[In the Jan./Feb. issue, we ran political jokes gathered over the past two decades by Alan Dundes, a professor of anthropology and folklore at the University of California, Berkeley. This issue we print a few of your favorites, proving once again that political jokes in the United States are usually about sex because that’s the primary taboo left to us. What your offerings proved is that the players may change but the jokes often repeat themselves, emerging in slightly different form all around the country.]
This political joke changes with each new president: “Why won’t there be Thanksgiving in (name of state)? Because they sent the turkey to Washington!”
I first heard it during Carter’s term with “Georgia,” then “California” for Reagan, then “Texas” for Bush. With Clinton, it’s been revised to “Why won’t there be either Halloween or Thanksgiving in Arkansas? Because the turkey went to Washington and took the witch with him!”
Two Reagan-era jokes I remember: “How are the White House and McDonald’s alike? Both have clowns named Ronald!” and “What is Bedtime for Bonzo? Any cabinet meeting between Jan. 20, 1981 and Jan. 19, 1989.”
One winter morning, Richard Nixon looked out on the White House lawn and saw “Impeach Nixon” written in yellow across the snow. He quickly summoned a CIA chief and ordered the incident be investigated. Later, the CIA agent returned to the Oval Office.
“You’re not going to like this, sir, but the substance in which the message was written analyzed as Kissinger’s urine.”
“I suspected as much,” growled Nixon. “Is that all?”
“Actually, sir, there’s one more thing, and you’re really not going to like this.”
“Well, what? Out with it…”
“Sir…it’s in Pat’s handwriting.”
Albert Einstein died. At heaven’s gate, St. Peter asks him to prove he is Einstein. After expounding on the intricacies and sublime beauty of relativity, St. Peter let him through the gates. Martin Luther King Jr. died. At heaven’s gate, St. Peter asks him to prove he is indeed King. After a moving speech on the inalienable rights of all people and the necessity of social justice, a tear-stricken St. Peter lets him through the gates.
Dan Quayle died. At heaven’s gate, St. Peter asks him to prove he is Quayle. Quayle asks, “Why do I have to do that?” St. Peter explains that he must because Einstein and King had to. “Who are they?” Quayle asks. St. Peter let him through the gates.
Micah B. Kleit
Mrs. thatcher and her Cabinet are in a restaurant. “I’ll have a steak–raw,” she tells the waitress.
“And the vegetables?”
“They’ll have the same as me.”
Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich, and Bob Packwood visit the Wizrd of Oz. Bob Dole is seeking a brain, Newt is seeking a heart, and Packwood just asks, “Hey, where’s that Dorothy chick?”
Tracy D. Tisdale-Clawson
Bush Quayle and Clinton went to see the wizrd of Oz. Bush said, “If I only had a heart!” Quayle said, “If I only had a brain!” Clinton said, “Did you see which way Dorothy went?”