Contrary to what my rock-ribbed Republican grandfather believed, John F. Kennedy was not a stand-up comedian. Nope, he was a president. Kennedy, who would’ve turned 101 this month if, y’know, all that hadn’t happened (and, uh, if he somehow lived another 55 years without any major health problems), was such a stalwart figure of All-American virility that it’s kind of impossible to imagine him as anything other than some kind of big-shot leader guy. And yet that didn’t stop stand-up (and Simpsons producer) Dana Gould from doing just that in this clip from 1990, where the Boston-born Gould hypothesizes what JFK would’ve sounded like as a stand-up comedian. (As a proud son of the Commonwealth, Gould obviously knows how to do a good Kennedy, but it’s not like he would’ve put Vaughn Meader out of a job, or anything.)
On a personal note, as a Boston resident for almost a decade, I have to second Gould’s recommendation of the JFK museum. (Or, as it’s officially know, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.) It’s a real classy joint in Dorchester, hanging over the bay like the huge sail of a tall ship. You can see the planes coming in and out of Logan from there. It’s an informative museum and all, but the location really is everything.
So here it is, Dana Gould as John F. Kennedy as a hack stand-up comic from the 1950s, as originally featured on an old Live at the Improv series that can now be heard in our vault.
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