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August 22, 2010

Last Night I Kind of Lost My Shit

It's the late show on a Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio. I'm halfway through my set and I mention Barack Obama. Some scattered boos. Which is normal. Somebody always hates the president, no matter who that president might be. In this case, the president is Obama and I am a fan, so I always ask they are so mad at him.

"Why are you mad at the president?"

Some common responses:

"Because he's an idiot."

"Because he doesn't do anything."

"Because he broke his campaign promises."

That's usually as far as people are able to go. They're mad but they don't know why. Which is always funny, at least to me. In fact, now that I think of it, nobody has ever given me a specific policy reason why they do not like our current president. I try to be polite about it while simultaneously making fun of them, then I give whoever I was making fun of a dollar, and we move on.

Last night, as I was talking about how much I love the president (because I do), somebody yelled out "Heil Hitler."

Heil Hitler?

My immediate reaction was to crumple to the floor, which I did. I don't know why, except that it seemed to me in that moment that the show had now gone south very quickly, and if bottles were going to be thrown, I didn't want to get hit.

But then I stood up and asked the person (shrouded in darkness, as people who scream "Heil Hitler" often are) why he yelled that, thinking maybe he thought it was funny in some obtuse way, like maybe he though shouting that would be interpreted as clever satire. Or maybe he was being ironic. Grasping, I know, but I honestly had no idea why somebody would yell that outside of a Klan rally. 

But I am still being polite.

The guy in the dark says, "Because when you say you like Obama, that's the same thing to me as saying 'Heil Hitler.'"

The audience, predictably, starts booing. I ask them to please calm down, that I will handle this in a mature way. While I am saying this to the audience, I am thinking, How do I possibly handle this in a mature way.

So the audience settles down, and I turn to the gentleman and say, "Sir, I say with this all due respectyou are a fucking moron."

And then I kind of lost my shit.

I just started screaming at the guy. Screaming. I don't even know what I was screaming, although the gist was, "How dare you compare Hitler to this president or any president? How dare you equate what he did with Obama is doing? Do you have any idea how insulting that is? Do you know anything about history? Do you have any idea what Hitler did? He killed six million of my people, which is six million more than Obama has killed. You're a fucking idiot. You're a fucking moron. You're the fucking problem with this country. You and your reflexive retardation. You're a fucking this-and-that..." and then I just basically started yelling "fuck" a lot at the guy. Fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Then he stood up and left.

It felt really, really great.

But now I feel bad. I feel bad because, in retrospect, that guy didn't deserve that. Yes he said something incredibly stupid, but my response was just as stupid. I could have made my point a million different ways without screaming into a microphone in a room filled with drunk people. I wasn't clever, I wasn't thoughtful, I said nothing that would move the conversation forward. I just yelled because Nazis push my Jew button (my Jew button is located right below my tail).

It was a purely emotional response, the kind that I get upset at other people for making when talking about the mosque they want to build or gay marriage or gun violence or any issue that people use to piss each other off.

Hitler is just a buzz word. Which is actually part of my problem with him saying it in such a blithe way. In a weird way, by equating policy disagreements with a genocidal egomaniac, you're actually disrespecting Hitler. You're actually bringing his evil down to the level of the mundane, which we should never do. Obama is Hitler because he created a consumer protection agency? C'mon.

So yeah, I kind of lost my shit last night. And to that guy who shouted out "Heil Hitler," I apologize. There was no reason to meet your idiocy with my own, even though you are a fucking moron.

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Jaime

This is the first week at school. I teach college freshmen and high school sophomores, a sharp contrast. In our "getting to know you," two students stated they didn't like Obama.

me: "But _why_ don't you like Obama?"

both: "I don't know."

If you've got reasons, at least that's something, and, hopefully, they're reasonable reasons.

Obama as Hitler? = not reasonable = sophomoric. The end.

Michael Flynn

Here are some policies you should not support:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiwAFIgGCkQ

Jay H

No worries, MIB. It needed to be said, actually. Thank you.

-JH

Zbigniew Brzezinski

It’s amazing to me to see people who like to think of themselves as being liberals or leftists bend over backwards to defend American imperialism just so long as Obama is our puppet in the white house.

Makes you wonder why people really hated Bush. It can’t be because of his policies because Obama is following the exact same agenda.

