This week, President Obama appeared on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, and he owned a heckler at a White House event. Now, he’s taken the next logical step in his burgeoning comedy career: he performed at a “bringer show” at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, and he offended a blogger. Here is the Tumblr post written by that blogger:
Last night, I went to a bringer show to see my buddy who’s a stand-up comic. It was a two-drink minimum deal, which sucks but I wanted to support my friend. Anyway, thirty minutes in, the MC said, “I want to bring a very special guest to the stage,the 44th president of the United States … Barack Obama!”
Obviously, I was excited. I think he’s very funny during press conferences, but seeing the leader of the free world perform in a comedy club? Wow. Obama walked out on stage, took the mic, and immediately lit up a cigarette. The 50 people in the audience went nuts. He opened by saying, “Y’all ready for this?” Then he hummed a couple bars of that C+C Music Factory song and did a silly dance.
He waited for us to settle down, and said, “So Obamacare was approved by SCOTUS today, but three Justices dissented in the vote!” The Laugh Factory crowd booed and hissed. “Afterwards I ran into Justice Antonin Scalia, who was the main dissenter. I asked him if he’d like to see bofa. He said, ‘Bofa? What is that?’ And I said, ‘Bofa deez nuts!’” Obama took a long drag off his Marlboro as the audience erupted in laughter. I, for one, was not amused. Obama told Marc Maron that his comedy influences were Dick Gregory and Richard Pryor. So I was expecting better material.
I thought he might move on to some quality jokes, but no. Instead, Obama said, “I felt bad about clowning on Scalia, so I said, ‘Do you want some pizza, Antonin?’ And he said, ‘I’m Italian. I love pizza.’ So I said, ‘Then have a piece-a-deez nuts!’” The audience laughed, but it was a polite laugh, as we had already heard a “deez nuts” joke.
Then Obama started doing crowd work and he immediately focused on me. “Look at this red-headed fatso,” he said. “You look like if the Wendy’s girl and a chicken nugget had a child. Hamburger!” Everyone in the audience laughed, except me. Did they not realize he was ripping off Def Comedy Jam superstar Alonzo “Hamburger” Jones?
Now, I’ve seen some pretty bad shows at the Laugh Factory — I was there when Daniel Tosh told his controversial rape joke in 2012, and I saw Dane Cook perform a record-setting seven-hour set in 2008. So you can imagine how dismayed I was when Obama said, “You’re all in for a treat. I’m gonna shatter Dane Cook’s record. I’m doing an eight-hour set tonight. Haaaaaaamburger.” The MC started giving Obama the light, but the president responded by flipping the bird. I decided I’d had enough.
“Hey, buddy, sorry if I offended you,” Obama said to me as I got up to walk out. “As an olive branch, let me give you my debut comedy CD.” I thought that was a nice gesture, but then Obama said, “C-deez nuts!” And he flicked his cigarette at me.
Obama was great on Maron, and it was funny when he shut down that heckler at the White House on Wednesday. But I have to say, I was hugely disappointed with his stand-up set. I know it’s not cool when bloggers review comedians who are workshopping new material, but I feel obligated to call him out, even if he’s the president. Also, I was very disappointed because Obama went on so long that my friend never got to perform. And my friend is Eddie Murphy.