Presidents have varied with their sense of humor over the years

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We celebrated President’s Day this week and everyone went shopping. That’s not true because I didn’t, but it is indicative of when our country takes a holiday our businesses have a sale. I believe if our government declared another sanctioned holiday, say for the founding of Cheetos, the banks would close, the post office would say “Hallelujah! We got another one,” and every furniture store in America would proclaim a “Get Two for the Price of One Cheetos mattress.”
If there was such a thing as a Cheetos mattress, I wonder if when you slept on it, you would awaken to orange residue all over your pajamas. Then, would you want to lick your pajamas? Just wondering.
In honor of President’s Day, I offer some Presidential humor and ask, “Who was our funniest president?”
When thinking of our current president, I don’t think funny. He just doesn’t seem to say anything funny in a natural way. He can read the jokes that people write for him just fine and they are funny sometimes, but when speaking off the cuff, he doesn’t make me laugh.
Not like Abraham Lincoln. Someone questioned President Lincoln and asked if he was “two-faced,” meaning deceitful or hypocritical. He replied, “If I were two-faced, you think I’d be wearing this one?”
Some presidents think better and funnier than others when asked questions. A little boy once asked President John Kennedy just how he became a war hero. Kennedy answered, “It was absolutely involuntary; they sank my boat.”
Here is a quote from the second president of the United States, John Adams. It proves that presidential humor has a long trail and that congress has always been a great foil for presidents. Adams said this about his relationship with the legislature.
“In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a congress.”
President Jimmy Carter is coming to our town this week. Honestly, he was not known for his humor, but he proves that even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then. When a person has achieved the highest office in the land, self-deprecating humor is the easiest.
President Carter once quipped, “My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me they use all their fingers.”
A person is most humorous when they are confident of themselves or, as some say, comfortable in their own skin. There is no doubt in my mind that the president of my lifetime who was most comfortable in just about any situation was Ronald Reagan. Whether he was your cup of tea or not, he was very funny. Here is a great “off the cuff” remark from President Reagan that I found in a Reader’s Digest section on humor.
During a state visit to Great Britain, President Ronnie purportedly went horseback riding with Queen Elizabeth. At one point, one of the horses passed gas quite loudly. The queen apologized, saying, “There are some things that even royalty can’t control.”
President Reagan replied, “I’m glad you told me, or I would have thought it was the horse.”
As Larry the Cable Guy would say, “Now that right there is funny; I don’t care who you are.”