This is a clip from Eddie Murphy's standup special Delirious, recorded in Washington, DC in 1983, back when Eddie Murphy was funny. He is joking about the first black president, who, back then, was going to be Jesse Jackson, but the joke still works. It works so well, in fact, that it is basically the only joke about The First Black President. The L.A. Times sent a reporter out to the comedy clubs this weekend to watch black comedians make their black comedian jokes about Barack Obama, the new black president.
Tommy Davidson's centerpiece joke about President-elect Barack Obama at a Los Angeles comedy club over the weekend "killed" — in more ways than one. Davidson, who was a regular on Fox's hip sketch comedy show "In Living Color," bounded on stage Friday at the Comedy Union on Pico Boulevard and said he would like to perform a bit from Obama's upcoming inaugural speech. He stood at an imaginary podium — then, a "shot" rang out and he collapsed in a heap. The audience was momentarily shocked, then erupted in laughter. But for some, the laughs stuck in their throats.
Chris Rock's Head of State features the same joke, of course. And Richard Pryor did a First Black President routine back in the 70s that was mercifully free of assassination material. But honestly, we're not particularly worried about the "challenge" comedians face in an Obama presidency. Sure, the man himself is not particularly funny, or at least not easily mockable so far, but the "Bush is stupid" and "Clinton is a horndog" jokes were the worst parts of the last 20 years worth of popular political humor so god bless a guy who'll make everyone have to try a little harder.