Our lovely president will make you laugh on New Year’s Day
VICE News is no friend to Donald Trump. It probably intended to humiliate him in 2018 when it made a video compilation of Trump saying “bing” during speeches. However, unless you pathologically despise President Trump, the video is a charming reminder of what a unique, warm, and funny person our 45th president has been. Thankfully, Ryan Fournier dug up VICE’s compilation, so we can end 2020 with a smile.
Before I get to the video, I want to say a little about Trump’s humor. (I always have a little to say about everything.) In February 2020, before the world imploded, Dov Fischer wrote a wonderful article examining Trump’s humor: “To Fully Comprehend Trump, an Insight Into the Jargon of NYC’s Outer Boroughs: If you don’t understand the Borscht Belt, you’ll never understand Donald Trump.”
For you young ‘uns, the Borscht Belt was an area in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, where New York City Jews took vacations during the 1920s through the 1960s. Many of the resorts there catered expressly to Jews, with kosher dietary facilities. And all these resorts had young, striving Jewish comedians from New York.
The comedians who practiced their skills there went on to become a who’s who of American humor from the 1920s through the end of the 20th century. My kids don’t know who they are, but every American who came of age in the 20th century, whether Jewish or not, knew these names: Joan Rivers, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Rodney Dangerfield, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen, Buddy Hackett, Danny Kaye, Alan King, Mel Brooks, Lenny Bruce, Jackie Mason, Henny Youngman, Jack Benny, and more – they all started in the Borscht Belt, and they made America laugh.
Fischer ties Trump to this comedic tradition:
Trump comes out of New York City’s outer boroughs, mostly Queens with a good dollop of Brooklyn. Born in 1946, he is a child of that milieu circa 1950s and 1960s. His language, his syntax, his pronunciation is pure BQE — straight out of the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway.
Much of that speech pattern derives from his father’s and his own lifelong associations with Jews who come out of the same boroughs. It is not only that he does not pronounce the “h” in “huge.” It is his lexicon, his tempo. He is pure Outer Borough.
Although the subject requires a book, one key to Jewish humor is that it blends irony with a clever but bluntly outrageous comment that the listener never saw coming and cannot believe he just heard — yet the surprise has to be clever. We developed comedy as a defense mechanism because, after all the persecutions, pogroms, and holocausts, we were left with either of two choices: either go through life like Greta Thunberg, angry at everyone and blaming everyone for everything — or just suck it up, “deal with it,” move on, and make new friends.
One of the main traits of Jewish humor is to go for the joke to make a point, even if the joke is the absolute opposite of what you feel. Trump does this, and those who remember the great Jewish comedians, or who intuitively understand that Trump is himself a great comedian, do not take him literally. Only humorless leftists do:
When Trump says “Maybe I will run for a third term,” we totally get him (and ruefully wish he were serious!), but the Corrupt Journalist Corps go into heart palpitations expecting that he literally will suspend the 22nd Amendment. When Trump says, “I don’t know, maybe I will ask Vladimir Putin to check Hillary’s server and let me know what’s in it,” we react by laughing at the clever and ironic meshing of themes: (i) Hillary has the illegal server with the 33,000 emails including some of top-secret national security, and (ii) because she left it cyber-hackable alongside her toilet at home, the Russians and Putin probably have all those emails. But the Corrupt Journalist Corps demanded his impeachment for “soliciting Russian interference” — they actually took him literally.
You should read Fischer’s entire article because it’s brilliant, it’s funny, and it explains Trump. And then, watch this video, which humorless VICE News thought would harm Trump in 2018, but which Trump’s supporters understand shows only more clearly how lucky we’ve been to have in the White House a man who kept his domestic policy promises, brought peace to much of the Middle East, withstood hellacious slings and arrows, and still made us laugh:
President Trump is one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen.— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) December 31, 2020
This is too good 🤣 pic.twitter.com/ni1uWEulji
IMAGE: Trump saying “bing.” Twitter screengrab.