Raging Moderate by Will Durst

Believe it or not, an entire decade has passed since the turn of the Millennium. One hundred-twenty months. One-tenth of a century. More than 3600 days. How did that happen? It’s harder to comprehend than a faded Kazakhstani street sign tagged by Mongolian graffiti. As we are painfully aware, much ugly stuff occurred during the decade, but what with all the mayhem and turmoil, you might think nothing worth laughing about went down. You’d be wrong. I know. I know. I know. “Not another Top Ten List.” Yes. Another Top Ten List. Hey, how many ends of the decade does one get in a lifetime? Maybe seven, eight, fourteen if you’re lucky. So, deal with it, because thar she blows: a list of the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the First Decade of the 21st Century. And not a Paris Hilton or Somali pirate sighting among them.

Mike Keefe, Denver Post (click to email)

Mike Keefe, Denver Post (click to email)

Kerry-Edwards ’04. Worst campaign ever. And that includes France in ’39. Who would have thought Democrats would fondly reminisce about the charismatic Gore-Lieberman ticket?

The Clintons. He got $12 million for his memoirs. She got $8 million for hers. Not bad for two people who testified under oath for eight years that they couldn’t remember a single thing.

Economic Bubbles Bursting. Dot com. Energy. Housing. Summed up best by the Enron Ethics manual on eBay whose seller described it as being in “mint condition- never used.” That could have been the problem. Sold — $250.

John McCain. Old warhorse finally gets his shot. Then couldn’t remember how many houses he owned. Turns out he had eight. Every time I get four houses I trade them in for a hotel.

Political sex scandals. Vitter. Foley. Edwards. Ensign. Sanford. And Spitzer, the N.Y. governor who flew a hooker from New York to D.C., because God knows there aren’t enough hookers in D.C. Five hundred thirty-five that I can think of, offhand. Put her up at the Mayflower and gave her four grand. That’s a liberal. A conservative will try to get it for free in an airport men’s room stall. Demonstrating fiscal responsibility.

Barack Obama. Half-black president demonstrates America ready to be Afro-curious. People still freaking out. “Born in Kenya.” No, he wasn’t. He was born in Honolulu. In a manger.

Weapons of Mass Destruction. President Bush was misled into thinking Iraq had WMDs because he was provided with faulty intelligence. Yeah, DNA is a bummer. Turns out it wasn’t Iraq with the WMD, it wasn’t Iraq with ties to Al Qaeda: it was Iran. We were so close. Probably just a clerical error.

Dick Cheney. Accidentally shot a guy in the face with a gun and got the victim to apologize. Then again, who among us hasn’t mistaken a 78-year-old lawyer wearing an orange vest for an immense quail?

Sarah Palin. For those of us going cold turkey on George Bush, the former governor of Alaska is like a double dose of methadone.

George W. Bush. If Reagan and Quayle had a kid. A Wheel of Fortune President in a Jeopardy world. For eight wonderful years, he was the Full Employment Act for political comedy. And we welcome him back.

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San Francisco-based political comic Will Durst, who writes sometimes (this being a creditable example), fully expects the next decade to be as fertile, material-wise.

Catch Durst in stand-up mode at The Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XVIII. Dec. 26- Jan. 1. 6 comics. 7 cities. 8 shows. 2,437 laughs. willdurst.com or 415.820.9628. Facebook. Twitter. Blah- blah.

Copyright ©2010, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate. Call Cari Dawson-Bartley at 800-696-7561 or e-mail [email protected]. Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at [email protected]. Check out willandwillie.com for the latest podcast. Will Durst’s book, “The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing,” is available from Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours. Don’t forget to check out his rooftop comedy minutes at: http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/shows/BurstOfDurst.