I finally realized who President Trump reminds me of when he does that repeated raising of his shoulders thing after a “punchline” during one of his many affirmation rallies.
He is, let there be no mistake, President Shecky. He’s a ’50s comedian in the Catskills playing to a crowd that laps up punch lines that aren’t all that punchy but, dang, he’s their guy!
“Fuhgedaboutit,” Trump says, raising his shoulders til they touch his earlobes for emphasis.
His delivery is very specific, as carefully crafted as a Henny Youngman (ask your grandparents) or a Rodney Dangerfield (ask again).
“The media? The press? What’re you gonna do, right?” Shoulders rise again, he tilts his head dramatically and offers an exaggerated grimace. The crowd goes wild. He’s so funny. You can tell he’s DYING to say “Ack! The media! Can’t live with ’em, can’t shoot ’em,” but in a rare show of restraint, he stops himself. Two little girls sitting behind Trump have no idea why people are laughing. I don’t either. Seconds later, he drops a bleeped profanity and the little girls look momentarily confused.
Somebody needs to put some money in the swear jar, their wide eyes seem to say. Also the nuclear disarmament jar…and the Russian interference in U.S. elections jar… and the emoluments jar…so many jars, so little knowledge of the Constitution.
Trump is just one Akron or Boise away from throwing a pie in somebody’s face and duck-walking away after it lands. In Ohio he warms up the crowd with a bit about how anybody can “act presidential” then shifts into a robot voice (yes, a robot voice) to demonstrate how traditional presidents sound “very boring.”
Then he performs an uptight little walk to demonstrate traditional presidents also walk funny. I had a flashback to Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks. Which, it should be noted, was actually side-splittin’ funny. Seriously hilarious. YouTube it. I’ll wait.
After watching that brilliant skit, you might wonder why anyone would laugh at Trump’s version of what a boring president walks like.
Don’t you get it? President Shecky is no ordinary, stuffy, literate president. Trump’s schtick is pure “us v. them.” He’s itchin’ to tell them he just got back from a pleasure trip…he took his mother-in-law to the airport.
Shecky Trump, coming to an auditorium near you. Tip your waiters. More than ever now because for all the crowing about a healthy economy, working class wages remain stagnant.
Trump’s base loves him for the things he says, not because their lives are improved in any way but because he’s a rule-breaker. A rapscallion. A rascal.
Take his wife, please.
He don’t get no respect.
He just flew into town and, boy, are his arms tired.
Truth is, take away Trump’s fevered base and he wouldn’t be able to pack the coat closet at a Moose Lodge. Every comic must be willing to poke fun at himself but Shecky Trump is incapable of doing that.
That’s OK. We got that part.