Humor and the Presidency: Is the punchline President Barack Obama’s dignity?

Funny or Die - Between Two Ferns - Zack Galafinakis and President Obama - screen shot
Funny or Die - Between Two Ferns - Zack Galafinakis and President Obama - screen shot

CHARLOTTEN.C., March 12, 2014 – Whatever happened to presidential dignity?

Does Bill Clinton’s inauguration between two Bushes mean we should have to endure Barack Obama Between Two Ferns?

Okay, we get it. President Obama gets a double whammy with his appearance on the Funny or Die web-based comedy series Between Two Ferns. First he was able to agitate his critics with his presidential “in-your-face” style while, at the same time, appealing to his lowest common denominator followers with his ever so “cool” approach to selling Obamacare.

Indeed, we live in the 21st century. Obama even told Vladimir Putin that his own political methods were outdated. It is an age of social media and technological gadgetry that we have never experienced before. Why shouldn’t the president take advantage of modern communication sources to get his message across? No one disputes the fact that that is precisely what he should do.

That does not mean, however, that he has to be tacky in the process and demean the office of the presidency in the process.

They say that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t take his coat off while in the Oval Office. Flash forward to Bill Clinton who couldn’t keep his pants on when he was there (badda-dump). Times change. So do attitudes. But dignity never goes out of style, and Obama has put himself in a class by himself by having no class.

There is a difference between having a sense of humor and being a clown. Alex Haley elevated his cultural heritage with his literary masterpiece Roots. In turn, Obama denigrates his, and, in the process, the image of the people he serves, with “ferns.”

Though such things are not supposed to be said lest they be termed racist, it is impossible to compare Obama to any other black president because there are no others. There are plenty of other black leaders, however, who have more character in their little fingers than this president has in his entire body: Maya Angelou, General Colin Powell, Allen West, Dr. Ben Carson and Condoleeza Rice to name a few.

Some say the Pundit-in-Chief’s little skit was funny. It wasn’t. Not even cute. So while the president was going viral with his “humorous” interview, do not forget that there is no cure for the virus that is Obama.

President John F. Kennedy had a sense of humor, yet he always displayed it with style and dignity. He was frequently witty without being witless. By contrast, Obama has never dignified his office with anything other than disdain for the people he serves, thus making  him the most undignified president in history.

There is a huge difference between having character and being a character.

The current occupant of the White House is a man who bowed to Saudi royalty. He is a man who snubbed the Prime Minister of Israel in 2012 when Benjamin Netanyahu requested a meeting. Obama’s serial retreats to the golf course in the midst of numerous crises, both domestic and international, are legendary. This is a president who is incapable of telling the truth. He continues to blame his predecessor, Republican and anyone he can think of for all the blunders during his five years in office.

Obama is a leader who never misses an opportunity to verbally lectures the people who elected him as if they are his children. And yet, when the nitty gets gritty, he provides personal access to a mindless internet webcast to communicate with the American people.

Being politically savvy is one thing. Resorting to a Beavis and Butthead routine to accomplish the task is another. Even if the president himself has no pride, the American people still do. So why bring us all down to his pathetic level?

Having a sense of humor is a powerful asset for any president. Sadly, Barack Obama is the joke.


Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod

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  • Lia

    Well said, Bob. I could think of nothing except how very pathetic when I viewed this piece of trash “between two ferns”. Only the video of Obama and Biden in “Let’s Move” could match it for stupidity. Does Obama think the entirety of the American people are ignorant?

  • Birdbranze

    I’d just like to point out a president who tried humor on a popular skit series. Does anyone remember Tricky Dick (Nixon, not Clinton)? He was trashed for saying “Sock it to me!” on Laugh-in and then they impeached him and threw him out of office in disgrace for a little thing called Watergate. Now, if there is any chance that this Fern thing could lead Obama to follow in his footsteps……..

  • Pam

    He thinks his friends in Hollywood are going to get him a job. His two terms have prepared him for a great acting career.