With One Perfect Joke, Elizabeth Warren Just Saved Stand-Up Comedy

Politics Features Elizabeth Warren
With One Perfect Joke, Elizabeth Warren Just Saved Stand-Up Comedy

If you had reached the conclusion that modern stand-up comedy is just…

A. Dudes complaining about how they’re not allowed to do stand-up comedy because of “woke culture” or

B. Boring story-telly people who don’t have good jokes and just go for applause

…then you would be right. That is, until Thursday night, at a CNN Town Hall on LGBTQ issues, when Elizabeth Warren brought down the house. Watch this:

God, that’s hilarious. The original joke, about how the “values” dude can just go ahead and marry one woman if that’s his belief, was very good, but the kicker—”assuming he can find one”—was glorious high comedy. There’s no better laugh than when you have people in the palm of your hand, they’re already laughing at some previous joke, and just as that laughter starts to die down you add a follow-up zinger that brings down the house. It takes good material, good delivery, and good timing, and Warren was perfect on all three counts.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a presidential candidate be funnier in my lifetime. As I search through my memory banks, all I can remember are lame “Al Gore invented the calculator”-type jabs, and if I start thinking too hard I just see in my mind’s eye a loop of Amy Klobuchar making the same desperate joke about Trump’s hair over and over.

Also, because it isn’t totally clear, it’s worth saying that the questioner, Morgan Cox, is from the Human Rights Campaign, which is an advocacy group for LGBTQ rights. I’ve seen a few people go after him on social media, but those aren’t his beliefs, and he wasn’t doing concern trolling. In fact, he may have been setting Warren up, and Warren’s zinger may have been pre-written. I do not care. Every stand-up routine is also pre-written and pre-practiced, but it takes someone to knock it out of the park in front of an audience anyway. Warren nailed it, and stand-up comedy is cool again.

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