarded seal? prob. because for 5 1/2 years he couldn’t clap like a retarded seal but still, it was the most awkward part of the whole thing.

the bf October 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm


agreed, but really isn’t this the equivalent of the last debate? McCain did arguably well, Obama held his own, de facto game to Obama by holding the status quo.

I thought it much more interesting to watch the cutaway shots – during McCain’s bit, Barry was gracious and entertaining, clapping enthusiastically during McCain’s zingers, during Obama’s bit Johnny looked like he was choking in his tux. And don’t say it was because Obama’s routine wasn’t funny – that Alfred E. Smith bit KILLED!

Borat October 19, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Walnuts was absolutely better, but then again, most of his best material was about himself.

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