I hate Obama and everything he stands for. I also hate him on a personal level, because given the choice between capitalism and socialism, he deliberately chose to support socialism. I mock him every chance I get, even for small, petty things which aren’t his fault, like his ears (although those are actually LARGE, petty things) and his mule-faced wife (some guys just like ugly chicks – whattya gonna do about it?).
But I refuse to get all Kwazy Kos Kid and make fun of him for screwing up when he didn’t actually screw up. Humor requires truth to be funny, and if it ain’t true, it ain’t funny.
Some folks are busting Obama’s chops for saying “Welcome to Cinco de Cuatro” during a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House, saying that it was a “gaffe”, and a “fumbled joke”. They’re wrong. It was a good joke, done deliberately, and – based on the warm, sincere audience laughter – done well.
First, Obama’s not the first person to make this joke. About 6 years ago, something very similar was used in an episode of The Simpsons, where Homer lists some upcoming local holidays:
There’s the Tongue Kiss Festival, Cinco de Ocho, the Hobo Oscars. Days just made for lovers.
This joke works because when you hear “Cinco de”, your brain automatically says “Mayo” to itself, but you get surprised by the word “Ocho”, yet it sort of fits because it rhymes with “Mayo”, and it’s a Spanish word. The joke wouldn’t work if you said “Cinco de Brick”, for example.
Obama’s joke works even better because – in addition to these factors – it also makes reference to the elephant-in-the-room awkward fact that they were celebrating a holiday named for specific day of the year on a different day. That’s a lot of work for a single word, and as a person who spends WAY too much time thinking about the mechanics of humor-writing, I can tell you that that sort of confluence of factors doesn’t happen nearly often enough.
Obama also had good delivery because he looked at his watch afterwards with a mock-confused look on his face, as though he were checking the date, to emphasize the situation.
Now, I’m not saying that that joke should have necessarily been funny to YOU, or that making one good joke makes Obama NOT an evil, power-hungry desecrator of the Constitution. I’m just saying that this particular incident doesn’t belong on his ever-growing list of screw-ups.