Kyle Smith in the New York Post recently saw Will Ferrell in “the hottest show on Broadway;” a one-man show deriding George W. Bush.
NOTE to the Broadway/Hollyweird elitist crowd: Bush isn’t the President anymore. What’s with all the obsession with running the man down?
There is also a weird selection of random off-the-shelf sex gags (the screen shows a funny picture of a dejected-looking male organ Ferrell/Bush identifies as his own, there’s a long sequence about an imaginary orgy and another in which an actress playing Condoleezza Rice comes on stage to do a dirty dance). There are even jokes about Bigfoot.
Pointless? Pretty much, but near the end of the show things turn tasteless as well. Ferrell/Bush asks the audience for a moment of silence to honor our troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the performance I saw, most of the audience members went silent but a few tittered nervously. Who can blame them? This is a comedy show. They were expecting a gag, and they soon got one.
After a few seconds of silence a phone on the stage rings, and everyone laughs. The relief is palpable. Hurrah! That thing about honoring our war dead? It really was just the setup to a joke!
Oh yeah, pretty tasteless. But what’s the point of dragging the troops into it? Many in the audience were not amused, and THAT is the point where I **DO** begin to question their patriotism:
The problem is, during what turned out to be merely a pause to set up the punchline, I actually was thinking about our war dead, and so were a lot of others. Left and right, we all believe, or supposedly do, in honoring the sacrifice of our servicemen and women.
Here, Hollywood is letting its mask slip. Ferrell and his director Adam McKay are so confident that everyone shares their contempt for Bush that they slosh over into contempt for all things associated with Bush: the show includes cracks about Texas, Christianity, and finally the military.
But is it too much to ask for our war dead to not be ridiculed by wealthy comedians? Maybe those who fly on private jets, live in closely policed communities with surveillance cameras covering every inch of their property and send their kids to private school don’t understand that there is such a thing as public security, and that it isn’t a joke.
Will Ferrell just lost me as a fan. Count me out when this comes on HBO, too.