It's beyond all comprehension that a professional event planner in Washington, D.C. would offer seven minutes of freestyle standup comedy time, as the official entertainment for a black-tie banquet, to Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle, son of the former vice president and penman of Scottsdale's richest pornographic tales. And yet that's exactly what happened last night at the annual Congressional Correspondents' Dinner. Our old pal Ben Quayle, whose generic facial expression is that of a concussed deer in the highbeams, actually attempted standup comedy. And the poor guy couldn't even land the free laugh that is a "Politico sucks" joke.
Quayle tried to make a joke about Politico with a self-deprecating reference to his most mocked 2010 campaign ad, the hilarious one where he stares dead-serious into the camera and says, "Barack Obama is the worst president in history," before mumbling some other garbage. "The press is a generous term for Politico," he said last night to maybe three laughs. "You know, It took everything I had not to refer to Politico as the worst media outlet in history." See what he did there, playing with his own "worst ___ in history" construction? Well lucky you, because it doesn't sound like many folks in the audience got the reference. Perhaps they weren't paying attention to political blogs for the day or two that Quayle's campaign ad was circulating last year. But Quayle just came across as a belligerent doofus. And then he performed for six more minutes!
Here's Politico's snippy mention of Quayle in the recap, surrounded by paragraphs of glowing praise for the other performers:
Richmond was followed by Arizona Republican Ben Quayle, whose caustic routine drew little more than an awkward silence from the large audience. He did, however, score some laughs when he praised journalists' "spectacular work of late spelling "Gaddafi," referencing his father's infamous misspelling incident with the word "potatoes."
Bet you're all pretty sad that you couldn't attend the ever hilarious Congressional Correspondents Dinner, huh?