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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

The helicopter lifted off -- along with my heart -- carrying off into the past a comedy writer's life's dream; leaving behind a new day, a new administration, a new colorful target with heartfelt hopes of providing a daily menu from which we writers are able to select the laugh du jour.

Note to self: Watch the "color" references...unless it's really clever.

So long W, you've been a great sport. Flying off into presidential comedy history along with Nixon, Reagan, Carter, Bush, Clinton. I wasn't around for Taft, but granddad could peel off the "President is so fat..." jokes like there was no tomorrow. Some were better than others. Some needed a perfectly timed ingenue or a well-placed cigar (or both), but really, they were all setting ‘em up for us to knock ‘em down. ‘Course, W, the grandest punchline of them all, left them all in the dust. The Wayne Gretzky of Presidential hi-jinks and just stunning failure, he could score unintended laughs from almost any angle. Stewart and Colbert have Emmys that should be named after the Crawford retiree. We may never see his kind again. But, alas, we must move on. Leno and Letterman have needs. Limbaugh and Hannity have anemic impressions.

Oh, comedy gods who gave us 43, remind me once do I write when I've survived the past eight years just cut and pasting astonishing malapropisms and prodigious bad judgements?

Wonder what was in the note Bush left for Obama in the Oval Office desk? Pull my finger?

Note to self: Stop asking gods for pointers.

Where's my BO swag? The Barack Obama minted, gold-plated, satirical bull's-eye he is to become; my official Barack Obama Presidential Inauguration keyboard and mouse memorial set, now on sale for 49.95. Alright. Go ahead fingers, work your satirical magic.

The oath-taking had possibilities. Flubbing it was rich. The Great Speechmaker. Mr Perfect Come Down From The Mountain Top fumbles his way into inaugural history. Thought I could milk that into a fifteen minute Saturday Nite Live opening. At least Bush got through the oath before he made us a worldwide laughing stock. But then comedy reality stuck two fingers into my eyes. It was Chief Justice Robert's fault. A Bush appointee yet. I knew it couldn't be that easy.

Maybe another double cappuccino.

How's MSNBC is covering Obama's first weeks? Slobbering over the powerful always makes for solid mockery. Wonder if Olbermann, Matthews and Maddow brought the frankincense and myrrh to the coronation, er, um inauguration. Let's see. MSNBC: Media's Shameless Nonstop Barack Channel. Jeesh. I've been reduced to acronym humor. Labored acronym humor. Let's see, Obama. What network has an O in it? Fox? D'oh.

Maybe a drink. What's twenty years of sobriety when you're on deadline?

Hey, wait. Obama's at the Oval Office desk for an official signing ceremony. Ah, the memories. Nothing like Bush signing statement. Gems. Everyone of them. O's signing something. Crossing fingers. Can't expect anything as hysterically ironic as the Clean Air Act or what I like to call, "The Not Clean At All Act." God, I'm numb. Not even able to spin a decent Bush contradiction. Oh no. He's signing an order to close Guantanamo. And no more torture. Losing Gitmo okay, but no torture? This guy's cutting off the satirical possibilities at the knees. Actually. with this order, that's not even an option.

Where is Michael Brown when you need him? Obama's supposed to be reversing Bush's policies, not my material. Maybe I go with the old standbys.

Barack Obama walks into a bar, a parrot perched on his shoulder. The bartender asks, "What'll you have?" Obama says, "A dry Southern Comfort Manhattan. The bartender asks the parrot, "What about you?" The parrot says, "I'll have whatever he's having. He hasn't made a mistake yet." Not exactly Will Rogers, but I can sell it to Biden.

Note to self: See if you can find out why won't they let Joe be filmed with audio?

Limbaugh's taking over the Republican party and the GOP leaders kissing his feet and begging forgiveness. Ah, who am I kidding? That's just recycling the last eight years.

Barack just called for a pay freeze. Cold, man. C'mon, Steve. A pun? You're better than that. Then again, maybe I wasn't. Maybe for the past eight years I was just a stenographer. Maybe it was all written for me. Maybe I can't do this myself. Maybe it's time I bring on a partner. Someone who can inspire comedy even when the times aren't funny at all.

Operator...give me Crawford.

Award-winning TV writer and author of Great Failures of the Extremely Successful, Steve Young was an original talk show host at L.A.'s KTLK and blogs at

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Albion Monitor   January 30, 2009   (

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