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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is a film critic for The New York Post and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Will Ferrell’s Broadway Yawner

    By Kyle | February 6, 2009

    Rave reviews for Will Ferrell’s Broadway show “Thank You America: A Final Night with George W. Bush” today. No surprise there.

    But check out my upcoming Sunday column to learn something about the show that will disgust you, if you are a patriotic American.

    One excellent thing about the end of the Bush presidency is that we may stop hearing the same cracks again and again. Leaving aside, for the moment, whether they are justified, what value is there in a joke you’ve heard variations of dozens of times?

    Will Ferrell’s (almost) one-man Broadway show in which he portrays George W. Bush is full of tired gags about Brownie, Rove and the rest of the crew. There’s even a line about how Texas leads the nation in capital punishment, as though this longstanding policy had anything to do with Bush. (Funny, no one ever expressed horror at all the murderers who were executed when Ann Richards was governor; nor did liberals express much disgust when Bill Clinton actually left the campaign trail in 1992 to go and “preside” over an execution, i.e. provide a photo op for his tough-on-crime image.)

    The Ferrell show was so full of dusty “Weekend Update” gags–in what other context can you get away with making jokes about events that happened five years ago as though they were topical?–that some of the biggest laughs came when the star wasn’t even onstage. He changed costumes a few times, and every time he did so his “secret service agent” (played by Ferrell’s brother Patrick) came to the front of the stage and did a silly dance.

    Another of the biggest laughs came when Ferrell, as Bush, announced, “This is a picture of my penis,” and a picture of a hopeless-looking male organ flashed on the screen above his head. Still another of the laughs that brought down the house: an actress playing Condi Rice came out and did a sort of stripper dance. The political jokes were, by comparison, rote and worn-out.

    Topics: Broadway, Comedy, Movies | 10 Comments »

    10 Responses to “Will Ferrell’s Broadway Yawner”

    1. shangui Says:
      February 6th, 2009 at 11:56 am

      “nor did liberals express much disgust when Bill Clinton actually left the campaign trail in 1992 to go and ‘preside’ over an execution, i.e. provide a photo op for his tough-on-crime image.)”

      I don’t think this is actually true. I recall great outrage from the left (or at least those left of Clinton) at the time. The execution, of a man who was pretty severely retarded, has been brought up by the left and indeed by the MSM frequently since then when discussion morally questionable decisions made for political reasons.

    2. Brandon Says:
      February 6th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

      Yawn indeed. Yet another shining example of Bush Derangement Syndrome from the petulant children of the Left.

    3. Obama bin Biden Says:
      February 6th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

      Will Ferrell is about as funny as a prostate exam.

    4. K Says:
      February 6th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      Kyle,

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2009/feb/04/john-lasseter-walt-disney-company

      Interesting that the lefty Guardian makes the same points you (and others) do. Even more interesting is Lasseter’s bumbling reaction to them.

    5. Brandon Says:
      February 6th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

      Obama Bin Biden,

      Prostate exams are hilarious…when they are happening to other people.

    6. kyle Says:
      February 6th, 2009 at 11:29 pm

      Thanks for that link, K. I do like a lot about The Guardian’s arts coverage. They may actually have some principles, unlike most of the lefties here.

    7. Floyd R. Turbo Says:
      February 7th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

      Don’t I already have this on my Best of Will Ferrell DVD? I have the perfect — if dated — suggestion for his play: “More COWBELL!”

    8. obamastan Says:
      February 8th, 2009 at 11:45 am

      Bush Derangement Syndrome? Not unlike the Obama Derangement Syndrome the entire right seems to have been hit with since before the election? Yes Conservatives we will soon be renaming the country the The United Socialist States of America!

      I keep wondering if Republicans were living in an alternate universe the last eight years and 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, illegal wiretapping, torture, the economic recession and scandal after scandal never happened? Maybe you all have dyslexia and the 28% approval that W had appeared as 82%? There must be some way to explain this?

      W deserves far worse than a bit of ribbing by Will Ferrell.

      You guys are an endless source of amusement and for that it’s great that you are all still around. But please remain in exile indefinitely.

    9. kishke Says:
      February 8th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      I keep wondering if Republicans were living in an alternate universe the last eight years and 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, illegal wiretapping, torture, the economic recession and scandal after scandal never happened

      Better than a universe in which Obama did not spend 20 years in the pews of an anti-American, anti-white nutjob he called his mentor; where he did not oppose the surge in Iraq; where the media did not turn a blind eye to the inexperience, shortcomings and foolish statements of their anointed son; where the new president is not a typical, slimy, Chicago machine politician; where Congress is not about to pass the biggest, fattest pork chop in history; etc. etc. etc.

      And Bush deserves our congratulations for taking the Islamic threat seriously and doing something about it. The last Dem president fell far short of his duties on that front. Perhaps this one will do better, although his pandering speech on Arab tv does not leave me hopeful.

    10. Jules Says:
      February 9th, 2009 at 11:36 am

      ‘check out my upcoming Sunday column to learn something about the show that will disgust you, if you are a patriotic American.’

      Kyle, do you honestly believe that the people who weren’t disgusted were unpatriotic Americans?

      I suspect many people – patriotic and unpatriotic – would be more irritated by you telling them they should be disgusted, than by an innocuous comedy routine.

      There are plenty of patriotic Americans out there, some of them vote Democrat. I know this because they are the people who heckle the European players during the Ryder Cup.

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