As I mentioned in my previous post, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (R – Maine), was a guest on The Nite Show with Danny Cashman this evening.
Danny had asked yesterday if I would like to get my photo taken with the Congressman, but I felt bad about accepting that offer given the mean jokes I’ve written about the man over the last couple of years.
I want to make it clear right now, Modern Philosophers, that I have nothing against Maine’s Congressman.
I write for a late night talk show, the host likes to poke fun at the guy, and I know that I’m more likely to get my stuff on the air if I write jokes that appeal to Danny’s sense of humor.
Congressman Poliquin is somewhat vertically challenged. There. I said it.
While writing short jokes might not seem difficult, try writing dozens of them over the course of a year while also making them original and topical.
I’m always up for a challenge, so it’s a personal goal to get one Poliquin joke on the air at every taping.
Sure, I was a little nervous about how he would react once he was in front of the cameras. I’ve written much nastier jokes about Governor LePage, and he made no mention of that when he was a guest last season.
So, I figured I had nothing to worry about.
That was until the Congressman made his entrance…
As you can see, Congressman Poliquin came out with a stepladder, set it up at center stage, and then climbed to the top to wave to the crowd.
That entrance made it clear that he was aware of the short jokes we’d written about him, and now I was very curious as to how he would address that issue with Danny.
The Congressman wasted no time. He explained that his office subscribes to a service which informs him anytime he is mentioned in the media. He pulled out a piece of paper and told Danny he wanted to discuss some of the jokes that had been told about him over the past year.
One was about the record snowfall in Maine last winter. The punchline was that it was so deep, that even if you had one Bruce Poliquin stand on another Bruce Poliquin’s shoulders, they would both still be buried under the snow.
The other was an all-time favorite. It went something like: The new Star Wars movie opens this weekend. If you see a furry little creature dancing in front of a movie theater, it could be a child in an Ewok costume, or it could just be Bruce Poliquin in a fur coat.
I was actually pretty excited as I tapped my fellow writer Dave on the shoulder and told him that the last two jokes were mine.
I then turned to my friend Corenna, who is a big shot in Maine’s Republican Party, and confessed that I’d written two of those jokes about the state’s Republican Congressman.
Thankfully, Congressman Poliquin played it off as good fun, and after ribbing Danny a little about the jokes, moved on to more serious topics.
Of course, my Catholic Guilt kicked in as it often does, and I felt compelled to confess my sins before the guest left the theater.
So, I slipped backstage, waited for the Congressman to emerge from the set, introduced myself and then took full responsibility for the jokes. He laughed, said something like “So it was you!”, but smiled and shook my hand.
He said he knew it was all done in fun, and I thanked him for being so understanding.
Later, Danny told me that he didn’t make me aware of what the Congressman intended to do because he wanted me to be surprised. Per Danny, it was Poliquin who asked to be on the show so he could address the jokes in a playful manner.
The guy might be short on stature, but he is big on class. It took guts to ask to appear on a show that constantly mocks him, and then address the issue head on.
I’d give Congressman Poliquin a standing ovation, but I’m afraid I’d frighten him with the way I’d tower over him. You see? I can’t help it. The jokes just come naturally.
Just another thrilling night in the life of a writer. Do you understand now why I love doing this so much?
Thanks to Jennifer Murphy for the photo of Congressman Poliquin reading the list!
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