Saturday, February 16, 2008

Penn Jillette bashes Hillary

Blogger extraordinaire James Wolcott (a Hillary Clinton supporter) has spanked Penn Jillette for a certain “slimy” putdown of Hillary that he added to his stage act.

Wolcott administers a few extra licks for Penn’s chin-stroking analysis of the enthusiastic audience reaction to his “misogynist” punch line... an analysis offered on Penn’s video blog.

(You can watch it and make your own opinion; the vlog entry is embedded below.)

Me, I’m no more opposed, theoretically, to Hillary Clinton being called a “bitch” than I am to George W. Bush being called “retarded” (Bill Maher, you rapscallion you!). After all, Emily Litella drained much of the venom from the B-word 30 years ago.

BUT... the joke had better be funny. And Penn Jillette’s joke is not funny. It ain’t even next-door to funny.

I tried to think of a better punch line, but I couldn’t. The whole set-up is off. Maybe one of my sharp-witted readers can rescue it?

(Oh, and you will have to take assertive action to stop this video after the “bitch” clip is done. Or else the damn thing will proceed to Penn blathering about some other horseshit. So just hit that STOP button.)

UPDATE (02/17/08): I just got back from a lovely brunch with some quote-unquote “Hollywood liberals.” And one of ’em snapped off a deliciously politically incorrect Hillary joke. To wit:

“Obama is mixed-race, and Hillary is mixed-gender.”

Dude’s wife booed him for that. But you gotta admit... that’s funny.


SJ said...

I used to think that the word "bitch" wasn't that offensive anymore until women pointed out to me how most of them still think it's highly sexist (of course, women can call each other bitch but not men to women).

I think Penn is a smart guy but that joke was awful (even he knows that).

justjudith said...

i'm a woman and the word bitch isn't that offensive to me. if someone is a bitch, they just are. and i think people laughed bc they probably do think of her as an old bitch in some form or fashion. the joke was so-so, but if the crowd laughed like he says they did, it's probably because he found the perception that some hillary-bashers hold. let's see, i would have gone with.....she's just mad because there's no old, white, wish-everybody-in-the-universe- didn't-know-my-husband-got-blown-in -the-Oval-Office-month. not funny either, but probably kind of true. it seems the lesbian rumors are being downplayed but with bill getting headlines with his running commentary, he still seems relevant enough to throw a punch at, if you were inclined to take a shot at them.

Michael Fisher said...

I think he's got a point. The "joke" sure ain't funny. If people laughed nonetheless....

Antonio said...

I don't think the joke is funny, but it probably sounds better as part of a series of jokes, which is what it sounds like his bit consisted of. I think the only reason "bitch" is acceptable is because most other insults (jerk, prick, jackass) are associated with men.

John B. said...

It's bad enough that people make unfunny, sexist jokes about Hillary. The real problem is every time someone does, her support goes way up.

Are you sure Penn Jillette isn't on the Clinton payroll?

NunaOni said...

You know Hillary is digging her own hole, that is why people laughed. She had a lot of ammo for Edwards but she is completely lost in how to handle Obama so her retorts are bitchy. The joke is funny in that context. If Hillary wasn't being bitchy, it wouldn't be funny.

dez said...

“Obama is mixed-race, and Hillary is mixed-gender.”

Dude’s wife booed him for that. But you gotta admit... that’s funny.

Eh, not so much.

odocoileus said...

Two "bi" candidates are running for the Democratic nomination.

Barack's biracial, and Hillary's bisexual.

Undercover Black Man said...

Odo, if I may:

Three "bi" candidates are running for president this year.

Barack's biracial, Hillary's bisexual, and McCain is bipolar.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being labeled humorless, I'm tired of seeing Hillary attacked for her gender and sexuality (whatever it may be). If anyone dared attack Obama for his race, you'd all be having a conniption excoriating the offenders, but when it comes to attacking Hillary's gender and sexuality, anything goes, right?

It really does seem like anyone can be president, as long as "anyone" is male. How depressing.

dez said...

^BTW, that's me, dez. Sorry, hit send too soon.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Hey dez. I make a distinction between an "attack" based on gender or sexuality (very uncool) and a joke that plays off gender or sexuality.

I give a pretty wide berth to joke-tellers, as my appreciation of Lisa Lampanelli would indicate.

As for Obama, I've cracked a few jokes on this very blog that play upon his race... in particular, his African family. And you didn't hear a peep out of me when some wiseguy photoshopped Obama in hip-hop gear, and that ended up on the Huffington Post.

The line between a joke and an attack might seem fuzzy... but I'm very conscious of that line.

dez said...

Sorry if I was a little testy. The jokes and attacks get wearying after awhile.

Undercover Black Man said...

No sorries necessary, dez.