Makes you also wonder how many people like Obama just because he’s a charismatic black guy pretending to be a democrat. Just so long as it’s a black guy in the white house then it’s OK for America to go blow up brown kids and I can feel good about myself.

Bailey

Awww, I like that you lost your shit. Normally, I hate when people lose their shit, because it's usually over something so insignificant. But you losing your shit sounds adorable and warranted.

Reen

Your heckler would have fit in perfectly with this misinformed gang.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht8PmEjxUfg

Courtney

Wow I can't believe how many Obama-haters took the opportunity to post their stupid comments here. Yowsa!

I am going to be seeing you this weekend in Bloomington, IN. We're a pretty liberal crowd so you shouldn't have any crazy shit like that happening. Just don't say anything bad about Bobby Knight and you'll be cool. Can't wait to see you!!!

p.s. I was watching the State the other night to gear up for the show, and one of the very first episodes has a lady from Bloomington in it. She is trying to keep up with Showalter during his jogging news segment and she drops dead. Hilarious!

James

No MIB you did the right thing..sometimes you have to lose your shit. especially when someone dumber than you (i.e. republicans) are able to get away with shit like children, yet expect..no demand absolute fairness when attacking their side. like most children, they don't have the intellectual capacity to understand hypocrisy, paradox or irony. you should write a followup to Pig Parade but this time call it something like.."Assholes, Dicks & Moron Parade..The Republican National Conventionen." keep up the good work, hilarious!

Andrewjcrawford

Well, Obama’s no Hitler, but rumor has it that he’s still torturing some people.

He chose to “look forward, not back” when it came to punishing Republican traitors who started a war to make themselves richer and succeeded, which will kill hundreds of thousands before it’s done.

He killed a real health care bill that would have saved 1000 lives a week, rewriting it to make it Republican friendly and killing those 1000/week to guarantee massive corporate profits.

He gave trillions to wall street that they took in bonuses rather than reinvesting it in our country: which gave them the money to do that very thing. And then he lectured us on how we needed to tighten our belts and make more sensible financial decisions.

Personally, I voted for a Panther and got a house cat: wall street’s favorite caddy.

I'm sure your guy said what he said for all the wrong reasons; but don’t defend Obama when you should be attacking him for good reason. You are in the satire business, remember.

Andrewjcrawford

If you don't believe me, ask Janeane Garofalo about Obama's failure. And also tell her she's still kick ass masturbation material. Especially when paired with young female standups who think she's God, that she can be really mean to and they just appologize and ask what they can do to... well, you get the picture.

Yvonne

Michael,

I don't think you did anything wrong. Some things, such as racial bigotry, deserve a strong response.

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Jimbo Jenkins

The funny thing to me is that leftists who believe in socialism as a solution to all of our ills want to bind themselves with all of these people who don't agree with them. It's like wanting to throw a kegger, and forcing an evangelical congregation to chip in. Now they've got their say on how the party money is going to be spent. Suddenly the kegger turns into a rootbeer float party. And the people who are using force to make the evangelicals pay demand that it's their fault that things went south on the party plan. If only they could also be forced to see it your way.

Heil hitler isn't actually all that far off when you look at it like that. When your best tool for social change is government force, your ideology isn't really offering any solutions.

Jermoo

One other observation before I get flamed into oblivion: When Bush was president, leftists had no problem with the Hitler comparison. Now Obama is president, and is running the same war, the same way, using the same tactics, the same torture, and we're on the same dead end road.

The anti-war left is dead, and Obama has bloody hands.

Jack

Thanks for the honesty. Before this evening it had been ages since I'd looked at (or thought about) your blog, but now I'm thinking I should do it all the time.

Muggs

Don't beat yourself up too much. You're human. I am sure I would have lost it too. You're a great comedian and we love you.

NickyPorkins

Now Men ian Black 2, this guy in my opinion was a comedic genius.

Jay Main

Doesn't sound like a funny show. Maybe you should try more comedy and less political crap. Just saying :)

RealityBites

Odumba the retarded clown is a bad president because it isn't possible to determine where his policies don't align with the repugnantcans.

He left the same criminals in charge of the banks, and he murders Americans daily in the liars wars he continues.

He is a traitor, and should be dealt with as such.

lawrence rooney

Obama has the same foreign policy as Bush. If Bush = Hitler, then so to should Obama. I understand that it's easier for you to call people morons than admit that you were wrong about the President.

The Yankees will finish in 4th behind Showalter's orioles.

Peas

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