I do impressions: Johnny Carson


I always like to ask people I meet “who are your favorite comedians”?  In my limo today a couple said Johnny Carson, which led into my Carson impression, which we agreed was a more stuttering Dana Carvey version.  Anyway, for my homework and your enjoyment, here’s a classic Carson clip that captures some of his delicious facial expressions that kinda said “yeah, I’m Mom’s adorable baby, I’m getting away with murder, loving every minute of it, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it except enjoy the moment with me.”  I love how Carson smirking never seemed to undermine the humor, unlike a few SNL performers who have stepped on their own lines, beating the audience to the laugh.  Miss Johnny.

I’m happy to amuse you, unlike classic Joe Pesci


Classic clip . . . and because I proudly amuse you people, make you laugh and act like a clown.  Just don’t ask me to christen your kid.

Oh, and if any one of Carlin’s seven dirty words offends you, you need to get out more.  Take a break from getting gooey over Sarah Palin and go see some local live stand up comedy.  Remember, Jesus is a cat who turns water into wine and “pals around” with girls who sleep around.  At least that’s what a translation of a selection of after-the-fact recollections approved by committee under the order of an emperor claims.  And who can argue with that?

“Average American Debt” blames Gilligan for Thurston’s charges


Today I had another economist in the back of my limo lecturing me on the reason for our national financial mess:  greedy people spent beyond their means.  In other words folks were living like Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s salary. Economists practically parade around in sackcloth, lamenting the enormous debt of the average American. Problem is their math creates an “average” not found in reality. Virginia Postrel‘s recent article in the Atlantic exposes the nudity and lunacy of this imperial vodoo math.  Money quote:

If the rich are getting richer, it makes sense that they’re also running up more debt. They can reasonably expect to pay it. These affluent families also account for half of the outstanding consumer debt. So the $10,000 average that Obama cited isn’t in fact owed by the “typical” family with an average income. That figure is calculated by spreading the much larger debts of the rich over the population as a whole.

I perform comedy in bars, so let us put this in drinking terms. Consider three members of my audience at a table. Gilligan, the Professor and Mary Ann each charge a $5 drink and Thurston charges drinks totaling $85. If the “average” price of drinks is $25 a person, Gilligan might ask “Professor, where are my other four drinks?.”

Furthermore, would we blame Gilligan, the Professor and Mary Ann for the “debt” of Thurston Howell?  And if Thurston pays the “debt” off when he gets his statement from his frequent boater credit card, what are his charges doing in our “debt” equation in the first place?

Screw politics.  Stop voting and start laughing.  Yeah, I know Gilligan and his crew won’t show up at one of my comedy gigs anytime soon.  But what’s your excuse?  It’s not like you’re stranded on a deserted island.  Apparently you have internet access (you’re reading this blog post, right?).  Go to your local comedy club and stimulate the economy by supporting local live comedy.  And don’t forget to tip your server!!!

You Can’t Shrug This: Ayn Rand


Thanks to Samizdata for this post on the continuing relevance of Rand.  I had to smile as I read:

I keep coming across references from people saying that the present credit crisis and the governments’ response to it is something out of Atlas Shrugged.

Just yesterday I concluded yet another conversation with a banker in the back of my limo regarding the death of capital markets and Paulson picking winners and losers, asking “you ever read Any Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged?”.

By the way, if anyone knows anyone connected to the upcoming feature film “Atlas Shrugged”, I would love to say to Angelina Jolie “Who is John Galt?” . . . or simply be in a nano-second of a frame of the film.

National Salvation in Confusion and Mediocracy


As one who grew up among evangelicals similar to Sarah Palin and experienced “higher learning” at George Roche’s Hillsdale College, I found GQ’s Glenn O’Brien’s article “The Rhetoric of Confusion: Sarah Palin and the Rise of Mediocracy” fascinating.  The independent soul in me yearning to breathe free does not seek in a Vice President “a charismatic genius sprung from the educated elite”, the yin O’Brien contrasts with the Palin yang.  Nevertheless, I find compelling O’Brien’s critique of “a Tourette’s syndrome of euphemism” and the “ordinariness and lack of distinction and achievement . . . now considered to be a key manifestation of the democratic ideal”.  But then, as H.L. Mencken noted about a century ago:

No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.