The thought of leaving anything out is sheer torture.
When Cain and Perry dropped out of race, I was temporarily reduced to despair; Laurel and Hardy, Sid Caesar and Howard Reiner, W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, Chris Rock, at their very, very best these demigods of comedy couldn’t beat the doofus pizza panderer and the fey, fluttery, winsome ersatz cowpoke when they were in high gear. But as it turns out, the two gooners who stayed in the race have done a splendid job of replacing them.
Take Newt Gingrich to start with. Like most people I know, I thought that the man, to use the term loosely, was politically dead and buried; what a surprise, then, to see that squinched up mole-like face again, and hear that grating high-pitched voice spieling out the same kind of shameless merde it trafficked in back in the day.
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve heard anyone rely so often on the old “Unmitigated Gall” or “Have You No Shame, Sir?” response when confronted with airtight evidence they have done something outrageously immoral or incredibly illegal. Gingrich has so many skeletons in his closet that we can expect a lot more feigned outrage from him in the months to come; between his grotesque love life, his political corruption, and the stupidity of his overblown “ideas;” (his proposed program of scientific and technological innovation, it turns out, was inspired in the most part by James Bond novels and other adolescent reading fare) his campaign will most likely consist of one awkward evasion after another. It would all be hilarious if it weren’t for Gingrich’s nasty habits, foremost of which is his propensity for playing the race card whenever he needs to hype up his Snopesian knuckle-dragging followers. Yuk.
And then there is the Newt’s bête noir, his nemesis, Mitt Romney. Whenever I see Mitt on the telly, my mind automatically summons up the Talking Heads’ classic song, “Psycho Killer.” No doubt about it, that should be Romney’s campaign theme song. It fits him perfectly: the glittering, demented Dwight Frye eyes, the robotic voice, the face twitching eerily as if some malign entity is inside, struggling to escape. (“I am the demon Gozo, returned to claim dominion over the Earth!”).
Who you gonna call?
With Newt, you know pretty much what you’re going to get: Green Acres, as performed by the Waycross, Georgia Knights of the KKK.
With whacky ol’ Mitt, you get the feeling anything can happen: Mort Sahl, Moms Mabeley, Tom Lehrer (on ayahuasca with a 200 proof rum chaser).
Show biz never had it so good.