'Filthy canopies' and 'mussed my hair': The Funny Trump is back

One of President Trump's biggest assets is the one the pundits don't talk about much: he's funny.

Caustic, detached, lighthearted, scornful, anecdotal, boastful, he's always been strong on this front, with a comedian's sense of timing and a great sense for what people are thinking, honed by a previous career in reality TV.  He's really, really good, even if people don't like his politics, although leftists, hopelessly sputtering, will never admit it.  As one academic noted, the funnier candidate has always won, and that certainly would be the case for Trump.

The great chronicler of all things American, Tom Wolfe, certainly understood this, as Niall Ferguson observed in this good piece here:

Wolfe noted that Trump's "real childish side" was part of his appeal.  "He is a lovable megalomaniac", as Wolfe put it.  "The childishness makes him seem honest."  

But the weight of the presidency, or more likely, the influence of the swamp, with all its Washington mannerisms, pretty well has obscured that thing that first won so many over to him.  Well, until recently.  It seems that a lot of successes and a lot of new things to hope for have brought the old Funny Trump back to the voters, the outsider, the successful everything, the television magnate – and that's bad news for Democrats.

It started with his funny tweet Monday, about the "filthy canopies" of the Red Hen restaurant, whose owner abusively threw out the perfectly well mannered and kind-of-temperament customer Sarah Sanders simply for representing President Trump as his spokeswoman.  Instead of getting mad, he tweeted this zinger:

Who'd have thought to look at the appearance of the restaurant as an indicator of its awfulness instead of pontificate about its bad behavior and how that's a threat to the republic.  What's more, voters can see that it indicates a previous identity, a recognizable one, the one that's layered beneath the presidency: the successful real estate man.  Shazam!

The humor was even more obvious in Trump's equivalent of stand-up comedy, which is what his campaign appearance in South Carolina yesterday, on behalf of congressional candidate Henry McMaster, represented.  The humor was scathing and rolled across almost all of the one-hour speech, which, if you have time for it, is entertaining to listen to.

A summary of some of the highlights can be read here.  But you really have to hear it live.  Here are some choice passages, culled from the full YouTube video.

First, making South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford look like a weasel.  The erroneous Tallahassee trail reference (everyone knows it was the Appalachian Trail) was likely intentional, a bid to make the man and the facts of his embarrassing idiocies insignificant.

Next, Jimmy Fallon, who mussed up his hair to see if it was real.

"If it's not your hair, don't run for office," he said, as the audience roared.

We learn about the guy having no talent, we learned he was a suck-up, we learned that Trump gave him ratings (always the business sense, not the terms the left has set for him).

Trump was even self-deprecating as he made Fallon look like a loser.  His timing was perfect.

"I wasn't president.  I was, like...a guy.  A guy with potential[.]"

Here's the YouTube from that sequence:

He was great at skewering the press, with one particularly funny passage describing the achievements of the North Korea accord and the press's swift claim calling it a "failure."  His comic timing and gestures, completely off the cuff rather than telepromptered, were perfect:

He was probably the most hilarious, at least to Republicans, as he skewered Hillary Clinton for her new career as a professional whiner, blaming everyone but herself for losing to Donald Trump.  "Did you ever see anyone so protected in their life?" he asked.  Trump shredded her:

He was also funny on Hollywood, explaining the unmentionable – that film director David Lynch's career was "over" due to the leftist monolith that rules that industry:

He had several good one-liners targeted at Democrats and their stance on immigration.  He again returned to the cleanliness theme from his real estate background, pointing out that his administration's detention centers "are cleaner and better kept" than the Obama administration's.  Repetition of themes works well in humor.  So does talk about dirt.

Success seems to bring out the thing people liked best in Trump: his humor.  It goes well with his campaign motif of winning, winning, and more winning.  The return of his humor is a sign of it.

One of President Trump's biggest assets is the one the pundits don't talk about much: he's funny.

Caustic, detached, lighthearted, scornful, anecdotal, boastful, he's always been strong on this front, with a comedian's sense of timing and a great sense for what people are thinking, honed by a previous career in reality TV.  He's really, really good, even if people don't like his politics, although leftists, hopelessly sputtering, will never admit it.  As one academic noted, the funnier candidate has always won, and that certainly would be the case for Trump.

The great chronicler of all things American, Tom Wolfe, certainly understood this, as Niall Ferguson observed in this good piece here:

Wolfe noted that Trump's "real childish side" was part of his appeal.  "He is a lovable megalomaniac", as Wolfe put it.  "The childishness makes him seem honest."  

But the weight of the presidency, or more likely, the influence of the swamp, with all its Washington mannerisms, pretty well has obscured that thing that first won so many over to him.  Well, until recently.  It seems that a lot of successes and a lot of new things to hope for have brought the old Funny Trump back to the voters, the outsider, the successful everything, the television magnate – and that's bad news for Democrats.

It started with his funny tweet Monday, about the "filthy canopies" of the Red Hen restaurant, whose owner abusively threw out the perfectly well mannered and kind-of-temperament customer Sarah Sanders simply for representing President Trump as his spokeswoman.  Instead of getting mad, he tweeted this zinger:

Who'd have thought to look at the appearance of the restaurant as an indicator of its awfulness instead of pontificate about its bad behavior and how that's a threat to the republic.  What's more, voters can see that it indicates a previous identity, a recognizable one, the one that's layered beneath the presidency: the successful real estate man.  Shazam!

The humor was even more obvious in Trump's equivalent of stand-up comedy, which is what his campaign appearance in South Carolina yesterday, on behalf of congressional candidate Henry McMaster, represented.  The humor was scathing and rolled across almost all of the one-hour speech, which, if you have time for it, is entertaining to listen to.

A summary of some of the highlights can be read here.  But you really have to hear it live.  Here are some choice passages, culled from the full YouTube video.

First, making South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford look like a weasel.  The erroneous Tallahassee trail reference (everyone knows it was the Appalachian Trail) was likely intentional, a bid to make the man and the facts of his embarrassing idiocies insignificant.

Next, Jimmy Fallon, who mussed up his hair to see if it was real.

"If it's not your hair, don't run for office," he said, as the audience roared.

We learn about the guy having no talent, we learned he was a suck-up, we learned that Trump gave him ratings (always the business sense, not the terms the left has set for him).

Trump was even self-deprecating as he made Fallon look like a loser.  His timing was perfect.

"I wasn't president.  I was, like...a guy.  A guy with potential[.]"

Here's the YouTube from that sequence:

He was great at skewering the press, with one particularly funny passage describing the achievements of the North Korea accord and the press's swift claim calling it a "failure."  His comic timing and gestures, completely off the cuff rather than telepromptered, were perfect:

He was probably the most hilarious, at least to Republicans, as he skewered Hillary Clinton for her new career as a professional whiner, blaming everyone but herself for losing to Donald Trump.  "Did you ever see anyone so protected in their life?" he asked.  Trump shredded her:

He was also funny on Hollywood, explaining the unmentionable – that film director David Lynch's career was "over" due to the leftist monolith that rules that industry:

He had several good one-liners targeted at Democrats and their stance on immigration.  He again returned to the cleanliness theme from his real estate background, pointing out that his administration's detention centers "are cleaner and better kept" than the Obama administration's.  Repetition of themes works well in humor.  So does talk about dirt.

Success seems to bring out the thing people liked best in Trump: his humor.  It goes well with his campaign motif of winning, winning, and more winning.  The return of his humor is a sign of it.