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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 5, 2009

Late-night jesters just as tough on Obama

By David Shapiro

I'm off this week observing the passage of another year with the same enthusiasm that Hawai'i celebrated the statehood anniversary, so I leave you a different kind of "flASHback."

When Barack Obama was elected president, a TV guy said the late-night talk hosts would have trouble coming up with jokes because they like Obama so much more than his predecessor.

I thought, what does liking somebody have to do with joking about him? I like just about everybody personally. If I could only poke fun at people I don't like, I'd have nothing to write.

Here are some of the best late-night Obama jokes I could find from online archives. Is the edge as sharp as all the jokes that painted Bush as a dimwit and Clinton as a horndog?

"Today, President Barack Obama promised to 'detect and pursue' American tax evaders, as opposed to his first 100 days, in which he detected and nominated American tax evaders." Jay Leno.

"It's President Obama's 48th birthday. The president has asked that in lieu of sending a gift, people just make a donation to his favorite charity, General Motors." Conan O'Brien.

"After a quick meet-and-greet with King Abdullah, Obama was off to Israel, where he made a quick stop at the manger in Bethlehem where he was born." Jon Stewart.

"President Obama announced he is using his own money to redecorate the White House. Meanwhile, he is using taxpayers' money to redecorate the houses of AIG executives." Craig Ferguson.

"Barack Obama announced he's bringing home troops from Iraq. ... Unfortunately, he couldn't get them direct flights home. They have a two-year layover in Afghanistan." Jimmy Fallon.

"The Republicans had been running a surprisingly effective campaign against the proposal for national health care, but the president found a very clever way to get them on board ... he offered a key provision that would provide free breast implants for their girlfriends." Jimmy Kimmel.

"How about President Obama's first prime-time press conference last night? He was cogent, eloquent, and in complete command of the issues. I'm thinking to myself, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?" David Letterman.