Remember a couple of years ago, when Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien (then the host of Late Night) elicited minor controversy by performing a skit based on the plane crash from Lost at an award show shortly after a tragic air crash in Lexington, Kentucky? It seems O'Brien's luck in the friendly skies has not fared much better lately.
Making a joke on his show about Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker's plan to improve the health of his city's residents (presumably by helping to cut the number who catch a bullet every year), O'Brien cracked that "the health care program would consist of a bus ticket out of Newark."
Ha. Good stuff. Reminds me of the old joke about the New York Giants and their new season ticket plan. First 60 people who order get a uniform and a helmet.
Booker responded in kind, with a humorous video. Booker first states his case that Newark is a city undergoing large growth and improvement across the board, and then employs a "man on the street" to gauge the take locals had on O'Brien's punchline.
One lady asks "who is Conan O'Brien?" Another gentleman has to be restrained, "outraged" that someone dare talk smack 'bout Newark, New Jersey.
Booker wrapped up his video mentioning that Newark also boasts ine of the largest airports in the nation, and using "the powers invested in him by the City of Newark," he officially placed the talk show host on the city's no-fly list, adding in a particularly tongue-in-cheek moment, "Try JFK, buddy."
Wow. Had no idea Cory Booker had such a great sense of humor. What a shame a good chunk of Huffington Post readers lack so much as a sliver of that sense of humor. Among the comments:
"...what a refreshing abuse of power."
"The mayor is out of line and I believe exceeds his dubious Constitutional authority."
"What an embarrassment this clown is."
Jesus Christ, people, really? Watch the video two or three more times, and it should be apparent to anyone who isn't in a persistent vegetative state or frothing at the mouth at some teabag festival that this was a joke. Plain and simple. Maybe Mayor Booker should have overreacted, like your Michelle Bachmans or your Sarah Palins. It can't possibly be easy to be an elected official in a state as notably corrupt as New Jersey (disclosure: I grew up in Illinois, so it's not like I am unfamiliar with corruption), so if you can take a minute or two to fire a joke right back and keep everything light-hearted, more power to you.