Will Durst: president goes ‘Between 2 Ferns’

It was more amusing than piano-playing kittens to see Barack Obama plug the Affordable Care Act on Zach Galifianakis’ Internet comedy show. Not late night. Not basic cable. An Internet show: “Between 2 Ferns.” Even funnier was the president trotting out the same expression he normally reserves for Bill O’Reilly interviews.

Will Durst
Will Durst makes his point each week for Tahoe Onstage.

The chief executive is apparently working his way down the marketing food chain. Next it’ll be ObamaCare coupons under windshield wipers in the parking lots of flea markets. Then a series of laminated ads posted above urinals. Won’t be long before Joe Biden is wearing a giant syringe costume twirling a sign on Pennsylvania Ave.

The president is not new to the humor game. He’s proven his comedy chops o’plenty at previous functions, but even professional comedians have problems holding their own with the bearded “Hangover” franchise comic’s trademark condescending snark. 44, however, traded disdainful barbs like a Catskills trained tummler. Looks like the ordeal of dealing with Hillary’s State Department staff finally paid off. Can’t wait for him speak to Putin with the same sort of Borscht Belt pushback.

This was Comedy Obama at his finest. Just one of the many guises we’ve seen Honolulu’s favorite son adopt. There’s Diplomatic Obama. Arrogant Obama. Tolerant Obama. Supercilious Obama. Hollywood Obama. Mississippi Obama. New Boss Obama. And Same as the Old Boss Obama.

Might explain why the country is this close to contracting a serious case of Multiple Presidential Personality Disorder. He’s President Sybil. Playing more roles than the tall kid who shaves at a summer Shakespeare camp.

Doctors say the onset of Dissociative Identity Disorder can be traced to trauma and its entirely possible the Republican Party is responsible for these many faces of Eve, er, Barack. For five years the president has been hit in the head more often than an armless soccer goalie in a World Cup shootout. Of course, he could be setting himself up for an insanity defense. Mitch McConnell would be well advised to hire extra security.

The Oval Office Shapeshifter’s pre POTUS resume was pretty tame. Kenyan. Kansan. Hawaiian. Community organizer. Constitutional law professor. State Senator. US Senator. Marijuana advocate. Audacity encourager.

It’s only since 2009 that we’ve been treated to a kaleidoscope of eccentric facets. He’s a jock. A nerd. Cheerleader. Teacher’s pet. Motorcycle riding bad boy. Probably a closet band geek. Party standard bearer. Good will ambassador. Policy enforcer. Al Green impersonator.

He’s half black. He’s half white. Ramrod. Contortionist. Healer. Divider. Defender of transparency. Master spy. Outlaw. Sheriff. Muslim. Christian. Politician. Citizen. Figurehead. Hood ornament. White hatted hero. Melodramatic villain. A puppet, a poet, a pawn and a king.

Even the GOP can’t decide if he’s a hopeless novice or a demagoguing dictator. The right wing paints him as a radical jihadist while left wing progressives whine he’s a cowering conciliator. Making him a little bit Malcolm X and a little bit Urkel.

Barack Obama is harder to pin down than an eel in a butter sculpture. A Nobel Peace Prize winner or the Manchurian Candidate. He’s either the classiest of cats or Captain Clueless. Relentless shark or a spineless jellyfish. Power mad knight errant or lute strumming eunuch. Or maybe he’s all of them. Fifty shades of cool. Or drool. Perspective is everything.

— Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic who often performs in Tahoe onstage. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances and 3stillstanding.com for info on the documentary film in which he’s an integral piece. 

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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